Why Marketing Productivity Matters Just as Much as Sales Productivity

marketing productivityEDITOR’S NOTE: This post is part of a series of posts from Alex Gorbansky, CEO of Docurated who will be sharing his expertise around marketing productivity and platforms to better help our audience navigate this area of marketing.

Sales Has Been The Spoiled First Born

In the B2B world, few topics get as much air time and focus as sales productivity.

“Wouldn’t it be great if we could get our reps to be productive”

“What if we could get our reps to spend more time in front of customers”

Is there anything more precious than a salesperson’s time? Companies religiously track it, analyze it, and look for ways to increase time spent on revenue generating tasks.

No reasonable person will dispute that rep productivity is an important metric. However, I have two bones to pick:

#1 — It is a lagging indicator

#2 — It overshadows another key leading indicator – marketing productivity

Marketing is the Forgotten Second Child

Whereas companies are incredibly precious about sales reps’ time, marketing rarely gets the same level of love. It’s as if marketing has infinite capacity, and its time and resources are free.

Data from the 2015 Docurated State of Marketing Productivity Report shed some light on the astounding discrepancy in how companies think about (or don’t) sales versus marketing productivity: only 12% of companies surveyed reported measuring or reporting on marketing productivity, while over 89% of companies regularly track sales productivity.

When you consider the importance of marketing to revenue generation and the enormous budgets marketing controls, this makes no sense.  Moreover, it’s costing companies millions.

Help your Marketing Organization Stop the Bleeding

In B2B, marketing is sales. Marketing is a revenue generation engine that creates content and tools to directly support sales and has a vital role in closing deals and hitting targets.

Yet in our recent Marketing Productivity report, marketing executives report that their teams spend barely 39% of their time on revenue generating activities. What are they spending time on? Tactical ad hoc requests from sales, implementing software, etc.

Another huge area of waste is in content production. Marketing creates massive amounts of tailored content. In fact, 25% of a team’s budget goes towards content production. Yet 90% of that content never sees the light of day! That represents another 20%+ of marketing budget that is wasted.

Finally, when you consider overall budget and technology spending, excluding headcount, marketing outspends sales by many orders of magnitude. According to Gartner, CMOs will spend $23B on technology in 2015! But again many of these initiatives will fail or will not be delivered as efficiently as possible.

A New Hope

A number of progressive organizations have recognized marketing productivity as a key strategic imperative and have taken bold steps to address it:

  1. Make it An Executive Level Priority — Sales is Marketing; Marketing is Sales. Treat marketing productivity with the same level of priority and focus as sales. This requires executive level commitment and engagement.
  1. Stop the Biggest Areas of Bleeding — Focus on those areas that are responsible for the vast majority of productivity loss: (a) producing content that is never read, (b) purchasing tools that are not utilized, and (c) time spent responding to ad hoc requests from sales as the biggest areas for improvement.
  1. Establish dashboards and metrics for driving productivity just like in sales. Some important KPIs to consider:
    • Revenue contribution by marketer
    • Revenue contribution by content/collateral
    • Collateral consumption to production ratio (% of content utilized by sales)
    • Marketing to sales headcount ratio

marketing productivity - GorbanskyAlex Gorbansky is Docurated’s CEO and co-founder. Alex was previously CEO of Frontier Strategy Group (FSG). Prior to FSG, Mr. Gorbansky was a Consultant at the Boston Consulting Group and also worked in strategic positions with Loudcloud and EMC Corporation. Mr. Gorbansky holds a BS in Financial Engineering from Stanford University and studied international relations and globalization at Magdalen College, Oxford University. Alex has been published in Forbes and VentureBeat, and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences such as BoxWorks.


Productivity image via Shutterstock

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