The team at 21 Handshake just got back from Digital Marketer’s Traffic and Conversion Summit and we're excited to share our biggest “a-ha!” moments with you. First up: getting rid of your marketing department… and your sales department. Yep, we mean it. They both have to go. Before you start to panic or write us off as a bit crazy, know that we’re not suggesting you fire anyone. Instead, we're suggesting that you merge these two departments into one new, unified team dedicated to growth. Welcome to the Growth Team.
Why does my company need a “Growth Team”?
Are your sales and marketing departments trapped in a turf war? Let’s be honest: even though sales and marketing both are working to achieve similar goals, all too often it can feel like these departments are actually working against one another. Sales wants to know where their leads are. Marketing wants to know why retention numbers are so low and they have to keep generating more leads! And so it goes...
Sales and marketing are two sides of the same coin. By combining these departments, you eliminate unnecessary silos that create information bottlenecks and hurt customer acquisition and retention efforts. With a Growth Team, you’ll be attracting and retaining engaged customers through every step of the marketing funnel.
How to build your Growth Team
- Build a single team. The first step is the hardest: eliminate arbitrary department silos and create one unified team. This is a big change and can feel a bit scary or even risky. That’s normal! Start by aligning job titles to help everyone on the new Growth Team understand where they fit in the customer journey. An individual’s day-to-day responsibilities may change very little. What will change is the speed at which work is done. Gone are the arbitrary communication barriers that hurt lead generation and sales. In their place is a single team dedicated to affecting positive change on the customer journey.
- Align growth to the customer journey. One point Ryan Deiss emphasized over and over again: the Growth Team isn’t just in charge of growing revenue, this team owns the entire customer journey! When the team owns the entire customer journey, this means marketing is just as concerned about customer retention and lead generation. Sales wants to close deals, but they want to close deals with the right customers in order to drive authentic, sustainable growth. By aligning the Growth Team to the customer journey, the team will be best positioned to embrace real-time feedback and collaboration, consistently engaging and delighting customers at every stage in the customer journey.
- Focus on the metrics that matter. Sales and marketing teams often use very different metrics to define “success.” For marketing, these metrics typically hinge on lead generation. How many people downloaded our latest white paper? Who’s listening to our podcast or retweeting our Twitter posts? For the sales team, the metrics come back to monetization: how many deals did we close? What’s our conversion rate? What are our product sales per unit?
Your Growth Team must rethink what it means to be successful, aligning these metrics to each stage of the customer journey based on the interactions these customers have with your company.
- Content: organic visitors, social growth, social shares, white paper/ebook downloads
- Acquisition: Number of leads, number of “converts”, return on ad spend
- Monetization: Revenue, product sales, saves/recoveries (in dollars)
- Success: Tickets answered, average response time, customer satisfaction score, net promoter score, customer stories
When you build your Growth Team, you unite marketing and sales into a single department that prioritizes sustainable growth. Focusing on all stages of the customer cycle – from initial lead generation, to conversion, to retention, to evangelism – makes it easier for every member of the team to see how their work fits together. Everyone shares responsibility for a successful customer cycle– driving customer engagement and sales success.