MQLs Are Dead, Marketers Have Quotas & the Demand Waterfall Drowned

Being in a room with 150 of the industry’s top marketers at the B2B Game Changers conference last week was nothing short of amazing. Hearing the stories of wild victories and real failures from our marketing role models give us a taste of our industry’s reality. If you want to make a difference in your organization, you need to embrace change, think fast and stay humble.

B2BGC Robin Sharma Quote

Every year, Integrate recognizes a handful of noteworthy role-based marketers as B2B Game Changers. This year we directed our focus towards revenue marketers. As the landscape evolves and marketing teams are becoming increasingly responsible for a sales-like quota, the shift is inevitable. Revenue marketing is not just demand generation or ABM, nor just marketing operations or field marketing. Rather, it’s marrying these disciplines together to create measurable value for the organization. We see and know firsthand how challenging this can be. So, we pulled together a group of bad-ass Game Changers to share their stories with their peers. The results? Marketing magic. Here’s what we learned:

The Rise of Revenue Marketing Isn't A Trend; It's Here to Stay

Our fearless CMO, Scott Vaughan said it best during the session, “Change Strategies for Global Enterprise Marketing” with Leslie Alore of Iron Mountain and Anika Kaulius of Microsoft. “We’ve blew up the demand waterfall, killed funnels and murdered MQLs – it’s been a productive day.”

If you’re marketing goals include scaling revenue, we must leave the old KPIs behind of funnel stages and MQL creation. Revenue marketing is about penetrating target accounts with sales, and thus creating opportunities which quickly convert. The only way to find success here is by taking an integrated approach to all marketing activities. Beki Scarbrough of ForgeRock gave a great example of her team’s revenue-based KPIs during the session, “Creating Categories, Integrating Programs and Going Digital to Change the Game.” The old KPIs include open rates, form fills, MQLs and lead conversion. These are now pivoting to conversations, percent of account engagement, open opportunities, meetings booked and more tangible events. 

Beki's comparison slides

B2BGC Social Grab

We’ve only just begun to dip our toes into the world of revenue marketing and we will quickly observe which organizations sink or swim. In a world that demands to be delighted with simplicity and ease of purchase, marketing teams must be focused on surrounding accounts, locking arms with their sales teams and adding value; not throwing a finite amount of MQLs over the fence to bitter sales reps and hoping they stick.

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B2B Marketing is About to Get a Whole Lot More B2C

During one of the first presentations of the day, David Lewis, CEO of DemandGen opened his session with the day-in-the-life of the modern consumer – they wake up in a custom mattress that was delivered to their doorstep, discuss the weather with Amazon’s Alexa over their favorite coffee, and get in an Uber that provides them with a pleasant and efficient means of commuting. All part of a seamless experience from companies focused on delighting the customer and providing an agile solution to the daily routine.

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B2B marketers need to become more like B2C marketers. Customers, regardless of their B2B role, are still consumers at heart. We expect the same seamless and delightful buying experience in our careers that we have grown so accustomed to in our everyday lives. After a morning like the one David portrayed, why would we want to get to work and fill out multiple contact-us forms, call 1-800 numbers and send broad spectrum helpdesk emails just to get information on a product or service?  It is the marketing team’s job to provide an experience that leaves the customer feeling satisfied and in control of their purchase. 

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David explains that this is the only reliable scale to measure a customer’s experience. If the value is greater than or equal to the customer's expectations, marketing has done their job.

It's Time to Abolish Marketing & Sales Silos (For Real This Time) and Become the Revenue Team

All we’ve heard for the past few years is the promise of “sales and marketing alignment.” If your organization has truly achieved that, props to you because it is very much still a pipe dream for the rest of us. At the end of the day, sales or marketing, we’re all here to make money and add value to the business. The only way for everyone to win is to abolish the mindset that marketing’s only job is providing leads that they then pass to sales to turn into revenue. When we work this way, it becomes a marketing vs. sales environment which isn’t healthy for either party. In the session “How to Seduce Sales into Falling in Love With You,” Heidi Bullock, CMO of Engagio explained how she used to struggle with proving the marketing team was right with data and how much friction that caused with sales. By then shifting the mindset from us vs. them to “we” the revenue increase spoke for itself. Beki Scarbrough even mentioned that your marketing team must carry a quota alongside sales. Talk about game-changing moves.

B2BGC KA Social Screen Grab

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Revenue teams start with revenue marketers. Nothing changes in a day but implementing processes that focus on collaboration first will pave the way to a frictionless team. Plus, you have to know when to play offense and when to play defense, advises Leslie Alore, Regional Marketing Director at Iron Mountain.

B2BGC Internal Gameplan Slide

As a part of the marketing team at Integrate, it was truly amazing to see this conference come to life and crazy that in just a day, it was over. The amount of time and effort our team, speakers, partners and loyal supporters invested in making our dream a reality is simply humbling. We are so grateful for our B2B community and friends that have offered their unconditional support.

A special thank-you to our partners: DemandGen, Mintigo, Bombora, Engagio, and Inverta. Game-changing marketing truly does require game-changing partners. 

We can’t wait to see you next fall and tackle what it takes to be a game-changing marketer in 2020.

If you're interested in hearing more game-changing insights from the pros, tune into the Demand Generation Virtual Summit on October 31. Integrate, Terminus and Salesforce are hosting the roundtable session, "The Future of Demand Generation." 

Register for the Demand Generation Virtual Summit

 

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