Marketers, sales teams. Pretending we’re hitting our targets (or finding bad excuses for not doing so) doesn’t help anyone.
The targets get moved. The choice of metrics get changed. And we find ways to blame “the market”.
But you know what? It’s fine to miss a target. And it’s fine to tell your team you missed the target.
It could even be a good thing.
The wider team needs to recognize that not everything will always go perfectly. They need to know it’s OK to fail from time to time. And they need to know they can trust your numbers.
Building a sales and marketing “machine” takes trial and error. The aim is to have more wins than failures. But there will be failures.
The more data you have, the better decisions you can start to make, but that data will take time and money to gather. Learning takes time. And you’ll always be looking for new opportunities which will mean taking more risks in the future.
But be ruthless with the numbers.
There’s no point in making it up or trying to adjust things to fit a positive narrative.
If you can’t trust your data, you can’t learn what’s working and what’s not. You can’t adjust to get back on course. Nor can your team.
If you don’t hit a number, be honest with yourself, and be honest with the team.
Don’t change your MQL qualification criteria to make your numbers look better this month.
Don’t move deals in from next quarter and say they closed on the basis of a verbal commit when you don’t treat an opportunity as won until the contract’s signed.
All you’re doing is kicking the can down the road. That deal that was going to help you hit next quarter’s number, is now in this quarter. At some point it’s going to become obvious what’s going on. And at that point you lose the trust of the team.
Communication is key.
If things are going wrong you should be able to share why you think they’re going wrong and lay out a plan for what you’re doing to get back on track.
When things are going right you should be able to explain why they’re going right - you need to communicate whether what you’re seeing is sustainable and/or scalable in the long run, or a short term run of good luck that’s not going to last forever.
To get the support you need, you need your team with you.
And to be with you, they have to trust you.
Sales, marketing, and customer success are all reliant on each other and if one team’s struggling it’s likely the others can help in some way. But if they don’t know there’s a problem, how do you expect them to help?
Customer Success can help marketing get more reviews on G2. Sales can help marketing refine the messaging on the website based on their experience talking to customers. Customer Success and marketing can work together to create compelling case studies for the sales team.
If one team thinks the other is “blagging it” the mistrust has the potential to destroy this collaboration that’s so vital.
Making data public makes the team accountable.
I like to make a high level summary of revenue team progress against those targets to be publicly available to the whole organization so anyone can log in and see where things are up to at any point - both the good and the bad.
Trust, accountability, and a clear shared goal results in better, outcomes for revenue teams and the business.