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Will Variable Compensation Improve Sales-Marketing Alignment?

Marketing and Sales have long fought over resources, importance and role within an organizations' revenue pipelines. The marketing team is tasked with creating viable leads for the sales team to close on, but "bad leads" often cause finger pointing between the departments. Low-quality leads are said to be the fault of the marketing team, while unclosed leads are often because of the lack of follow-up by sales team members.

In an attempt to improve productivity (read: revenue), leaders are working hard to achieve true sales-marketing alignment. In a recent video on CRMSoftware.TV (click here), Lauren Carlson sat down with HubSpot’s Kipp Bodar and Silverpop’s Eric Holmen to discuss the issue of measuring marketers performance and compensating them for said performance in a business with sales-marketing alignment.

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Holmen notes that for Marketing to effectively align with sales, product marketing must be measured closely on its ability to generate high-quality sales leads. “Our main metric at Silverpop is called the Silver Number, which is the number that measures the effectiveness of marketing all the way through the sales pipeline,” says Holmen. “Everyone in the marketing and sales organizations are very aware of what our Silver Number is.. is it getting more productive, more efficient and providing better results? Everyone has the ability to influence this."

Holmen notes that this number--a productivity number, not a revenue number, he calls it--is effective in that it’s driven by Marketing and closed by Sales. Holmen goes on to predict that the next generation of marketers will be compensated based on the performance of their efforts to generate quality sales leads.

However, Bodnar notes that compensation for some is more than just money. “A lot of the people I know are in marketing because of those other methods of compensation: satisfaction, enjoyment of what they do...they’re less motivated by money,” says Bodnar. "If they actually had variable compensation, they wouldn’t be as motivated.”

What are your thoughts on measuring performance of marketers ? Can variable compensation positively influence marketing teams? Head on over to CRMSoftware.TV to leave your comments on the video directly.

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