Attention Marketing: You’re Now Responsible For Quota Attainment

Jamie Shanks
Jamie Shanks

attention marketingJason Lemkin the past CEO of EchoSign and the now founder of the SaaStr fund, wrote an article a year or two ago on the SaaStr blog that talked about how like VP of Sales, VP of Marketing should have a lead quota as well.

This means revenue opportunities. The reality is, that still is not even going to be good enough. The future is where sales and marketing are just functional job titles for recruiting and segmenting who sits where in the office, but the reality is we’re all one team. It’s a cooperative effort to build what is called team revenue. And team revenue is an assortment of people that do different tasks to better serve the customer.

You must first believe in that to go any further. You’ve got to believe that anybody who is customer facing, is going to be on your team called team revenue. And within that, there is going to be people that do job functions that better serve the top of the funnel, the middle of the funnel, the bottom of the funnel.

You call them whatever you want to call them. They all have an equal part. As an executive, they are all on your team. Like every player in your football team is equally as valuable. The punter and the quarterback and the wide receiver, they’re all part of a team. When one player wins, everyone wins; when one player loses, everyone loses.

The reality is that for team revenue to achieve its goals, every person on that team needs to do their part to get to the lagging indicator so that the company can grow. The only way a company grows is by higher percentage of sales professionals hitting their sales quotas. Assuming you developed a great plan and a great counter plan, the more that sales professionals can hit plan, and you keep and retain them, means you don’t have holes in territories, and you actually grow as a business.

Okay, so if that’s the ultimate goal, we need to get to the lagging indicator. That means everybody on team revenue needs to align to that lagging indicator. And that lagging indicator, when you work it backwards, comes to some point in which there is a handshake, gathering of all of these roles that need to converge on this place that’s going to get you to that highest probability of reaching that goal.

That could be the sales qualified lead (SQL). And that means, every meeting, every interaction, everything that sales and marketing does together talks about a leading indicator they can use to get them towards that goal. And that leading indicator, at least for us, is the sales qualified lead.

mql sal sql

So marketing works in the background to increase our blog subscribers, segment those into ideal customer profiles, and from those ideal customer profiles, start presenting marketing qualified leads to our SDR team. The SDR team then calls on and has social relationships with these leads and then ultimately books appointments to what we call a sales accepted lead.

All of that in the background is not how the marketing team is being measured. It doesn’t matter; all the marketing team needs to be concerned with is the 3 lovers they have to play with: volume, velocity, and probability of the insights and content that get them towards the goals that we need to achieve. That is a goal that we’re all setting as a leading indicator called, sales qualified leads. But once it becomes a sales qualified lead, marketing is watching it all the way to close because they’re actually being measured against the number of SQLs they create. Their departments are growing or contracting based on that goal.

Now, at our business, of the total revenue, 25% comes from customer success and net new logos, 25% of it has to come from original lead sourcing and creation by marketing. The rest will come from channel, customer referrals, and of course, customer upsell and cross-sell. So, that’s all the team thinks about. The team is less concerned, it doesn’t care when there is a spike in web traffic, it doesn’t care that we just added 5000 new blog subscribers because we did a great infographic, they might tip their hat to that – but ultimately they just get back to work. Because the only thing that matters is that, on the dashboards, on the walls, team revenue is going to hit or exceed sales quota attainment. That’s how team revenue thinks. And marketing is a key player.


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