Connecting The Dots Across The Commercial Technology Portfolio To Take Greater Control Over Customer Conversations And Communications At Every Stage Of The Modern Revenue Cycle

Marketers need to rethink their role in a 21st century model that has become data-driven and digital team sport. Modern selling has marginalized the role of the traditional CMO as curator of the brand, communications and media, particularly in B2B and SaaS businesses.

The scorecard today is maximizing customer lifetime value at every stage of the revenue cycle.  That has blurred the lines between traditional marketing, sales, service and success roles and functions.

That also extends to the budgets marketers used to command.  Media and promotion are a much smaller part of the growth equation.  Owned digital channels – and the content, systems, data and teams that make them run – business development reps and customer success managers – command the lion’s share of both operating and capital budgets.

So what are CMOs going to contribute to the modern commercial model. How can they redefine their role?


The shift to “4D”  and omnichannel selling has taken some budgets and responsibilities away from marketers as media shrinks to under a third of the mix.  But it has also armed them with capabilities to control the brand positioning, value story and key messaging across every channel at every stage of the customer journey.  They need to take advantage of this to make themselves relevant. They need to play a bigger role aligning revenue teams, content, and processes around the customer. That’s an area CMOs can add vale and have credibility.  That’s a big part of what Revenue Operations is all about.

One of the problems CMOS and marketers always talk about is the fact that they have been always relegated to demand generation at the very, very front of the funnel.

Consequently their role is shrinking as more and more of the resources and customer journey shift to downstream value selling, account development and expansion activities. Particularly in a subscription economy where half of businesses are chasing annual recurring revenues of some sort, or cross selling broad portfolios of solutions to key accounts.

In the book Revenue Operations, we are telling CMOs they need to assert more control over the conversations and communications that happen at every stage of the customer cycle. Value selling. Positioning against competitors. Addressing pain points. What’s lost on most CMOs over the age of forty is they can and should control every word that comes out of people’s lips, every RFP, every communication. Technology is there to do it.

Advances in sales enablement, engagement, readiness technologies and the ability of AI to proscriptively deliver, monitor and control both human and digital conversations make this possible.  For example, smart CMOs are using Intelligent response management platforms like RFPIO allow them to govern every word of RFPs, RFIS or every email customer inquiries using AI, ensuring they are compliant, current, relevant and on brand.  Solutions sellers are using Customer value management and value engineering platforms like Ecosystems have emerged that systematize value selling. This gives CMOs the power to create and control content that informs every from pre-sales value selling to post sales value realization. We cover all these technologies in our book Revenue Operations and have outlined smart actions any CMO can take to connect the dots across their commercial technology portfolio to take more control over the conversations and communications happening at every stage of the

And if they understand the value story, the brand promise, and the messaging that matter – that red thread should be coming out of service people’s mouths, sellers’ mouths, and solution engineers mouths. It should be reinforcing value already delivered, setting up cross sell. The channels and technologies to do that today. It’s a matter of having someone come in and connect those dots and demonstrate the art of the possible.

So that whole mentality for most marketers. Historically, CMOs were comfortable living at the very front of this supported by large media budgets and with nobody asking questions about accountability.  But those days are over. Media is less relevant at the consumption phase of the cycle.  Owned digital channels like e-mail, chat, web commerce and mobile matter more. The focus of content has shifted from thirty second ads to thought leadership and validation content. But marketers, or their operations teams, don’t necessarily own those budgets or systems.

So instead of managing a shrinking role at the front of the funnel, CMOs need to demonstrate value across the entire revenue cycle by informing and enabling the conversation across the bow tie.  And that value is enormous.  It yields a better customer experience, with consistent messaging at every interaction, and value being affirmed at every step. It eliminates margin leakage by reinforcing value at every stage of the customer journey.  It generates higher returns on commercial assets buy improving the utilization of expensive selling methods, training, thought leadership and validation content and thought leadership assets.

Versus informing the conversation across the bow tie. That’s one of the tricks. I think that picture and saying, my mandate is I’m going value, selling and serve my messaging and value messaging has to be there just like it needs to be at the front. That’s a vector that I think marketers should be pursuing, changing that perception, changing their scopes, building alliances, building connected tissue to do.

You can learn more about ways to connect the dots across the commercial technology ecosystem to take control of the “red thread” in our new book Revenue Operations.

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