In fact, it’s that very sentiment is at the core of what we call a revenue team. A revenue team brings together key sales and marketing players within a company into one team that is centered around the shared goal of increasing company revenue, through the implementation of a content strategy.
But, how do you actually successfully run a revenue team meeting?
Below, I’ll go into the nitty gritty.
Setting up a successful revenue team
The first part of running a successful revenue team meeting is to ensure that it is set up correctly. This requires consideration of some necessary steps:
Understanding exactly what a revenue team is
Ensuring the right cross-section of people are involved
Deciding how often the revenue team will meet
Setting the revenue team meeting agenda
Having a revenue team meeting facilitator
Planning how to communicate outside of the revenue team meeting
Following these steps will help to build an effective and successful revenue team meeting that will help increase leads, sales, and overall revenue for your organization.
Step 1: Understanding exactly what a revenue team is
If you're brand new to revenue teams, then I’d suggest you head over and read this blog. It’s all about revenue teams: what they are, why they are important, who should be in the team, and how the revenue team actually works, but let’s just run through a quick recap.
It’s all well and good knowing this, but the reality of implementing sales and marketing alignment is much harder.
And that’s where the revenue team comes in.
A revenue team meets regularly and is made of key players from your sales and marketing teams within a company. All activities, regardless of individual roles, will be centered around the shared goal of increasing company revenue.
Based on the most pressing questions of their ideal buyers, this team will develop and execute a strategy of content to be used in the sales process that will increase close rates.
One important thing to remember is that a revenue team meeting is whatever you need it to be. It fulfills whatever function is most important to the success of your business. As a business leader, you need to understand what objectives and challenges your business is facing, and how you can utilize a revenue team meeting to overcome them.
Examples of these challenges may include:
Departmental silos and a lack of sales and marketing alignment
Trouble integrating content into the sales process
A lack of sales-driven content ideas
An out-of-touch content strategy
Understanding the purpose of the revenue meeting ensures alignment and allows for leadership to convey the message to the rest of the team. Knowing what the purpose is, and why this will impact the organization is integral to knowing what each meeting is working towards.
Step 2: Ensure you have the right people in your revenue team
You need the right people in the room.
Typically, a revenue team is made of key players from your sales and marketing teams.
Yes, some people in the team will be more focussed on marketing efforts (e.g. creating content) or sales efforts (e.g. closing deals). But the team acts as one, identifying and working towards their common goals.
It’s worth noting that you don’t always have to have the same people in the revenue team meetings. Who is involved will likely be dictated by what challenges you need to overcome, and what revenue team agenda you are running.
In most companies we work with, meetings usually include:
Some (or all) salespeople
Director of Marketing
Other members of the marketing team (e.g. videographer, graphic designer)
Other senior leaders as necessary (e.g. VP of Revenue)
Step 3: Decide how often your revenue team will meet
Frequency will depend on your particular business and what makes sense for you and the timeline for achieving your goals.
For some small organizations, bi-weekly or monthly will be enough. Larger organizations, however, may require weekly meetings.
You know your business best, so suit the meeting to your needs.
A SaaS company I work with, for example, runs revenue team meetings on a monthly cadence where they have in-depth discussions. They complement this monthly meeting with 1) a weekly asynchronous video update from the marketing department, and 2) a monthly ROI newsletter.
Several other companies I work with host their revenue teams on a weekly basis and facilitate discussions between the sales and marketing departments to ensure that everyone is aligned and working towards the same objective.
Meeting frequency will also inform meeting agenda.
Step 4: Have a revenue team meeting facilitator
The revenue team brings together individuals from across the business, each with their own insight. But the problem is that they’ve never worked together. So, how do you help them glue together, and align to achieve a common goal?
You need someone who will guide and facilitate the meeting to ensure that it stays on track and achieves the purpose that it was set out to. Note: This person does not need to be the most senior leader of the group.
All successful revenue teams have a facilitator who should be assertive, trusted, and focused on the outcome of the meetings. It is their job to:
Ask lots of questions to facilitate and guide the discussion
Open up the forum for discussion inside and outside the meeting
Create a psychologically safe space where people can brainstorm, disagree, and speak openly about setbacks.
A facilitator is key to ensuring that the revenue team stays on track and achieves what it sets out to. They hold everyone accountable.
Without a facilitator, the meeting will be less focused, will waver from the topic, and will ultimately not have as successful an outcome.
Step 5: Ensure there is a way to communicate outside the revenue team
Revenue team meetings are essential in order to work through problems and ensure specific objectives are met, but the collaboration doesn’t cease when the meeting does.
Communicating with the wider team outside of these meetings means that everyone is on the same page and knows what's being worked and what is coming up.
Communication outside of the meeting is especially important if your actual team meetings are less frequent. It keeps up momentum and ensures everyone feels cohesive and is moving as a team toward a common goal.
Step 6: Set your revenue team agenda
Once you know what a revenue team meeting is, who it will involve, and how often you are going to meet, you need to finalize what agenda your team meetings will follow.
An agenda is a way to implement formalities around the revenue team. It helps you determine who will be there, what they will tackle, and ultimately will lead to a more successful meeting, and a higher performing team.
What format should your revenue team agenda follow?
There are many different agendas that revenue meetings may follow.
A revenue team meeting is whatever you need it to be and you don’t need to stick to just one agenda. You might find that multiple options have a place in your business — or that it evolves as the revenue team meetings progress.
Below are a couple of sample meeting types. We’ve seen these used successfully to run a revenue team:
Content brainstorming agenda
Sales challenge agenda
Assignment selling agenda
Watch party agenda
Agenda #1: Content brainstorming meeting
The revenue team usually starts off with a content brainstorming agenda. This session should inform the written and video content your marketing team creates, as part of your content strategy to support the sales taem
Outcome: Obtain sales-focused content ideas directly from the sales team
Each salesperson comes prepared to discuss questions and objections from your current buyers and provide the marketing department with content ideas that will help to drive sales for the organization.
Example questions include:
What’s a common objection you have been dealing with this past week or so?
What deals have we lost? Why do you think that is?
What questions do you get asked that immediately indicate the buyer is not close to ready to make a decision?
What do our clients and buyers push back on the most?
What are our buyer's biggest doubts or worries (with respect to the product, the process, or the company)?
This process is key to understanding the buying process from the sales perspective and allows content to be created that can help shorten the sales cycles, and close leads more quickly. Both things are essential to increasing revenue.
First, suggestions are entered with the following information — the topic phrased as a question in the words of the buyer; whether or not they want it as a blog article, a video, or both; who is making the request from sales; their ideal subject matter expert to address the topic; and why the topic is being requested.
Next, sales team members can denote priority by “upvoting” topics, and the spreadsheet will automatically sort the topics with the highest votes to the top!
Also, as appropriate, the color of the rows will be updated based on the status column. Again, it makes it easy visually for people to understand where everything stands without a lot of hands-on work.
The key with this tool is that it’s not just used during the brainstorm itself. We developed the tool so sales team members could communicate revenue team content priorities in real-time, as ideas came up.
They also are encouraged once a month to put in three to four new topics, and to always be checking back to upvote suggestions from their sales team peers!
However, once you have carried out this brainstorming agenda a couple of times and developed a content plan, you may find that it is no longer necessary for it to be part of the regular revenue team agenda.
It is more likely to be something that is done occasionally in the revenue team, perhaps once per quarter, which brings us to the second agenda.
Agenda #2: Sales challenge meeting
Traditionally, one of the main challenges with team alignment is that the marketing team isn't creating the content that the sales team needs to close deals.
The marketing team, who is creating the content, is not in regular contact with potential customers. They don’t know the questions that are being asked, or where the friction exists. The sales team needs to be the bridge connecting your marketing team to your buyers.
The revenue team is the way to solve this challenge.
Outcome: Overcome a sales challenge, by generating content ideas around that problem
This type of revenue team meeting agenda can be sparked by a question such as: “What's the biggest sales challenge you are having at the moment?” This opens discussion and allows a focused content plan to be created.
With this type of meeting, you want to ensure you are always driving to a natural conclusion and explicitly ensuring that the content created is useful. You can enable this by asking questions such as:
If the marketing team creates this content, how will it solve your problem?
Is it clear and obvious where this content can be used in the sales process?
Is it clear who the content is for and how you can actually use it?
This collaborative approach creates sales and marketing alignment on the content plan, ultimately leading to more sales and a more successful revenue team.
Agenda #3: Assignment selling meeting
First described by Marcus Sheridan in his book They Ask, You Answer, assignment selling is the process of using educational content to resolve questions that your prospects may have ahead of a sales appointment.
Salespeople 'assign' content ahead of a meeting to address common questions and objections ahead of time, freeing up meeting space to focus on each prospect's unique concerns.
Marcus discovered that assignment selling could increase closing rates from 20% to 80% if utilized correctly.
The problem is, without a clear path of communication (or a revenue team meeting) it can be difficult to keep your sales team up to date on what content is being created for their use.
Outcome: Ensure the sales team knows where in the sales process each piece of content created can be used.
Sales team will showcase examples of where they have used content in the sales process this past week and any results/outcomes.
Marketing department will showcase what content has been produced since the last meeting and open up the floor for discussion on who that content is for and how it will be used in the sales process by the sales team.
Sales team gains clear accountability for using new content in the sales process (e.g. Craig will use the latest article to follow up with eight prospects today and let everyone know how that goes next time we meet)
Sales team will share what’s working and what’s not across the team so the team can learn from each other about content performance, subject lines, email structure, follow-up cadence, value proposition, etc.
There are a couple of ways to facilitate this agenda in a revenue team meeting, but the effect should be collaborative and energizing.
Agenda #4: Watch party meeting
This agenda is very similar to the one above. However, in this case, the time in the revenue meeting is actually used to watch the video content.
This is one of my favorite agendas that came from another IMPACT client of mine. They recently invested a ton of money into producing, top-quality sales videos, but the challenge became how they were going to maximize the impact of this content.
They decided that they needed to get the sales team not only aware of the content, but excited about it. They needed to put it in their hands to utilize throughout the buying process. So, instead of sending the video out to the sales team and hoping that they watched and used it in the sales process, they used the revenue team meeting time, and spent 20-30 minutes watching each together as a team live on Zoom.
Outcome: Ensure the sales team has seen the newest content and knows exactly which prospects the content would help move along the sales process.
Before playing the video, the marketing manager asked them to think about:
What they loved about the videos
What specific contacts they were currently in touch with that could benefit from the videos
After they’d watched the video there was time for a discussion, as well as some Q&A.
The aim of this type of agenda is for the sales team to leave with specific customers in mind who would benefit from each video.
Questions you can use here:
What prospects are you working with right now that you feel need to watch this video?
How would you pitch the video to your prospects? Why should they watch it?
What is an obvious place in the sales process to make use of this video?
Agenda #5: Huddle meeting
This last one is a more general meeting agenda for the revenue team and involves everyone in the team getting time to state what they are working on, what they are stuck on, and what they are concerned about.
One of the major problems I have seen, which is especially true in larger organizations where there are many people in both the sales and marketing departments, is when a marketing campaign is being built, the sales team really doesn't know anything about it.
(I’m sure you’ve been in this situation before when the first time you know about an offer or promotional campaign is when the prospective client makes an inquiry about it.)
This revenue team agenda is intended to reduce these problems from occurring.
Outcome: Make sure all team members are aware and have the opportunity to shape the campaigns that are being developed in the marketing department.
The marketing team has the opportunity to showcase current and prospective marketing campaigns, and the sales team can ask questions and provide guidance and advice to avoid errors like current prospects getting the wrong offers, or creating any confusion with our buyers.
The sales team can also help the marketing department to create new offers by identifying opportunities based on what they are learning directly from buyers.
There are so many moving pieces within the sales and marketing teams; this agenda gives the opportunity to ensure the two teams are aligned in terms of campaign production, ultimately a more successful revenue team.
Mistakes companies make when running their revenue team
The biggest mistake that I see revenue teams making is using it as a platform for sales or marketing meetings or updates. This is not what a revenue team should be used for. If you find that the majority of the revenue team is spent with one person speaking or presenting, you're missing the point.
It is not a time for sales projections, discussions about the pipeline, or marketing campaigns. It is a collaborative meeting between multiple members of the sales and marketing teams, and should be used to achieve the goals set out in the specific agendas — whatever they may be.
Are you ready to run your revenue team?
Whatever challenge your revenue team is facing, whatever function you need fulfilled, the job of the revenue team meeting is to bring the sales and marketing teams together to form a collaborative space in which to solve problems, maximize the impact of content, and ultimately increase sales and revenue.
Keep this purpose in mind at all times and the meeting will become an invaluable part of your success.
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