Winning Over a Skeptical Sales Leader to the Value of Marketing

Bring visibility to all marketing activities tied to an opportunity and watch skepticism turn into a belief.

Marketing and sales teams too often find themselves stuck in a detrimental battle over to whom revenue attribution should be attributed. CEOs at top-performing companies utilize revenue attribution to navigate this war-zone and understand which activities produce revenue bookings.

Revenue attribution models give executives a clear line of sight from the corporate strategy through customer touch-points in the company’s product, marketing, and sales strategies.

You’ve heard it before. “Marketing doesn’t get it. I need leads, not messaging.” Or, “The marketing guys don’t do anything for me. If they would just give me their budget, I could hire 15 more salespeople and make the number.”

Sales VPs can be ruthless. I know. I was one of them and said many of the same things until my CMO explained how her campaigns and content drove revenue.

I was skeptical at first. But after truly understanding how the CMO attributed revenue to marketing efforts, I supported her revenue attribution model and gave marketing some of my budget to drive even more revenue.

What convinced me was the way the CMO tracked revenue and how marketing efforts affected it.


Focus on Customer Touch-points
The real need is tying marketing messages, campaigns, and content to specific stages of the customer’s buying process. The revenue attribution model needs to look at the funnel from top to bottom and focus on where marketing contributions touch the customer.

Show the sales leader how each dollar of revenue booked is traced back to the marketing or sales activities that originally sourced, nurtured, converted, and propelled individual opportunities to a win.

The first step: Convince the sales leader of the value of marketing. Make sure you both agree on how and when to measure revenue. Otherwise, you may waste a ton of cycles trying to measure revenue in ways the sales leader doesn’t care about.

The revenue attribution model must benefit both teams. Measure everything from the total number of engagements all the way down to the percentage of revenue that closed with attribution to marketing-sourced opportunities. Continue discussions with the sales leader at a weekly cadence to build trust.


Keep Sales and Marketing on the Same Page
Revenue attribution is one of the most important components of a CMO’s job. Sales teams are naturally skeptical because of all the poor marketers they have experienced in the past.

Create a mutually beneficial way to track revenue that is attributed to marketing. Make weekly updates to keep you and the marketing team on the same page as sales.


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