Learn
Learn
Close

They Ask, You Answer

A revolutionary approach to inbound sales, content marketing, and today’s digital consumer.

Learn MoreLearn More

Free Courses in IMPACT+

Dozens of sales, marketing, and content courses inside IMPACT+. Start learning now.

See all coursesSee all courses
Events
Events
Close
IMPACT+ Membership
IMPACT+ Membership
Close
Coaching & Implementation Services
Coaching & Implementation Services
Close

Services Overview

See how you can dramatically increase your inbound leads and sales.

Services Overview

Digital Sales and Marketing Mastery

Fast track your team’s success with IMPACT's most popular service.

Digital Sales and Marketing Mastery

Web Design

Launch a beautiful website that consistently generates leads and revenue.

Web Design

Virtual Sales Training

Equip your sales team with comprehensive training designed to help them close more deals in today's virtual-first world.

Virtual Sales Training

HubSpot Training & Implementation

Train your company to take ownership of HubSpot and get the most out of your investment.

HubSpot Training & Implementation

Case Studies

See dozens of examples of companies succeeding with Digital Sales and Marketing Mastery and They Ask, You Answer.

Case Studies
Become a Coach
Become a Coach
Close

What Is the Role of Marketing in Revenue Generation?

What Is the Role of Marketing in Revenue Generation? Blog Feature

July 7th, 2015 min read

Here at IMPACT, we practice what we preach. "We eat our own dog food," you might say.

For instance, we spend an awful lot of time talking about buyer personas and how incredibly important they are to marketing. They are so important that we start off every retainer engagement with clients by running persona interviews and speaking directly to their ideal customers.

Well, here's a fun fact: We do it for ourselves too.

Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing the head of commercial for a biotech startup, which specializes in scientific wellness (behavior coaching based on your very own DNA), about some new (and long-standing) trends in the marketing leadership world.

But since her insights on revenue generation and increasing sales were so compelling, I knew I had to share them with all of you. Here's what she had to say.

Title Trends and the CRO

We are living in a new world. A world in which marketing and sales are required to work together, and titles are starting to reflect that trend.

The emergence of the "chief revenue officer" title is evidence of this combined sales and marketing department where one executive position is responsible for revenue generation at all stages of the funnel.

Find out how to take out the guesswork when building your next inbound marketing sales process.

Download for Free Now!

It has also been "driven mostly by the needs of start-ups to attract top talent," she says. Startups cannot pay their sales leaders as much as larger, industry-tested companies, so they compensate them with executive-level titles as a trade-off for the risk involved.

This is most commonly seen in the A-round of funding once venture capitalist are involved, because those VCs like to see a level of consistency when it comes to benefit and option packages across title levels. Essentially, if a startup wants to attract talent with stock options that are equivalent to the stock options of other executive-level members of the organization, it better come with an executive-level title.

The CRO title is essentially a shiny new version of what has always been called "head of commercial." The head of commercial title shares all of the same duties and responsibilities as a CRO and has been a mainstay of regulated industries like health care and finance for years.

Clearly, they've always known what's up with sales and marketing alignment.

You'll typically see CRO appear more in start-ups within the consumer space and head of commercial in more heavily regulated or B2B organizations. But, they are basically two sides of the same coin.

Sales and Marketing Under a One Roof

Along with the trends surrounding titles, we are currently seeing a massive shift in how organizations view sales and marketing. In the past they've been considered separate departments who, on occasion, work together. Well, now we are seeing an entirely new department emerge: the "revenue department."

The revenue department is essentially the combination of sales and marketing into one cohesive unit. They are still two distinct entities, but function more as two halves of a whole rather than two completely independent parties.

But why are we seeing this change?

"We are definitely seeing a shift where marketing can influence the value chain of the sale into later stages," she says. The sales cycle is typically broken up into the six stages: identifying prospects, targeting those prospects, interacting with prospects, validating or qualifying prospects, proposing the sale, and finally closing the deal.

Before social media, the sales side would cover the last four out of the six stages - but it doesn't work that way anymore.

"What we've seen in the last five years is a real shift away from that and toward the marketing function being able to drive the sale through more of those phases," she shared. More automation is happening when it comes to consumer touch, and as a result it has shifted the way in which we market, sell and fulfill products or services.

This has been more dramatic and noticeable on the B2C side of things, as those sales tend to be more heavily transaction-based, rather than relationship-based. Product categories that rely more heavily upon nurtured relationships need more interaction from sales to drive leads through the cycle.

However, B2B is catching up fast, and marketing automation is influencing more stages of the pipeline.

The Role of Marketing in Revenue Generation

So, now the big question: What did she see as marketing's role in the revenue generating engine?

First and foremost, it is about awareness: brand awareness, demand generation and outreach. It's the classic case of, "If a tree falls in the forest but nobody is around to hear it, does it actually make a sound?"

The purpose of marketing is about making noise and allowing the market to actually find out about the trees we are knocking down. Bottom line, there is no way to generate demand for your product or service without marketing!

In addition, marketing plays a very strategic role in educating the marketplace. This is especially common in the startup world and key to the success of new companies. This organization is fascinating and is creating an entirely new industry that has never existed before so educating the world on what they do is key in selling their services.

For example, "people don't open their laptops and Google 'scientific wellness,'" she explains. They don't even know that it's an option, so it is the job of the company's marketing team to educate the world on what they do, and why it is important.

Over time, she has found that educating the public is an even more important function of marketing than she'd initially expected due to resistance from existing business models. Potential customers are faced with all of the information from the traditional "take a pill and fix it" approach of the health care system.

Confusion and uncertainty are the norm, making education that much more important. 

Building a Revenue Generation Team

So how do you build a revenue generation team that is comprised of both sales and marketing? How does a CRO or head of commercial know where to focus their efforts or how to balance their time?

The answer is: It all depends.

She says that her focus is on whichever part of her team needs more of that focus. It is never a 50/50 split of effort between sales and marketing. One side of the equation will always need more of her attention than the other, and it is a fluid, constantly changing balancing act.

She works to split her time based on where she is needed. She evaluates the maturity levels of each area, determines where there are gaps and selects the appropriate distribution of her time and effort.

As part of this process, and this is especially important in the start-up world, comes the decision on when, where and how to outsource.

Her incredibly simple no-nonsense answer on how to make outsourcing decisions, drives right to the point: "Core competencies must be under our own roof; if it is not core to business then outsource." Core aspects of your business are where your expertise truly lies, anything that fits into the core of your mission as a business should stay squarely under your own roof.

For everything else, rely on businesses or people who are experts. 

Key Takeaways

One of the key takeaways from our interview that I was left thinking about are the serious parallels that exist between wellness and marketing. (I know, I use wellness analogies in all my blog posts, but this time it wasn't my fault!)

She explains that the CDC says a person's health has three key components: their lifestyle choices, their genetics and their interaction with the health care system. They attribute weights of importance to each at 60 percent to lifestyle, 10 percent genetics and 30 percent to their interaction with the health care system.

The way things work right now, we are pouring all of our money into the factor weighted at only 30 percent instead of focusing on where we can make the biggest difference with the 60 percent of weight from lifestyle choices. If the world started to treat human beings as a system rather than individual parts, we could be personalized and proactive in the way they are treated and have a more optimized approach.

Her company's personalization drives engagement with the program to much higher levels than any other wellness program in history.

I take inspiration from her story because I see the marketing world works in much the same way. The biggest chunk of success with marketing can be found within the lifestyle habits that must be consistently executed on a regular basis.

Most people want to come in, take a pill and suddenly be cured instead of putting in the effort day in and day out to build a solid foundation. And true personalization of a marketing strategy, not just following a cookie-cutter recipe, is the path to success.

Want to learn more about digital sales and marketing?

Master digital sales and marketing when you join IMPACT+ for FREE. Gain instant access to exclusive courses and keynotes taught by Marcus Sheridan, Brian Halligan, Liz Moorehead, Ann Handley, David Cancel, Carina Duffy, Zach Basner, and more.

Sign up for free
Take a peek

Access hundreds of FREE courses and keynotes

Free Course
Digital Sales & Marketing Framework for Today’s Buyers
By: Marcus Sheridan
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
A New Way to Compete & Win
By: Brian Halligan
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Virtual Keynote
How To Genuinely Feel Confident, Be Likable, And Build Trust On Camera
By: Liz Moorehead
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
The Future of Marketing is Conversational​
By: David Cancel
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Deep Dive
HubSpot On a Budget: Getting Started with HubSpot Starter Hubs
By: Courtney Caldwell
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Assignment Selling: Content is Your Greatest Sales Tool
By: Marcus Sheridan
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
The Big, Bold, Brave New World of Marketing​
By: Ann Handley
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Investing in Incredible Digital Sales and Marketing Results
By: Chris Duprey
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
How To Show Your Content Makes Money With HubSpot Marketing and Sales Hubs
By: Liz Moorehead
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Virtual Keynote
The Visual Sale
By: Marcus Sheridan & Tyler Lessard
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
Marketing Tech: What’s Now, What’s Near and What’s Not Anytime Soon?​
By: Dharmesh Shah
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Inbound Lead Generation & Conversion Optimization
By: Carina Duffy
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Virtual Keynote
Fundamentals of Videography: You Can Be a Great Videographer Too
By: Zach Basner
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Deep Dive
The Ultimate Customer Service Toolkit for Any Budget
By: Andriti Gulati
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
6 Topics Subject Matter Experts Need to Address
By: Kevin Phillips
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
Fanocracy: The Power of Making Business Personal​
By: David Meerman Scott
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
The Power of Pillar Content
By: Liz Moorehead
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
SEO for the Future
By: Franco Valentino
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Fundamentals of Social Media Marketing
By: Stephanie Baiocchi
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Deep Dive
A Practical Guide To Video Graphics
By: Colton Trcic
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Session
How To Get Your Community To Know, Like, And Trust You With Video
By: Marki Lemons Rhyal
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Video Sales and Marketing Strategy
By: Zach Basner
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Here Are Some Related Articles You May Find Interesting

Want to Contribute Content to impactplus.com? Click Here.

IMPACT+ Sign Up
A FREE online learning community with on-demand courses, hundreds of expert-led sessions, thousands of your peers ready to support you, and much more.
Check it out
Hundreds of courses and recorded keynotes, completely FREE
Check it out
Access hundreds of digital sales and marketing courses and recorded keynotes, completely FREE