Smarter GTM

Hitting a BIG Number by Building a Great Culture

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October 18, 2022

3 mins read

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Hitting a BIG Number by Building a Great Culture

You’ve got a big number to hit by quarter end. It can feel impossible. I know. 

I’ve been there, as a former sales exec and CRO. In fact, as the CEO of Demandbase, I still stare down intimidating goals every day and lead our teams to do the same. 

So what’s my secret? Here’s what I tell our marketing and sales teams.   

#1. It’s about you

As a sales or marketing leader, focus on growing yourself and your people, and the results will follow. Build strong habits. Learn from top performers. Continually hone your skills. You, your sellers, and marketers will have more fulfilling and successful careers, and you’ll reach — even exceed — your goals.

It’s so much more motivating and effective than constantly focusing on hit the number, hit the number, hit the number.

 #2. It’s about owning your number

I know, it sounds like I’m contradicting myself. But there’s an important, subtle difference here. Pounding on the number — essentially micromanaging to it — is a fast track to discouragement. You suck the life out of the very people you need to bring all their best talent, experience, and passion to the job. 

On the other hand, when you encourage someone to own their number, it has the opposite effect. They take the reins and it gives them the freedom to find their own best way to achieve it. My role as a leader is simply to hold them accountable. 

Again, that may sound a lot like pounding them to make the number, but here’s what I mean: 

  • I expect them to do what they say they’ll do.
  • I encourage them to try things, measure, see what’s working, and do more of that.
  • And when they miss a goal or milestone — as we all do — I expect them to dig in and discover why it happened. More importantly, I want to hear how they’re going to course correct.

I’m a big believer in competing against yourself and making incremental improvements. If you’ve got to improve by 25% by quarter-end, challenge yourself to improve just 2% each week. That’s all it takes. 

#3. Be the poster child for sales and marketing alignment

Now imagine the impact to your bottom line if you could make incremental improvements all the way down your funnel. 

How? Turn your marketing and sales teams into dance partners. Each has a role, but they perform their best when moving in lock-step, creating one orchestrated motion. 

How do you get there? There are dozens of things you can do. Here are my top three:

  • Collaborate on tiering. Decide together which accounts belong in each of your tiers and agree on entitlements for every level — how much you’ll spend and what each account gets. 
  • Campaign together. Campaigns are not just for marketing. Every campaign should have a marketing and sales component. It makes no sense for marketing to generate leads and opportunities, unless sales is in the loop and prepared to follow up.  
  • Commit to a focus area. If you’re entering a new market or have a section of your funnel that needs shoring up, focus together on that. At Demandbase, we do two week sprints on whatever the focus is. It could be going after a new persona, booking more meetings, or converting more pipeline to closed-won deals. 

And for my team, I throw in a fourth: Be the best users of our own products. We don’t just sell Smarter GTM™, we live it. It’s how we align sales and marketing and hit our big numbers.  

What other go-to-market topics would you like to hear about? Email Gabe with your ideas. 


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Gabe Rogol

CEO, Demandbase

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