“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” -- Winston Churchill
In a recent blog, I scratched the surface of revenue-generation marketing and how we’re transforming marketing from a cost center to a revenue generating center within Cisco. This week, I want to dig a little deeper.
Marketing that contributes measurable ROI to the bottom line… that sounds great, right? But how do you get there? The core of revenue-generation marketing and what makes it work is the partnership between sales and marketing. And, the first step of revenue-generation marketing is alignment of the revenue-generation marketing plan with the overall business plan for the company. Without that, the whole revenue-generation marketing process, from executing to managing the funnel with account teams and having regular funnel management business reviews, won’t work. You have to execute against the priorities of the business overall.
As marketing organizations transition into a revenue generators, an almost natural shift happens. Marketing begins speaking the language of the business and sales. We talk about planning, forecast, pipeline, bookings and revenue. Marketing hasn’t historically done that, so there’s another evolution occurring in the industry.
From a sales and marketing revenue alignment perspective, you obviously want to align on priorities with sales. But at the end of the day, what makes the marketing plan a revenue-generation marketing plan is the fact that a revenue contribution target is set, either focused on pipeline or bookings and revenue. That target is usually set or communicated as a percentage of sales. According to Sirius Decisions, the industry standard for business to business (B2B), high-tech marketing contribution-to-revenue baselines is that >$5 billion companies source less than 10 percent of sales pipeline, with high of 20 percent and a low of 2 percent of sales pipeline. The industry standard provides a baseline of where you want to be. At that point, you need to realistically evaluate where you are – your run rate and marketing’s current contribution to revenue.
Beyond run rate, there are only three levers for driving this plan: volume, visibility, and conversion rate. What volume of leads are you driving; how much of that is visibly available and reportable in your sales force or customer relationship management systems; and how much of that is being accepted and converted by the sales team into the pipeline or revenue?
Now we’re humming along. We’re aligned. We’re speaking the language. We’ve set our contribution revenue target based on industry standards. The “Rocky” theme song splits the air, and we’re on top of the world. Well, not quite yet. Now that we’ve taken a look at our plan from a top-down perspective, it’s time to reverse engineer the demand waterfall to determine if the revenue contribution target is realistic. By calculating the amount you need in sales all the way back to how many leads you’re going to have to source to reach that number, the bottom-up piece meets the top-down piece, and you can adjust your revenue contribution goal based on if you have the budget and resources to meet that number.
As you know, that number at Cisco is $1 billion worth of qualified leads in midmarket for partners this fiscal year. We’re here to help you position your business for success, and I’d love to hear your perspectives in the comments section or via twitter @sherriliebo.
Tags: Cisco, marketing, partner, revenue, Sherri Liebo
It’s an exhilarating time to be in marketing. Here at Cisco, we’re on the precipice of transforming marketing from what has often been seen as a cost center into a revenue generating center. And, we’re taking our partners with us on this journey.
By now, you’ve probably heard the term “revenue marketing.” It’s a somewhat new phrase, but its implications will change the face of marketing forever. In a nutshell, revenue marketing means that marketing strategies and campaigns align with sales and business objectives to generate a measurable ROI to the bottom line. Now that is pulling up a seat to the table.
There are some fascinating trends today contributing to this seachange. The business to business (B2B) buying behavior has changed, and roughly 70 percent of the B2B buying process happens before sales even makes contact with the customer. That digital buying journey data can be integrated with customer relationship management (CRM) for amazing insight and the ability to connect with our customers throughout their purchasing journey. Read More »
Tags: Cisco, marketing, partner, revenue, Sherri Liebo
I’ve been having great conversations with our partners about the Internet of Everything (IoE), especially since Partner Summit. The biggest takeaway is that IoE is not a new solution or new market; it truly is much bigger than that. IoE is a complete market shift that will touch the lives of each and every one of us.
And because the IoE value is so great, as in $1.2 billion this year alone, we are committed to enabling our partners to make the most of these opportunities. Here is what we’ve tackled so far to help you capture the IoE value:
- We’ve invested more than $5 billion in research, development, and acquisitions to accelerate the IoE, making the opportunity a reality today;
- We’re raising awareness of the value at stake and of new technologies, getting your customers excited about the prospect of a more connected, intelligent future; and
- We’re enabling you with content and marketing assets to start stimulating customer appetite for transitioning IoE ideas into sales conversations and tangible projects. Read More »
Tags: Cisco, Internet of Everything, IoE, marketing, partner, resources, Sherri Liebo
As Cisco Marketing Velocity wrapped up in Cannes last week, Sherri Liebo, Cisco’s vice president, global partner marketing, offered a final takeaway and call to action to the 200 Cisco partners in attendance.
Repeat: “What I say and do differently on Monday.”
Read More »
Tags: Cisco, Marketing Velocity, partner, revenue marketing, Sherri Liebo, WISDOM
Cisco Marketing Velocity is an event like no other. It was launched with the idea of being an exclusive and unique event, targeting Cisco partners interested in innovative marketing techniques. Over the last few years, it’s become so much more as top partner executives increasingly see the value of top-flight marketing and engagement as part of their value proposition to customers.
There will always be healthy debate about the best techniques, tips and tricks – especially with how technology is changing the way we communicate. But strong marketing and even stronger customer engagement wins business, builds your brand, and keeps you connected in a world where customers don’t lack for information. You need to do everything you can to stay ahead of paradigm shifts and new competition for your business.
Next week’s Marketing Velocity, which officially kicks off in Cannes, France, on Tuesday, is the seventh such event hosted by Cisco, and we’re very excited to welcome over 200 partners representing 44 countries where Cisco does business.
Read More »
Tags: Cannes, Cisco, Cisco partner marketing, Marketing Velocity, partner, partner voices, Sherri Liebo