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Home/Blog/You Can Sit With Us: How To Earn Your Seat At The Revenue Table in 2024

You Can Sit With Us: How To Earn Your Seat At The Revenue Table in 2024

Stewart Hillhouse
Posted by Stewart Hillhouse|Published on December 12, 2023
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At the beginning of this year, company CEOs were ‌focused on extending company runway, reducing burn, and making all go-to-market teams run efficiently (especially marketing).

Then, to add to the excitement, artificial intelligence (AI) entered the game in a big way, shaking up the entire software industry; from how we solve problems for our customers to how we bring it to market. 

The stage is already set for 2024 to be another rollercoaster.

But how can you navigate these exciting (and turbulent) times in a way that you, your team, and your company come out ahead?

We asked CEOs, CMOs, and marketing leaders what advice they have to increase their influence over revenue-level strategy in 2024.

Here are their answers.

Marketing Needs To Earn A Seat At The Revenue Table

Of your company’s discretionally budget, marketing is the largest cost. So when it comes time for your CFO to make some budgetary decisions, you’re going to want to make sure that there’s a marketing leader with a seat at the revenue table to defend your budget and the impact marketing has on the bottom line. 

But your CFO doesn’t care about website traffic and MQLs. They talk dollars and cents. 

That means that in order to earn a seat at the revenue table, you need to be able to show exactly how marketing activities turn into pipeline and revenue.

Natalie Navattic quote card

“What has helped me get more influence over revenue-level strategy is to closely ‌tie one of my OKRs every quarter to pipeline. That way, whenever there’s a conversation around revenue and pipeline, marketing has to be involved.” said Natalie Marcotullio, Head of Growth at Navattic. “It gives me a seat at the revenue table whenever we discuss forecasting.”

It’s easy to get caught up in the minutia of the day-to-day challenges of your marketing program that you don’t spend enough time understanding how the business works and your role within it. To get a seat beside the biggest decision makers, you need to think like them.

“You need to know what the HiPPOs (highest-paid person’s opinion) are thinking ‌about.” said Peep Laja, CEO of Wynter. “What strategic issue is your CEO or VP thinking about every day? Those are the elephant problems. If you want to be taken seriously but talk about mouse problems, you will be dismissed.”

Peep Laja Wynter quote

How To Apply This in 2024:

But how exactly do you do that? The first step is coming to the table prepared with the dashboards and the reporting that align with the priorities of your revenue leaders. 

Does your marketing dashboard clearly show how the activities are turning into pipeline, opportunities, and deals?

Plastics playbook quote

“Get really comfortable with spreadsheets and data analysis. The best marketers are also data nerds." said Lydia Frank, VP of Marketing at Chronus.

Having a marketing dashboard that shows how each channel is contributing to the pipeline is incredibly important for aligning incentives across all channels. 

In partnership with Coefficient, we published three dashboard templates that you can begin to use to align your marketing team with the GTM strategy. 

  • Overall marketing dashboard: An effective and efficient marketing team starts with a dashboard that the whole team can look at to know how their efforts are impacting company growth. 

  • Paid ads dashboard: As costs continue to fluctuate, it’s important to keep track of performance over time and be able to identify campaigns to double down on and which to turn off.

  • Field marketing dashboard: Notoriously difficult to measure ROI, this dashboard considers the spiky nature and long-term follow-up required to make your events program worth the upfront cost.

You can also watch a walk-through of how we structure our funnel to make sure we’re reporting the right metrics all the way through – check it out here

And the cherry on top? Getting a seat at the revenue table helps you and your entire team grow. “You want your team to see their success showing up in the numbers and the metrics that matter.” said Ryan Narod, Head of Marketing at Mutiny. “You getting a seat at the table is actually your team getting a seat at the table, which will help everyone further their career.”

Use AI, But Make Human Connections Your End-Goal

A year ago, AI was a fun magic trick. I remember when ChatGPT came out, techies like you and I rushed to signup so we could show our tech-laggard friends how it could write anything in the style of Snoop Dogg in the blink of an eye. Ah, to return to those simpler times.

Now, AI is a core technology across the entire GTM function, and the entire software ecosystem is being turned on its head.

"It's not about AI taking anybody's jobs, but [rather] how are we using AI to become more productive, to become more effective, to augment our human creativity and capabilities?” said Dara Treseder, CMO at Autodesk during a GTM Leader panel during the premiere episode of Surv-ai-vor. “I think it's critical that we remind our teams that they don't need to have that fear, but instead they need to embrace AI and embrace the productivity that comes with it."

But for what AI adds in efficiency, it lacks in personality.

Chili Piper Mutiny quote

“2024 is the year we’ll be overwhelmed online by content and emails written by bots.” says Alina Vandenberghe, Co-CEO of Chili Piper. “As a result, we're all getting back to the basics of meeting and forming relationships in person a lot more. Micro local communities is where marketing will shine.”

This advice applies to both in-person and online interactions.

“Look for opportunities to lean into very human-like communication that is 'hard to fake'. Speak directly and matter-of-factly about the elephant in the room [AI].” said Colin Gillingham, Head of Growth & Analytics at Clearbit.

How To Apply This in 2024:

The good news is that AI is a totally new skillset that everyone is needing to learn in real-time. The best way to learn how to use AI is to use AI in your day-to-day. 

Start small by identifying repetitive tasks. Interact with ChatGPT to see if it can help. Maybe build a small workflow by creating your own GPT, or finding a free tool that accomplishes the same thing. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll learn about working with AI as a co-pilot the more you use it.

Here are some AI workflows that I’d recommend getting started with:

GTM Is A Team Sport

If your company experienced huge growth in 2021 and 2022, then 2023 was the year that many of your customers came up for renewal. The result: lots of churn as many customer accounts likely shouldn’t have been customers in the first place – they weren’t an ICP fit!

Churn is seen as a CX problem, but in fact it’s a problem that starts all the way at the top of the funnel.

Quote Card | Plastics Playbook - Ryan Narod

“For the first time ever, marketing is being asked to think holistically about GTM, including retention and expansion.” said Ryan Narod, Head of Marketing at Mutiny. “The entire GTM team needs to work together in lockstep to identify, engage, win, retain, and expand within the target ICP.”

Gone are the days of marketing teams only focusing on top-of-funnel metrics – they need to be able to connect their efforts directly to revenue. And CMOs are adjusting their strategies accordingly.

Quote Card | Plastics Playbook - Ryan Narod

"Efficiency is the name of the game. Move from being obsessed with the top of funnel to finding revenue opportunities at any point of the customer lifecycle.” said Alex Poulos, CMO at Crossbeam. “Invest in channels like partner ecosystems, customer advocates, and communities that can build you a defensible moat over time. Make payback your favorite metric.”

That means that marketers need to become best friends with both their sales team, but also their CX team.

Quote Card | Plastics Playbook – Alicia Hunt

“As a marketing leader, I continually invest in the marketing-and-sales partnership. We have shared common goals that both teams are committed to. This establishes trust and fosters open and transparent discussions between teams. We also prioritize the customer and their needs, which creates alignment across both teams.” said Alicia Hunt, VP of Marketing at Fountain.

How To Apply This In 2024

You need to make sure that your team is measuring the right things and are working towards a common goal. Once you have that figured out, you’ll then be able to think more strategically about how marketing can help sales, CX, and show the numbers to your finance team to get the budget to execute. Be sure that you’re measuring the metrics that matter to your CMO.

"At the end of the day, every department in every company ties back to (and has responsibility for) revenue in some way, even if it's as simple as a great customer experience leading to retention of that customer.” said Lydia Frank, VP of Marketing at Chronus. “…you have to be holding yourself and your team accountable to metrics that matter to the bottom line of the business.”

Take the new year as an opportunity to re-evaluate all your marketing efforts. There have been a lot of channel-level changes recently that may make your tactical work less effective than before. Find a marketing mix that aligns with your GTM motion and that compliments the work your sales and CX team is doing. 

Quote Card | Plastics Playbook - Nick Bennett

Look for new ways to accomplish your targets by thinking outside your company's four walls (even if they're virtual). "I think there is a huge upside here and to the entire creator economy in B2B." said Nick Bennett, Co-Founder of TACK.

Quote Card | Plastics Playbook - Daniel Murray

“Success in revenue strategy starts with aligning marketing with sales and finance on pipeline, conversion rates, revenue forecasts, and goals.” said Daniel Murray, Founder of The Marketing Millennial. “Revenue is a team game.”

Join Other Marketers At The Revenue Table In 2024

Are you ready to claim your seat at the revenue table this year? So are other members of the M2 Community.

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Join the exclusive community for advanced marketers only designed to help you:

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Apply today – we can't wait to see all that you accomplish in 2024!

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