It started with a $90,000 mistake.
The largest marketing campaign I’ve ran, sponsoring Dreamforce - flopped hard in terms of return on investment.
It wasn’t for lack of leads. We generated over 668 leads over 3 days.
It wasn’t because the leads weren't qualified. 142 of those leads explicitly requested a demo after the event, and fit our ideal customer profile.
The real reason?
Our sales team didn’t have the bandwidth to follow up with the leads when Marketing handed the entire batch over.
The herculean amount of work, late nights, and planning from the Marketing team to pull off this event
Less than 15% of the leads had any touches from the Sales team. The rest were left to wither on the vine.
Crawling into a hole to hide
I remember having to explain to my Board about why we squandered $90,000 on a marketing program that didn’t materialize into pipeline.
I remember having to explain to my disappointed team on why we neglected such an obvious thing in hindsight: post-event lead follow-up.
The feeling of disappointment was so visceral. I wanted to crawl into a hole and hide in the weeks after the event.
Now, in case you are blaming my Sales team… it’s not their fault.
In spite of the Dreamforce fiasco, they blew out the quarter. Even set a record for the highest sales booked in a single month - $210,000. They did their jobs.
In a more traditional company, you could argue that Marketing did their jobs as well. Over 668 top of the funnel leads generated, and 142 marketing qualified leads generated.
So, what went wrong?
In the words of my friend TK Kader, who founded and exited ToutApp to Marketo:
Look, as a marketer myself - Marketers are hyper-focused on net-new leads. Sales people are hyper-focused on hot leads, trying to convert them into opportunities. And the middle of the funnel is where leads go to die, basically.”
“No one wants to touch them. They don’t know what to do with it. Middle of the funnel is a no man’s land.”
I couldn't have put it better.
Solving a big problem in modern B2B marketing
This is why we started Saleswhale.
To solve one of the biggest problems for marketers: proving the ROI of our marketing activities.
Fast forward a few years - and having worked with over 400+ B2B marketing teams around the world...
I saw first-hand how the ability to prove marketing ROI makes / breaks careers.
How it affects department-wide annual budgets.
And how it affects marketing headcounts - specifically the risk of a reduction in force for marketing during downturns.
Why Saleswhale exists
We want to help marketers focus on what they do best: creative, high-impact marketing campaigns. Leave the mundane, repetitive follow-ups and re-engagement to our anti-usage software.
We want to help marketers justify months of hard work on a marketing campaign - all the resources, budget, heart & sweat... and even a little bit of yourself - invested into a project.
We want to help marketers avoid that sinking feeling I had… when I stood in front of the board room - explaining why my marketing campaign hit all our KPIs, but did not materialize into revenue - because my sales team didn’t have time to work the leads.
This is why I started Saleswhale.
To that end, I took the liberty to write a manifesto for modern B2B marketers in 2021 and beyond.
The Manifesto for Modern B2B Marketers
- Marketers should own revenue and pipeline, not just MQLs.
- Marketers should take responsibility when sales doesn't follow up on good leads, instead of pointing fingers.
- Demand generation over lead generation.
- Marketing exists to make sales easier. Period.
- Marketers should realize there is money in “lukewarm” and “recycled” leads, and not be new-obsessed. MQLs = net-new MQLs + recycled MQLs.
- Marketers should focus on binary lead scoring: whether leads are raising their hands to talk to sales. This is the only real lead scoring that matters.
P.S. Do you agree with the manifesto? Do you agree that marketing should own revenue and pipeline? Join the discussion here.