September 16, 2020
If you Google “how to structure a B2B marketing team”, tons of different options come up - there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Every marketing team is different, just as every company's goals are different.
The old school idea of requiring a rigid set of job titles in each B2B marketing team must be challenged, because as companies grow, their needs begin to change.
In March 2020, Cognism hosted a webinar, featuring the following participants:
During the webinar, the 3 marketing leaders discussed the key points for structuring a winning marketing team. They also shared their top tips for aligning sales and marketing. We’ll flesh all these topics out below! 👇
Although all 3 guests and their respective companies have different roles, methods, and strategies when it comes to B2B marketing, all 3 agreed that B2B data should drive your marketing team, especially when restructuring.
“Beyond expanding your team, it’s about finding the channels that work for you, and adjusting your strategy.” - Alice de Courcy
Through the analysis of data, Cognism identified functions within their marketing team that were no longer working after a shift in strategy. Roles were adjusted, new roles were introduced, and through data analysis, a better process was put in place.
Here’s Cognism's advice for building a winning data driven marketing team!
You might find that there are too many specialists and niche roles in your marketing team. The solution? Introduce more 360 marketing people to your team.
These are people who can execute campaigns from end-to-end, and who have experience across the full marketing mix.
Already home to a great marketing team, Cognism looked to move one more role in-house - a Paid Media Manager. Paid media is a full-time job if you want to keep your channels optimised and run some experiments. Having your paid manager in-house is an amazing resource - you’ll soon see the results.
“If you’ve got the right person, try to keep it in-house.” - Alice de Courcy
Our top tip? Have a look at your data and identify what isn’t working.
“Cognism found that events created a great feel-good factor, but CPAs were high, time and opportunity cost around sponsored events were even higher, and other channels could be scaled for our business.” - Alice de Courcy
Cognism also found that the PR role in their marketing team, both in-house and through agencies, wasn’t doing enough for them.
“We didn’t get the bang for our buck we were looking for - and beyond funding announcements, we saw little traction.” - Alice de Courcy
How was this solved? 🤔
By drilling down into the data to generate info and doubling down on content marketing instead! This channel has been hugely successful at Cognism.
Consider introducing new roles into your marketing team.
“A huge adjustment Cognism made which has seen even bigger results, was creating an entirely new role called MDRs.”- Alice de Courcy
Marketing Development Representatives (MDRs) are a hybrid role between sales and marketing. They’re responsible for all marketing-generated demand (content, downloads, direct demo requests, etc.).
Cognism found there was no clear responsibility for following up on marketing-generated leads. Creating the MDR role solved this problem straight away.
“Since introducing this role we’ve created an incredible feedback loop, huge buy-in from the sales team, and conversions have skyrocketed from 3% to 10%” - Alice de Courcy
Aside from doubling double down on content, data shows that using people as a brand really works in marketing.
“Part of our B2B marketing strategy involves taking our top two relevant internal champions - our Sales Director and Inside Sales Director, and then creating a personal brand for them, as one of our marketing channels - fulfilling a specialist role, without hiring a specialist” - Alice de Courcy
“To get the most out of the leads you’re generating, your sales and marketing need to be totally aligned.” - Liam Bartholomew, Webinar Moderator
Besides overhauling a B2B marketing team, huge emphasis must be placed on aligning sales and marketing. The easiest way to do this? Make everyone feel like they’re on the same team!
“The sales and marketing teams do not exist at Cognism, rather everyone is on the Revenue Team. We treat sales and marketing alignment as a campaign in itself.” - Alice de Courcy
By having a revenue team, the success of the “marketing team” and the “sales team” are measured in the same way - based on the business revenue generated every month. Marketers must be responsible for 50% of the revenue and the salespeople must be responsible for the other 50%.
Between your B2B sales and marketing people, communicating openly, and frequently, across multiple channels is a huge bonus! It allows everyone to be on the same page, with everyone in the organisation working towards the same goal.
Empathy is huge here too - marketers should step into salespeople’s shoes for a day. Getting marketers to cold call is a great exercise that gives them an understanding of what salespeople do. It can also give them numerous insights into a company's prospects and the challenges they face day-to-day - leading to more effective marketing campaigns!
Easily - the same way as you would an outbound sales team! Because everyone is on the same team and working towards the same goal, marketers and salespeople should be incentivised the same way. This can get tricky, however, you just have to be creative and make it work!
And that’s it! The not-so secret way to build a winning B2B marketing team and align sales and marketing.
Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the webinar - we hope you enjoyed it! If you did, we’ve got just the thing for you.
We recently published our No Fluff Guide to Inbound Marketing. In it, we share our secrets to inbound success, uncovering the processes, tactics, and resources we used to predictably grow revenue from $2.5M to $7M ARR in a year.
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