B2B marketing is more complex than ever. A familiar chorus, but unfortunately continues to be true.
More tools. More technology. More competition. More customers expect.
Every B2B marketing team faces the same obstacles. However, some of them are disproportionately successful. Why?
To be a great B2B organization, you now have to recruit and manage an excellent marketing team. Today’s marketers must be fast, smart, agile and — every time — data-driven.
At Convince and Convert, we know a successful marketing team after working with some of the world’s most iconic brands. Essentially, all great B2B marketing teams have certain things in common. I narrowed it down to seven ingredients for success. Some may recognize you, but a few may surprise you.
- Clarity of goals and success
- Adjust Marketing and Sales
- Prioritize responsibilities
- Make decisions with data
- Encourage everyone to have ownership
- Provide real-time feedback
- Advocate for Positive Company Culture
Table of Contents
Great B2B Marketing Teams: 7 Ingredients of Success
There is no magic pill or one-size-fits-all solution to building a successful team. What we do see, however, are seven themes that consistently surface in our work with marketing leaders:
Clarity of Goals and Success
The opening question to our clients is “What are your team’s goals?” You then often ask: “How will working with us bring you closer to success?”
A marketing team that can’t clearly define what they’re working towards is struggling. Having generic goals or goals that are too complex are red flags. Show the finish line to everyone in the group. This way, you are always focused on the right things. Include micro-goals, such as a mileage marker in a race. The team can then celebrate the small wins on the way to completing the marathon.
Above Master of podcast scale , host Reid Hoffman asks every guest, “What is the most creative measure of success you’ve ever set for a team? The responses from top entrepreneurs are varied and inspiring.
Each team has its own measure and style, but everyone knows the importance of goal accountability. It’s important that all team members are clear on WHAT the scoreboard is, and that each has access to a real-time view of how they’re tracking.
Remember, not everything that is measured matters, and not everything that matters can be measured (in the traditional way).
Adjust Marketing and Sales
Aligned teams have a common understanding of the overall strategies of the organization and the needs of internal stakeholders and external audiences.
As customers delve deeper into the funnel themselves before talking to a sales rep, the role of marketing increases dramatically. In theory, the impact of marketing has the same results as hiring more sales reps. The best B2B marketing teams align closely with sales and view their job as supporting the success of the sales department.
ours private study with Ascend2 found that collaboration is easier when marketing and sales goals are aligned – more than three-quarters of integrated sales and marketing teams say collaborating is super easy, compared with 28% in number of people are not fully aligned.
Must align out of the strategy page and into the routines of the teams. Encourage marketing and sales collaboration every day, not just in meetings. The advantage is obvious when multiple perspectives come together to benefit the organization.
Marketers have more projects to tackle than ever before. Keeping tabs on each of them can become a full-time job in and of itself. Tools can help, but often choosing the right tool becomes its project.
Use a project management system like Teamwork projects help people stay organized and get the job done, but prioritizing which projects to tackle and when is a big driver of B2B marketing success.
So how do top marketers handle the tools, priorities, and goals they serve? For starters, they start with their most essential machine: strategy.
The strategy must detail how the team works towards achieving it its main goal . For most B2B marketing teams, the primary goal is to create a compelling, distinctive customer experience.
The strategic direction should prescribe the overall responsibilities and channels of each marketing team. Maintaining success while balancing marketing responsibilities like SEO, content marketing, and social media management doesn’t leave much room for additional work.
The best marketing teams also build flexibility and give ownership to team members to move on with short-term focused projects and experiment or try out new opportunities.
Making Decisions with Data
There are more tactics, books, and frameworks in B2B marketing — maybe than ever before. But in the end, top marketing leaders look at data to make their decisions.
QUOTE: Many top marketing leaders cite data-driven decision-making as a key factor in their success and growth.
Being a data-driven organization isn’t something that goes out of style – it’s a must for B2B marketers to demonstrate understanding of their customers.
All of these decisions can be answered by research or experimentation. Want to try a new type of content or reach a new audience? Create a test that compares A with B and measures its performance.
Data usage goes beyond analytics and performance metrics. Encourage marketing team members to incorporate research and insights from third-party sources. Avoid analysis paralysis by seeking assistance from data scientists and analysts who can help make sense of what data is available.
Many top marketing leaders cite data-driven decision-making as a key factor in their success and growth.
Encourage everyone to have ownership
No matter how good your strategy, how perfect your tools, and how great your people – disagreements and dilemmas will arise. I promise.
However, when disputes arise, great marketing teams almost always resolve the issue on their own. They do so with clear communication between the affected parties. While no team member seeks to sow or create conflict, the ability to foster a culture where everyone can work it out without senior intervention is critical to evolution.
Hiring and Development Self-starters help set an example for the group. Jason Keath, CEO of Social Fresh, notes that self-starters are an important part of a strong team. Empower these marketers to lead a project or support with larger contributions. Give them additional ownership to research, find answers, explore barriers, and suggest solutions.
Provide real-time feedback
Successful B2B marketing leaders continuously provide input to their teams. They may have an annual review cycle, but they don’t wait for people to compliment or correct who they are.
This component is closely related to the rapid and dramatic acceleration of digital maturity and skills needed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The past two years have forced organizations and employees to close the workforce gaps in new skills.
Successful leaders often focus on building skills to enhance their team’s aptitude. McKinsey found that repurposing talent for new roles was the second most important way to close the skills gap.
Ensure that being a forum for observations and reactions makes managing groups much less cumbersome and does wonders in eliminating surprises lurking in the shadows.
Advocating for a Positive Corporate Culture
We’re watching The Great Resignation unfold in real time. About 30 More than % of the average people quit their jobs in 2021. Many of you reading this are engaged in some way, either ready to look for a new job or reacting to the loss or filling of jobs. important member of your team.
A top reason for resigning is that employees can no longer tolerate poor working conditions and cultural. Workplace toxicity is real, but it’s not openly discussed — unless you’re weighing it down among junior employees during happy hour or in the boardroom during annual Leadership training sessions.
Executive Team Advisor Liane Davey describes toxicity at work not only from a policy and process point of view, but also with respect to culture, leadership, employees and customers. Marketing leaders can’t ignore toxicity, and the best leaders address it to make sure the team and company culture are as safe as possible.
Start taking action
The best marketing teams have a mix of hard and soft skills and empower them as marketers. Which of these seven components of great B2B marketing teams do you see on your team?
On what basis do you need to work?