Why Marketers Should Think Like Sales Managers When Hiring

After my speech last week at the Marketo’s Marketing Nation 2014 In San Francisco,  I walked off the stage and immediately started thinking “Oh, I should have talked about this”.  There is just a lot to the topic of high velocity sales teams, too much to cover in 45 minutes, even too much to cover in a 280 page book.

So this weeks topic is on hiring, and why marketers need to think like sales managers when hiring.

The general philosophy for high volume lead generation is to break the problem into small pieces, assign the pieces to individuals, goal them on accomplishing their piece, and the sum of the parts should equal the whole.  In this model, you basically have people who drive traffic, convert the traffic, run paid programs and events,  nurture, or enable the sales team.

Here is the part that may make you uncomfortable….


That may be a bit harsh, but the fact is, if you are not doing one of the core functions, if you are not driving to a traffic number, or a conversion number, or a lead nurture number, then you are not in the FLOW of traffic to leads.  You are supporting the flow.  There is nothing wrong with supporting the flow or being in a support role.  But the problem comes when marketing leadership forgets about the core roles, and starts to focus on support roles – like the editors, the graphics teams, the marketo admins.  These people are critical, but they don’t directly drive leads/revenue.

So this is where marketers need to think like sales managers.  Sales managers have quotas.  They need to meet quota by hiring quota carrying sales reps.  They can hire sales engineers, sales ops people, sales trainers, etc., but these people don’t retire quota.  They may be absolutely critical, but each time a sales manager decides to hire one of these support team members, they get a little queasy. They know they just burned a critical headcount on a role that won’t help them specifically get to their goal.

Marketers need to think the same way.  Before they hire an extra graphics person, or an editor, will this hire really help them retire their traffic quota? What about middle managers?  Needed? Really?  Can the team self organize?  Do these hires help retire the nurture quota?  If not, then the role is an overhead, support role.  These should be few and far between.   Create a marketing team with lots of people not accountable to delivering their specific number, and its like creating a sales organization with all trainers, but no actual sales reps.  You won’t make your number though you will have a well trained team.

The most beautiful website with the best graphics doesn’t matter if no one is driving traffic to the site.

What is your ratio of “quota carrying marketers” to support staff?



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