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The CFO Inside Track: Sales & Marketing Transformaiton

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CFOs need to advise CEOs about restructuring sales and marketing to create a sustainable 21st century business model.  If they don't, then B2Bs will continue to fail at the same rate they always have, simply because no one has the courage or strategy to speak up.  It's not about money, simply read the Executive Summary and download the full PDF.

Executive Summary

As CFO, you are inundated with requests for budget, especially from marketing. And as the person who controls the finances, you're expected to make a valued judgement on expenditure whilst assessing the pros and cons of the budget request you've just been given.  I've written this article expressly for CFOs as a 'one-stop-shop' to get a handle on these marketing requests, even if they are stomping their feet and demanding "but I want more!".

The trouble is, very few marketing personnel can prove an ROI and probably never did in the past either.  However, a significant change is happening, if you haven't already noticed.  Businesses are starting to increase the salaries for senior marketing people.  The most recent I have seen was one business looking to pay a £350k one-off payment followed £250-350k per annum. 

Others are more frequently tipping £250k, not to mention the headhunting or recruitment fees.  Yet the common desire is for someone who has a couple of decades experience under their belt who can move the needle for the proposing business. However, there's big problem; it's the two-decade experienced professionals who have caused the problem in the first place.

I have produced this article expressly for CFOs, as an explanation as to why businesses are finding sales and growth so difficult, with much of it falling at the feet of technology and the rest as a result of lazy B2B marketers who have believed they can rely on salespeople to pick up the slack.

You've heard it all before, they want more money for the mar-tech stack, without it the business will suffer! Whether it's mar-tech or simply the tech-stack, the reality is, B2B marketers are behaving as if they're selling to consumers and have failed over the past ten to fifteen years to deliver an educational process to prospects to help them to buy.  This failure is reminiscent of copier sales in the 1980's and telecoms in the following years.  No skill was required, just a cold call asking if the prospect wanted to buy a copier or lower their telecoms costs.

Sales and marketing is broken because everyone focusses on one-to-one selling and not, one-to-many. The inherited strategies don’t work and it’s time for change.  Don't just listen to me, Brent Adamson - Distinguished Vice President and B2B Expert at Gartner believes so too, you can read his article here, Traditional B2B Sales & Marketing are Becoming Obsolete

Not many people know this, but you can stop cold calling, ditch marketing automation, and still reach your total addressable market quicker, more frequently and at a fraction of current costs with greater accuracy, engagement and profitability than you could ever do before.  It's not about more technology or costs, it's about spending less - believe it or not!!!

What's required is a wholesale restructure of sales and marketing to help organisations start generating consistent new business.  And once it’s set up, it can run on autopilot for 12-18 months or more and so no more unnecessary on-going costs.  But who is going to start the conversation?

Below is an explanation of what's gone wrong and a consultative illustration that will take you about 20-30 minutes to read those details what can be done to put it right, after which you'll be equipped to deal with any pleading or desirous requests from marketing people and provide some much-needed insight and informative explanations at your next SMT or board meeting.