Creating a repeatable, winning revenue generating formula for B2B marketplaces is incredible hard for founder-led CEOs. In just the past half decade, these CEOs have had to steer their vessels while navigating the Covid-19 pandemic, shifting to a remote located workforce, balancing a P&L in this post pandemic recession, facing continuous economic challenges due to wobbly supply chains and shallow talent pools, and the rising inflationary cost of capital. To add even more complexity to the mix, B2B buyers rewrote their entire buying playbook by adding an additional layer of complexity for B2B revenue generating teams.
How can founder-led CEOs win in 2024?
Operating with the status-quo isnt an option, so it's time to hire the Wonder Twins. We all can remember these Justice League heroes who were known for shape-shifting (the ability to physically transform oneself through unnatural means) and their trademark "Wonder Twin powers, activate". Today's CEOs need to activate, research informed new go to market powers.
The #LucrumParnters team views the Chief Growth Officer (CGO) or Chief Market Officer (the new CMO) as the required, permanent shift from the Chief Sales Officer (CSO) or Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) roles. Next, pair the CGO or CMOs with their Wonder Twin executive who leads Revenue Enablement as a similiar shift away from sales operations or revenue operations. Latone Conant, CMO at 6sense, provides the modern perspective on why the CGO/"CMO is required to be the company expert in what your customers want today and will want in the future, they translate that understanding to drive refines alignment across the sales and marketing, is the lynchpin for alignment between the executive team and the entire company, and delivers market-leading experiences for customers".
The Wonder-twins need a new operational structure as Revenue Enablement is no longer a "back office"role. Instead, the redesigns powers the go to market organization by permanently eliminating department"silos" and replacing existing 'sales" vs "marketing" with an orchestra of functions that deliver coodinated, complimentary, customer centric motions.
Gartner's published functional org design enables the Wonder Twins to "activate" the strategy.
The "Twins" will shape-shift the GTM strategy, with keen attention paid to applying the research on how modern buyers are buying and how accounts view strategic vendor partnerships.
Why the radical redesign? The revenue engines are broken.
Don't think you can just patch up the current model, it won't fix it. How bad is it? Forecasting inaccuracies are a lagging indicator of poor engine performance. In a recent Benchmarkit research, 91% of companies missed the new revenue forecast by +/- 6% or more, while 69% miss the forecast by +/- 11% or more consistently.
To support the new org design, the entire executive team needs to embrace a modern talent strategy. Korn Ferry recently published their "Talent Acquisition Trends for 2024" which include a focus on hiring for skills. Its the candidates skill, "not the pedigree of past employers on your resume that count. Required skills must be determined by what the BUYERS require, not the CEO. This is worth repeating........Required skills must be determined by what the BUYERS require, not the CEO. What does this mean? An example is the prominance of highly engaged CFOs in todays deal cycles, sellers with high emotional intelligence, advanced financial acumen and persuasive storytelling skills are now required to drive opportunties.
Revenue enablement will lead Forrester' identified four “must-do’s":
"Establish a data center of excellence. Persistent data quality issues top the list of obstacles standing in the way of B2B marketing organizations connecting with buyers and accomplishing their goals. B2B organizations need to invest in establishing a hub-and-spoke model to centralize complex tasks of managing, maintaining, and using data across the growth engine. Current approaches to data quality and application are overly distributed, diluting both the necessary skill and focus. A new approach, backed with investment, is needed to address the data problems that plague B2B.
Develop a clear line of sight into buying groups. Improving organizational alignment remains a top priority for leaders across marketing and sales. Among the most significant causes of organizational misalignment is the lack of shared understanding of buyers and how they buy. In B2B settings, complex purchasing decisions are made by groups of buyers, yet many B2B organizations can only see buyers as disconnected individuals. Fortunately, technology has advanced to the point where there is no excuse for not deploying a solution to map multiple individual buyers to the opportunities that their buying groups are pursuing.
Invest in sales activity tracking. Marketing has long relied on business systems to capture and log digital touchpoints. But sellers’ interactions are often person-to-person and unseen by business systems. Many organizations place unrealistic expectations upon sellers to perform mind-numbing data entry in hopes of capturing these interactions. B2B organizations that deploy AI solutions, like those that can interpret text from calendar appointments, email exchanges, and recorded conversations, will automatically absorb seller interaction data into their business systems. Investing in this area not only frees up sellers to focus on core tasks, but it also provides businesses with insights about buyers that can be used to improve the buyer experience, campaign performance, and company win rates.
Hire a revenue process architect. Revenue processes across the growth engine are increasingly interconnected and complex. They require high degrees of alignment and advanced technological support and must satisfy rigorous data and insights requirements. To meet this challenge, B2B revenue operations teams must incorporate a new role and fill it with an experienced, senior-level, process-focused leader. The role requires a laser focus, deep domain expertise, and the ability to lead changes to notoriously ingrained processes. While in smaller, emerging businesses, revenue operations leaders may attempt to address this need personally, at enterprises of scale, leading change of this magnitude is a full-time job."
Whew, that's alot to change and activate. The silver lining for founder-led CEOs is their ability to pivot faster than larger, legacy competitors. The org structure, playbook design and team execution requirements are all more sophisticated. The revenue engine cannot deliver the desired horsepower without rebuilding it.
This work is hard. We can help. Info@LucrumPartners.co