Do CEOs Need ‘Doers’ or ‘Strategists’ Leading Marketing?
“Executives owe it to the organization and to their fellow workers not to tolerate nonperforming individuals in important jobs.” – Peter Drucker
If you run a $5B company, you need a strategic presence in your marketing organization. However, if you think you need a highly experienced marketing strategist to take your company from $50M to $100M, think again. CEOs of emerging growth companies need ‘doers’ leading marketing. Why? Because ‘doers’ are willing to roll up their sleeves and work with sales to hit the number.
When you developed your strategic plan last year, you knew what needed to get done to hit the number. You handed off your strategy to a capable marketing leader who you believed would execute on your vision. It’s November and the revenue goals didn’t get realized. It’s time to rethink your marketing leader for next year.
You hired a ‘strategist.’ You went for “been there, done that” experience. Rather than focus on working with sales to drive revenue, they got caught up chasing shiny objects. They focused on things like branding exercises and awareness campaigns with PR firms. Revenue got missed. The sales team lost confidence in their ability to fill the funnel.
Why ‘Strategists’ Won’t Deliver the #
If you hired a marketing leader and 6 months passed with no tangible sales results, you hired a ‘strategist.’ ‘Strategists’ are marketers who like to fly at 30,000 feet. When generating demand is critical, they see this as a distraction better left to others in the marketing organization. They are concerned with brand equity and sentiment analysis. They try to execute the big company playbook, such as:
- Building awareness
- Hiring PR and communications firms
- Implementing antiquated advertising campaigns
They don’t see value in spending time in the field with sales to learn more about your audience and how to better engage them. They try to keep clear separation from revenue objectives. You end up with a lot of activities that don’t produce results. This is the last thing you need.
Why ‘Doers’ Are the Solution
‘Doers’ are people who can take your strategic plan and convert it into tactical steps that drive revenue. They are willing and able to work cohesively with sales to drive revenue. The ‘doer’ is concerned about sales results. They work to deliver this through focusing on:
- Pipeline creation
- New customer revenue
- Training sales to sell new products
- Creating buyer personas that teach sales what to say on calls
They prioritize sales results over all else. The ‘doer’ is willing to walk into the sales leader’s office and have authentic conversations about results at any time. They look at the sales VP as their customer. They help create sales enablement tools, sales value prop messing, demos and presentation decks to ensure the success of your sales team.
How To Spot A ‘Doer’
Here are 5 TopGrading competencies you can use to determine if you have a ‘doer’ as your marketing leader:
- Results - Can show revenue results from previous roles. Embraces revenue objectives and outcome metrics that drive revenue. Wants a quota that ties them to the results of their efforts.
- Sales Focus – Has spent time in the field with the sales force. Is able to provide examples of thought leadership based on direct field observation. Provides examples of including sales reps in campaign development. Wants to meet with the head of sales before agreeing to the position to ensure they can partner effectively.
- Pipeline Creation – Demonstrated results from Demand Generation, Inbound Marketing & Content Marketing campaigns. Has designed, launched and executed marketing campaigns that added net new revenue to the pipeline.
- Customer Focus - Has mapped a prospect’s needs to solutions. Can provide examples of identifying market problems their product solved. Shares examples of messaging they developed that drove demand into the funnel.
- Tactician – Gives examples of taking CEO strategic goals and developing tactical plans to execute. Shares the specific tasks they completed to keep the team focused on delivering on the goal.
Register for this session to access the Marketer’s Sales Chops Tool and assess your marketing leader’s ability to deliver on revenue results. Our TopGrading interview questions will get you the answers you need to make sure you have a ‘doer.’
Having the right marketing leader is critical to growing your organization. Mistakes cost time, money and credibility with your team. Take the time to ensure your talent management process is in place so your marketing leader comes through for sales next year.
Author: Ryan Tognazzini
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