Marketers’ Growing Ownership Of The Revenue Cycle
Sales teams are traditionally recognized as the revenue driver for B2B organizations. While marketing teams have generally been seen as a cost-center for supporting sales with lead gen and brand recognition, sales has always been known as a revenue-center due to its efforts prospecting, educating, and closing business. This traditional mindset is still very common, but it is quickly dating itself as more marketing teams focus on automated sales enablement and education through content marketing, giving them more ownership of the revenue cycle.
Good B2B marketers are claiming more ownership of this revenue cycle, especially at the earlier stages of the cycle; they focus increasing efforts on content marketing, which syndicates education to prospective customers through well designed websites, white papers and webinars, which are promoted through, ads, email campaigns and and social media. Because all of these programs are now tracked digitally — and thus produce data that can be analyzed — marketing efforts can finally be directly related to a company’s bottom line. However, with this new status also comes a new responsibility: marketing teams must now forecast their future pipeline and revenue results.
Marketing Forecasting Provides Visibility Earlier in the Revenue Cycle
As marketers grow ownership of the revenue cycle and build performance data on various channels and tactics, they have the ability to make forecasts that provide accurate long-term visibility. Sales forecasts can be highly accurate for the coming month or quarter, but marketing forecasts can be used to plan efforts 6 to 12 months further than sales efforts. This ultimately allows marketing execs to:
- Give boards and executives full visibility into how much revenue marketing has driven and will generate.
- Have full control over the marketing levers that drive revenue.
- Encourage better collaboration between marketing and sales teams due to joint ownership over the revenue cycle.
- Foster an organizational-wide paradigm shift as marketing moves from being a cost center toward being a revenue-driver; align all teammates — creatives and quants alike — toward the same overarching goal.
Tying Marketing Efforts to Revenue Results
Marketers are owning more of the revenue cycle, and are therefore more responsible and accountable for revenue generation. While sales forecasts provide accurate visibility into the coming month or quarter, marketing forecasts can provide execs and boards with visibility into the coming 12+ months. Ultimately, forecasting allows organizations to better tie marketing efforts with revenue generation.