HomeBlog 2011 Planning: Issues to Consider for B2B Sales and Marketing

2011 Planning: Issues to Consider for B2B Sales and Marketing

July 14, 2010 | By John Neeson

Well it's that time of year again. Many of you will begin your annual planning for 2011 or are well on your way to creating your budgets. This is the time of year where we do many budget benchmarks to show you trends in marketing spend that are often used to support the changes you are looking for.

Well it's that time of year again. Many of you will begin your annual planning for 2011 or are well on your way to creating your budgets. This is the time of year where we do many budget benchmarks to show you trends in marketing spend that are often used to support the changes you are looking for. As we consider the improvements we have observed in sales and marketing alignment, here are three best practices to consider in your plans:

  1. Create a “menu” of programs sales is requesting. Very often marketing focuses on the top-line programs but not what they manifest into at the sales level. Build out the programs you will need in a menu model for sales. Include a description for each program showing what sales problem is solved with program and written in sales language not marketing. Show what will be on the menu for lead generation for new accounts, existing accounts, for sales enablement, and what will be done for targeting. Also show how the menu might be different by sales channel.
  2. Reverse the waterfall. Now with your menu created, determine the marketing requirements needed to achieve these sales programs. Establish what the number of leads will be, what marketing will source and what they will influence.
  3. Brand to demand ratio. Finally, determine what has been the ratio of awareness required to create demand. Look at what you've spent in years past on communications and advertising and see what the ratio has been for every dollar spent on demand generation, what has been spent in driving awareness.

Active dialogue is at the heart of B2B marketing and sales alignment, and fostering this dialogue should be a part of every planning process. Without using such a planning model as we've presented here, marketing is often left with assuming the impact that it can have on sales and, subsequently, the business.

John Neeson

John Neeson is Managing Director and Co-Founder of SiriusDecisions. He is a well-recognized thought leader in business-to-business marketing, with more than 25 years of experience focused on marketing, product development, sales management, communications and general management. Follow John on Twitter @jneeson.

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