Had a provocative conversation recently with a senior executive at a BPO we’ve worked with in the past.  He tells me they are in the process of hiring a new chief marketing officer as part of their senior leadership team and plan on having the current head of sales reporting to the new CMO.  That’s really breaking the mold a lot of us have in mind regarding those positions – particularly in terms of who usually reports to who when those functions are in one organization.

The more I thought about it however, the more it started to make sense.  Not just for this company but perhaps for many of the B2B companies out there.   With the new priority marketing has for ‘owning’ the top of the sales funnel relative to demand generation and lead qualification, the tactical role of selling is more and more a down-stream part of that process.  That’s certainly true compared to the way it used to be, when sales had responsibility for the whole revenue creation engine and marketing was ‘just about branding.’

What seems increasingly evident is that marketing’s role and responsibility will only continue to grow in importance, as attracting and creating relationships with prospects becomes more a function of website, content, messaging, social media and lead nurturing, and less about Rolodex and traditional relationship selling.

For you CEOs and company owners, do you have the right people in place as these traditional roles continue transforming?  Does it suggest a change in hiring strategy as you look at your key leadership positions and think about next year’s sales plan?

Here are three questions to ask your self as you consider what’s next in your Sales and Marketing leadership model.

  1. Are you meeting your goals for new logo wins?
  2. Who is responsible and accountable for lead generation in our company?
  3. Does Sales and Marketing have shared goals and metrics for sales ready lead qualification?