I’d like to suggest a New Year’s resolution. And I know it’s a little ahead of schedule. But I was hoping to catch your attention before it slips fully into the holiday season.
This year, I think it’s time to give up the sales and marketing silos. It’s time you align your sales and marketing teams around the revenue funnel.
What is the Revenue Funnel?
The revenue funnel is a combination of the marketing and sales funnels. It helps companies understand how their efforts turn leads into closed business. By focusing on revenue as their collaborative goal, marketing and sales can increase communication, remove silos, and improve their effectiveness.
But not every company sees revenue growth as a team effort. These companies instead view growth through siloed, sepia-toned glasses. They see revenue as a sales goal, demanding costly cold-calling, referral-chomping sales teams. And they see marketing as an amorphous set of line items adding up to a catch-all administrative total. Neither talks to the other much beyond to-do’s.
Companies that want to remain relevant in today’s B2B landscape must embrace the revenue funnel. Here are five reasons why it can help you gain an edge over the competition.
1. Focusing on the revenue funnel makes ROI clearer across sales and marketing.
Teams dialed into the revenue funnel can track their leads from marketing tactic to purchase. That means they can better determine which tactics are working, and then adjust their sales and B2B marketing budgets accordingly. Discussing leads in real-world scenarios also helps marketing and sales tactics improve over time. For example, debriefing after leads become Closed Won or Closed Lost deals can help reveal content gaps, process problems, or opportunities to scale using marketing automation.
2. It brings more purpose to the marketing roles in your company.
Viewing revenue as an outcome helps marketers focus their energy on:
- Attracting the right leads,
- Supporting them with helpful content as they learn about solutions, and
- Emphasizing the company’s competitive strengths.
Through those actions, they'll put their salespeople in a better position for success. And by collaborating further with salespeople—working as a unified revenue team—marketers can also help improve sales conversations. For example, if a sudden piece of information derails a deal, marketers can create content to introduce that information earlier in the funnel.
3. It emphasizes the buyer’s journey.
The revenue funnel reflects the buyer’s journey as a continuum from awareness to purchase. Solutions providers focused on that continuum gain an advantage by creating a context for every action they take. Every action is focused on helping buyers identify problems, teaching them about solutions, and positioning their offering for purchase.
4. It helps prioritize leads in the pipeline.
As your company matures in its understanding, your staff will become more aware of what buyers need at different stages in their buying journey. That leads to better lead-nurturing automation and more focused marketing materials. As you begin to close business, you can also score leads based on identified buying behaviors. This can help you fast-track the warmest leads in your entire pipeline.
5. The revenue funnel is a necessity.
Viewing marketing and sales as a collaborative effort isn’t just a nice idea—it’s critical for any business that wants to stay relevant. In the modern B2B landscape, companies that expect to survive on referrals and existing business are merely kidding themselves. It takes a concerted, unified marketing and sales effort to generate new business and achieve sustainable growth.
So while my New Year’s resolution idea might be a little early, I hope you consider it before it’s too late. I hope you can use the revenue funnel to focus your energy. I hope you can break down silos and work together for growth.
And here's wishing you a very productive new year.
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