Moneyball CMOs

A great blog posting this morning by Auren Hoffman titled “The Moneyballing of the CMO”.

Essentially, the rapid rise of applications and available data to a CMO is turning marketing from  an art to more of a science.  For B2B marketers and sales leadership,  I would add that not only is there more data to mine, there is also an infinitely more complex operational system to manage.  Equivalent in some respect to a factory floor where traffic comes in one end of the factory and closed deals come out the other, the processes used to generate revenue and customer satisfaction are getting more and more complex and hence require more and more measurement to ensure success.


Starting with the traffic, or the raw material of the B2B process, each traffic source has its own set of quirks and procedures to increase it.  Add a geographical dimension, an ever changing Google algorithm, and the ability to spend money both in content dollars and advertising, traffic generation is a complex process.  Systematic monitoring, cost allocation and results measurement is critical to make sure your revenue factory has what it needs to run.  You can’t do this seat of your pants.

Getting visitors to take action on your site is another complex undertaking.  High quality content, site navigation that makes sense, endless focus on A/B testing, and site monitoring that detects both IT issues with the site, but also content errors like 404 issues is table stakes just to play.

Now move into the marketing automation systems.  First, the leads from your site have to get into the systems.  Drop a few field definitions here or there, make a mistake on a page, and leads don’t flow into the systems.  Improperly add them to the wrong campaign, and suddenly your highly valuable “I want to buy” lead is routed to nurturing for residents of a country you don’t even sell to and hence has no sales rep covering it. It is like taking valuable raw materials and throwing them onto the floor.   Your yield decreases dramatically.  Without active monitoring, this error can go on for months until it is detected.

Now leads arrive at the sales reps. Sales reps essentially do a manual sort process by looking at leads. Some are “good” and create opportunities, others are returned for rework, and others are tossed.  Did all the leads make it to the right work benches?  Are some reps better sorters than others?  How do you look over their shoulder to validate the work process is occurring correctly?  This isn’t just  a sales teams job. Poor sorting of leads can dramatically impact the results of a marketing program and hence its future.

The monitoring process doesn’t stop with the sorting process.  Now you have to monitor the reps working the opportunity management process.  They sit at their workbench and like an artisan bang away at their deals using various tools.  Some are more skilled than others.  This labor process needs to be monitored and yields measured for coaching and process improvement. Perhaps all the sales team needs a new hammer or some other tool.  You will never know unless you monitor the data coming off the factory floor.

A Moneyball CMO knows the entire factory process in detail, knows how to measure it, and based on these measurements, knows how to correct the end to end process.  It is a great time to be a marketer if you like numbers and systems.

What to do next:

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