Instrumenting the B2B Sales Process

As a new CMO for a business to business software company that was driving a high velocity, inside sales model,  I spent the first six months trying to figure out how to make sense of the craziness that was around me each day.  Between the difficulties of measuring what was really happening on the website, what marketing programs were actually working, then tracking all this data through sales,  it was a confusing six months to say the least.  Add to this supposed “expert” advice from old school media companies promising guaranteed lead programs, outside pay per click consultants that had the “answers” and an ever changing landscape of tactics as social media and search strategies changed,  and the sense of an out of control operation was even greater.

I found myself reaching back to my early days as submarine office on the USS Sand Lance and as VP of Sales for SAAS company to construct an operations model where marketing became a real time, daily almost hourly operation. Instrumenting the B2B sales process was key.

To support this, we constructed a different type of marketing team that was real time focused, highly integrated and highly metrics driven. Gone were the functional silos and work process hand offs between teams that makes old school marketing teams look like disconnected dinosaurs from the twitter fed market conversations swirling around them.  Daily and hourly we were looking at traffic numbers and conversion numbers in our real time marketing operations center (MOC) to verify that what were expecting to happen each day was actually happening.  It was only through this deep dive of metrics and constant connection to the marketplace that we both learned what was actually happening and became more effective daily at marketing our products.

This blog is designed to highlight the many operating metrics we used to successfully build a high volume B2B marketing operation.  I believe the skillset needed to be a B2B CMO has fundamentally shifted to require this level of operational detail and knowledge.  So much is now measurable, that to not adjust your DNA to fundamentally drive a good piece of your marketing decisions from data derived at the lowest levels of your operations, risks failure.

Bryan Semple


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