The type of person leads your marketing department will have a direct impact on your growth. Often through a lack of evaluation of the business’s evolution and strategic requirements, the wrong person may be leading your marketing department.
Executives owe it to the organization and to their fellow workers not to tolerate nonperforming individuals in important jobs. – Peter Drucker
For any CEO, strategy is critical to your success. Strategy is one of those things that keeps you up at night. Getting it right is difficult and then once that strategy is decided on, everything then turns to execution. The key components to any strategy is hitting the number and hitting those goals; it’s a non-negotiable that has to happen.
What many experience
At the start of the year you handed off your strategy to a capable marketing leader who you believed would execute on your vision. Its three months out from end of financial year and the revenue goals are not being delivered and the forecast does not look good. It’s time to rethink your marketing leader for next year.
If you run a major corporation, you need a strategic presence in your marketing organisation. However, if you think you need an experienced marketing strategist to take your company from $50m to $100m, think again. CEOs of those size companies need ‘doers’ leading marketing. Why? Because ‘doers’ are focused on assisting sales fill the funnel and hit the number.
What Went Wrong?
If you are not hitting the number and your goals of your strategy, most likely you hired a ‘strategist’ to lead marketing. You went for experience about branding which is a subject often on the CEOs radar. The marketing person actually needed to be focused on working with sales to drive revenue, and not getting caught up chasing big picture items. Branding is important but hitting the number is even more important. Their focus on things like branding exercises and awareness campaigns with PR firms happens at the sacrifice of revenue being missed. Very rarely can a marketing person operate with both. Over time, the sales team loses confidence in their ability to fill the funnel too.
Why ‘Strategists’ Won’t Deliver the number
If you hired a marketing leader and six months passed with no tangible sales results, you hired a ‘strategist.’ ‘Strategists’ are marketers who like to fly at 30,000 feet. When generating demand is critical, they see this as a distraction better left to others in the marketing organisation. They are concerned with brand equity and sentiment analysis. They try to execute big company processes, such as:
- Building awareness
- Hiring PR and communications firms
- Implementing antiquated advertising campaigns
They don’t see value in spending time in the field with sales to learn more about your audience and how to better engage them. They try to keep clear separation from revenue objectives (often known as accountability). You end up with a lot of activities that don’t produce results. This is the last thing you need.
Why ‘Doers’ Are the Solution
‘Doers’ are people who can take your strategic plan and convert it into tactical steps that drive revenue. They are willing and able to work cohesively with sales to drive revenue. The ‘doer’ is concerned about sales results. They work to deliver this through focusing on:
- Pipeline creation
- New customer revenue
- Training sales to sell new products
- Finding gaps in the market for new products
- Providing tools for the sales team to help sell the messages
They prioritise sales results over all else.
How to Identify a ‘Doer’
Here are five top ranking competencies you can use to determine if you have a ‘doer’ as your marketing leader:
- Results – Can show revenue results from previous roles. Embraces revenue objectives and outcome metrics that drive revenue.
- Sales Focus – Has spent time in the field with the sales force. Is able to provide examples of thought leadership based on direct field observation. Provides examples of including sales reps in campaign development. Wants to meet with the head of sales before agreeing to the position to ensure they can partner effectively.
- Pipeline Creation – Demonstrated results from demand generation. Has designed, launched and executed marketing campaigns that added net new revenue to the pipeline.
- Customer Focus – Has mapped a prospect’s needs to solutions. Can provide examples of identifying market problems their product solved. Shares examples of messaging they developed that drove demand into the funnel.
- Tactician – Gives examples of taking CEO strategic goals and developing tactical plans to execute. Shares the specific tasks they completed to keep the team focused on delivering on the goal.
Having the right marketing leader is critical to growing your organisation. Mistakes cost time, money and credibility with your team. Take the time to ensure your recruitment process is in place so your marketing leader comes through for sales next year.
Please contact our office to discuss your hiring requirements for marketing.
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