The Sweet Spot: Get rid of the ‘old, misaligned’ sales and marketing model

Marketo in early February named Paul Albright Chief Revenue Officer, a newly created position for the marketing automation company. Albright, who was previously General Manager and CMO of SuccessFactors, is responsible for driving Marketo’s overall revenue strategy, as well as all facets of the company’s sales and marketing teams.  We spoke about to him about his new gig:

Follow the Lead: Is the onus is on b2b companies to create a CRO position?

Albright: The real focus of B2B companies should be on fundamentally rethinking and reengineering how they create, manage, and accelerate revenue. The old, misaligned sales and marketing model is not delivering adequate results, for example 52% of sales reps do not achieve their sales goals (CSO Insights 2010) and 94% of marketing qualified leads will never close (SiriusDecisions) There are a number of ways for companies to solve this problem and dramatically improve their revenue performance. The first step is to commit to truly transform revenue operations. I believe that just making incremental changes and improving things on the margin will no longer suffice. The imperative for breakout growth is just too urgent right now.

As part of this change commitment, companies should adopt a proven and powerful management process that we call Revenue Performance Management (RPM). RPM enables corporations to align their sales and marketing activities to engage today’s empowered buyer at the right time, in the right way, throughout the revenue cycle. With this revenue process change, an increasing number of companies are opting for the Chief Revenue Officer role. My role is to ensure an effective demand-to-close focus – faster, more profitable, growth across sales and marketing. If companies choose the CRO model, they should do so strategically and part of an overall integrated approach to the revenue process.

FTL: Will you be responsible for sales and marketing alignment? If so, what are your top priorities?

Albright: Absolutely.  A core part of Marketo’s thought leadership is the integration of the sales and marketing functions and ultimately maximizing companies’ ability to manage revenue in a more effective and efficient way.  As CRO, I am responsible for driving the company’s overall revenue strategy, and a big piece of accelerating its global profitability is to align all facets of company’s sales and marketing execution.

As CRO, three of my top priorities are:

  • Creating shared revenue generation goals and reporting our progress with great rigor across sales and marketing.
  • Continually improving the results of marketing and sales investments by identifying the most effective marketing campaigns, scoring all leads, and immediately showing sales people where to spend their time to get the best results fast.
  • Showing other companies how we are able to leverage social media to create preference for their brand and products before a prospective customer ever talks to a representative of that company.