When a data center operator grows beyond 200 employees, there’s almost always a C-level executive responsible for revenue generation -- most commonly a Chief Revenue Officer (CRO).
The CRO usually -- but not always -- has a good grasp on the necessary talent, technology, and strategy needed to stay competitive and relevant in today’s buyer-centric data center marketplace.
In smaller data centers that don’t have the resources to invest in a strategic executive hire at that level, the CEO has to wear these hats -- or suffer from severely delusional revenue generation expectations.
With an estimated 70% of the buyer’s journey over before most IT influencers and decision makers are ready for a conversation with someone from your team, and that number is expected to rise even further, a lack of attention to revenue generation could hobble a data center CEO’s career.
Often when I meet leaders of data center operators and other companies in the data center ecosystem, I’m asked:
CEO: “So Joshua, what do you do?”
My response: My team helps companies like yours create scalable, predictable revenue growth by differentiating, getting found earlier in today’s buyer’s journey, and earning a seat at the table as a trusted advisor.
CEO: “Oh, so you’re a marketing company?”
My response: Well that’s one piece of the puzzle. Maybe 25% of all of the problems that need to be addressed. But if marketing strategy lives in a vacuum in your data center, you will fail. Got a minute or two? Let me tell you why and share the nine questions that you’ll want to ask your team around revenue generation:
- Is your marketing team focused on helping the sales team achieve revenue goals? (more specifically: SMART goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound)
- Is there a mutual service level agreement (SLA) between your marketing teams and sales teams around lead quota, the monetary value of different kinds of leads, and how quickly and thoroughly a sales accepted lead is worked?
- Do you have an up-to-date set of thorough buyer personas to align marketing, sales, and your services team around which kinds of clients and contacts are ideal? And which are a distraction and waste of time?
- Do your marketing and sales teams meet on a weekly basis to talk about which opportunities closed, which didn’t, and what questions and objections sales reps hear from prospects and clients?
- Are subject matter experts on your sales team regularly interviewed by your company’s content creation and content promotion team?
- Does your marketing team do regularly-scheduled ride along’s with members of your sales team to get a better grasp on prospects’ challenges?
- Is your marketing platform fully integrated with your sales platform/CRM system?
- Does your sales team have access to real-time lead intelligence on how prospects are interacting with blog posts, downloadable content, video, webinars, and emails?
- Does your marketing team have real-time access to how your sales team works and closes opportunities -- closed loop reporting -- so it knows exactly which top-, middle-, and bottom-of-the-funnel marketing activities are influencing revenue generation?
Long gone are the days when a data center’s sales team can be effective by harassing their way into prospects’ voicemail boxes, email inboxes, and offices -- let alone c-suites.
The way in which IT influencers and decision makers research data center products and services has changed drastically. So much so, that often as much as 70% of the decision-making process is over before you’re even looped in.
Is your company staying relevant and competitive with today’s marketplace realities? Or are you burying your head in the sand and hoping that Michael J. Fox’s famed Delorean time machine and flux capacitor from Back to the Future will bail you out?
Use the nine questions in this blog post to have a realistic conversation with your team members about where you stand and what gaps need to be addressed to achieve scalable, predictable revenue growth.
At Data Center World Fall conference in New Orleans this September, be sure to catch Joshua Feinberg’s session on How Data Centers Use Thought Leadership to Attract World-Class Clients and Talent on Thursday, September 15, 2016 at 10:20 am in room R215 of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.
About the author: Joshua Feinberg is Vice President and Co-Founder of SP Home Run, Inc. -- which helps data center, managed service, hosting, and cloud providers grow their leads, client base, revenue, and profitability.