Why Don’t Marketers Have Sales Goals?

In an age where the number of retweets, likes, website traffic and other vanity metrics are losing their luster (and rightfully so), new metrics are emerging for B2B marketers, such as MQAs and engagement. This got me thinking, “If we care most about revenue, then why aren’t marketers held to and compensated on sales goals, like reps are?”

In today’s vlog, I wanted to get more insights into this, so I asked Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing, “Why don’t marketers have sales goals?” He explains that we must get on the same page, and we have to focus more on “metric you can buy a beer with.”

Please enjoy this conversation with Matt Heinz.


Brandon: Hey, everyone, Brandon Redlinger here, director of growth at Engagio. Today’s question is for Matt Hines. Many marketers don’t actually have sales goals, because they don’t have control over the lead or account or opportunity once it has been passed along. What are your thoughts?

Matt: Brandon, that’s a great question. I get that a lot from marketers that are being asked to embrace revenue responsibility. The issue of control, clearly, we’d all like to have better control over our metrics and over the things that we are trying to compel and things trying to change. But control we have to take off the table.

If you ask any sales person if they control when the deal gets closed, they’re going to say no. If they controlled whether those deals got closed, they would hit their number every month. In complex B2B buying and selling, very rarely does the buyer control when a deal gets closed. When you’ve got these internal buying committees that include six, seven, eight members, that are trying to build some consensus and trying to move forward in the right direction, they don’t always have control either.

We have to take control off the table and simply recognize that it is no longer okay for marketing to act as the arts and crafts department. It’s no longer okay for marketing just to measure itself based on leads, and clicks, and what we think of as the marketing of more. The marketing of more doesn’t more doesn’t matter. The marketing of closed deals, metrics you can buy a beer with, closed deals, lifetime revenue, renewals, profitability, these are the metrics that marketing needs to be responsible for moving forward.

No, marketing does not have control of all those metrics any more than the sales team has control over when a deal can close, any more than your CEO has control of whether or not you hit your number and please Wall Street and please the investors.

Let’s take control off the table and simply get on the same page to recognize that we have to own metrics that matter to the organization. We have to as marketers own metrics that embrace revenue responsibility. We have to embrace a level of profit center marketing that may be uncomfortable. It may be no less and no more uncomfortable than what the sales team has been facing day in, day out, quarter after quarter forever. But those are the metrics that matter.

I think when we embrace that inside an organization that recognizes that that is hard, it is unpredictable, it is something you may or may be successful at every single time, whether or not you’re successful doesn’t matter. But focusing on the right metrics and taking responsibility of those metrics does matter.

Brandon Redlinger
Brandon Redlinger
Brandon Redlinger is the Head of Growth at Engagio, the Account-Based Marketing and Sales platform that enables teams to measure account engagement and orchestrate human connections at scale. He is passionate about the intersection between tech and psychology, especially as it applies to growing businesses. You can follow him on twitter @brandon_lee_09 or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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