By Josh Baez, Client Engagement Manager at Heinz Marketing

The following blog post was written based on new research from Heinz Marketing and 6Sense. Click here to access the full research report.

Every company strives to not only grow revenue, but to grow it predictably. Yet creating a predictable revenue growth engine is no small task, nor is it one that can be done overnight. But even if your company failed to meet its revenue goals last year, you’re not alone—

Our research found that 80% of companies failed to exceed revenue goals in 2019 and 38% of companies didn’t meet at least 90% of their goals.

Sales and marketing leaders seeking to improve revenue generation typically start by examining their channel mixes, tool sets, dashboards, and strategies, but what’s often lost is arguably the most important part of any go-to-market plan: the customer experience.

A buyer’s experience with your brand spans from their first touchpoint with marketing all the way through to customer success, renewals, and up-sells; and it doesn’t end with just a single individual from a single company. Organizations that focus on the customer experience understand there are 10 or more people involved in a purchase decision—and each member of that buying committee must be continually engaged in a meaningful way. Therefore, a thoughtful, comprehensive experience enables deeper engagement, accelerated decision making, and increased customer loyalty across the entire account.

So whether your demand generation strategy is oriented around lead generation, account-based marketing, or a blend of the two, the key question is whether you’re delivering value that drives meaningful engagement throughout the customer journey.

In the new research report from 6Sense and Heinz Marketing, we uncover the key inhibitors organizations today face as they seek to engage customers and predictably grow revenue, and also offer insights on how sales and marketing leaders can work to overcome them.

You can access all of our findings in our new report here, or keep scrolling for a preview 👇

Four Key Challenges that Inhibit Predictable Revenue Growth

Our research was designed to uncover the tools, tactics, and strategies that organizations today leverage to engage customer buying teams and build predictable revenue growth engines—and to understand the level of success organizations have with those approaches. Four key trends emerged as we analyzed the results.

The (Mis)alignment of Sales and Marketing

Most sales and marketing teams rely on different datasets, work in different platforms, and track different metrics to measure success, making it nearly impossible to coordinate engagement with the right accounts throughout the customer journey. Specifically, organizations must work to address:

  • Misaligned metrics of success between sales and marketing
  • A severe lack of cross-functional coordination
  • Growing disagreement over target accounts

50% of those surveyed only “somewhat agree” or “don’t agree at all” on their target account list.

Insufficient Demand Generation

Marketing continually works to fill the funnel, but goals typically grow faster than budgets. And even companies that have adopted an ABM or account-driven strategy often struggle to meet demand generation goals because they simply don’t have visibility into the full-funnel picture. Three of the biggest roadblocks that persist in typical demand generation programs are:

  • Email being seen (and used) as a necessary evil even when it doesn’t generate results
  • Increasingly apparent content experience gaps
  • An over-reliance on gates and forms that hinder the engagement experience

1 in 3 organizations believe content is the most valuable way to generate demand, yet only 48% of all respondents can deliver personalized content experiences and even fewer (45%) have a content hub on their website.

Ineffective Prioritization of Resources

Salespeople often spend too much time working junk leads and static lists of accounts that aren’t ready to close—or that are too far into the buying process to influence. And at the same time, marketing spends too much budget and effort on campaigns and events that don’t deliver the results the organization needs. This lack of priority is most clearly demonstrated in:

  • Target account selection, where companies opt to be more ad hoc in how they select target accounts rather than a strategic and proactive
  • Insufficient tech stacks that are too bloated, too complex, too expensive, or all of the above
  • Lead-based marketing where marketing teams are focused more on the quantity of leads rather than the quality
  • A lackluster experience that hinders accelerated or meaningful engagement

Nearly 60% of account-driven organizations are still most focused on generating leads (MQLs or SQLs) despite the paramount role an ABM strategy plays in their marketing mix.

Inability to Engage the Right Buyers At-Scale

Digital marketing teams continue to struggle to target the best accounts and orchestrate consistent, engaging experiences across channels that meet their ideal buyers where they are on the customer journey. At the same time, sales teams lack the account data and territory alignment they need to engage the best accounts. Three of the biggest challenges organizations must overcome in this area are:

  • The challenge of ABM and go-to-market orchestration
  • Addressing the overall lack of account-level insights
  • Gaining better visibility into the engagement level of their target accounts

9 in 10 account-driven organizations say orchestrating their ABM program across multiple channels and tools is challenging. Further, over 1 in 3 account-driven organizations don’t know which messages will best engage target accounts, what channels to reach them through, or which accounts to prioritize in the first place.

Final Thoughts

To be account-driven is more than a directive—it’s an entire mindset focused on the bigger picture of the account as well as the entire experience that account has in the buyer’s journey. For organizations to truly reap the rewards of an account-driven program, more needs to be done to ensure that sales and marketing are aligned on the metrics and focus areas that are most important to drive.

To read more about the challenges, opportunities, and best practices of predictable revenue growth, access the full report here.

And, for more on how best-in-class companies deliver predictable revenue growth, reserve your spot for the April 7, 2020 webinar, The State of Predictable Revenue Growth (and the Common Inhibitors to Achieving It).