Executive Perspective: 7 Ways to Determine If You’re a Sales- or Marketing-led Organization

Are you a sales-driven or marketing-led organization?

Not sure what I mean? Read on.

Most B2B companies are sales-driven for obvious reasons. Sales reps are the ones picking up the phones and making calls to drive pipeline and sales for the business. Whatever sales wants, happens — as long as they’re hitting their revenue goals. In these cases, the marketing team is more of an enabler of sales (i.e. sales support). This situation is more common in organizations that have new marketing leadership or a newly-established marketing team, and an already-established sales team.

Marketing-led organizations, on the other hand, are characterized by marketing departments that have a clear role in the buyer journey. There is still a focus on enabling sales, but there’s an equal focus on lead generation and customer enablement as well.

Not sure where your company fits in? Here are a few key differences between these two organizations:

A sales-driven organization…

  1. …focuses 80% or 90% of internal efforts on sales collateral (like data sheets) and internal sales training.
  2. …uses industry events as opportunities for lead generation.
  3. …passes all leads to sales.
  4. …has no lead qualification team.
  5. …devotes email marketing efforts to sales-driven or “pressured” programs.
  6. …has multiple campaigns running at the same time, serving many masters.
  7. …has no real ROI measurement in place for marketing programs.

A marketing-led organization…

  1. …creates marketing collateral with strong calls to action in addition to clear sales go-to-market content. Content fuels lead generation efforts but often simultaneously doubles as thought leadership (think white papers and eBooks).
  2. …creates, hosts, or sponsors ground-breaking events like the Salesforce1 World Tour — in addition to industry events. Consider companies like Wistia that hold their Wistiafest conference every year.
  3. …only passes qualified or high-value leads based on set criteria between sales and marketing.
  4. …has a lead qualification team reporting either to marketing or sales, purely focused on making the most out of inbound leads.
  5. …deploys nurture programs based on stage of the sales cycle, pain points, and personas.
  6. …creates monthly themes and quarterly campaigns with a very clear goal in mind that bring the entire organization together.
  7. …has clear measurements for marketing direct- and influenced-pipe for the business.

It’s fine to be sales-driven depending on your organization’s goals, but it’s transformative if we can begin the transition toward being more marketing led, as this will only make modern sales and marketing teams stronger. A successful company needs to have both teams working in tandem in order to drive amazing results.

Get more information on how integrating your sales and marketing tools can help improve sales-marketing alignment by downloading our newest eBook, “Salesforce for B2B Marketers: The Complete Guide.”

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