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Revenue Disruption: Game-Changing Sales and Marketing Strategies to Accelerate Growth by Phil Fernandez

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Chapter 15

The Nuts and Bolts of a Revenue Cycle Process

I had a fascinating—and, to tell the truth, somewhat scary—experience a few years ago while we were designing our first product at my company, Marketo. My marketing team had organized an amazing series of focus group discussions with some top CMOs and marketing leaders in Silicon Valley. We invited 8 or 10 folks from each group to sit down together and talk about the challenges they faced as marketing leaders. My role was to be a fly on the wall, to listen and learn.

Not surprisingly, the discussion quickly turned to metrics and marketing performance. These marketing leaders knew, as do their counterparts today, that they needed a higher level of accountability for how the money they spend translates into revenue booked by their sales team. But it immediately became clear in watching these focus groups that very few marketing leaders have any sort of formal framework or vocabulary for discussing how to measure, compare over time, or accurately communicate about marketing performance.

The most fascinating part would come when the group started to talk about an almost-iconic topic: “How much should marketing spend to generate a lead?” One CMO would yell out, “$50! If you’re spending more than $50 to generate a lead, you’re spending too much.” Another would reply, “Huh? $50? A lead costs $1,000!” “No, $2,500!” Then another would jump in, “Well, in my company, I can generate leads for $16 each.” And everyone else would excitedly ...

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