Marketing teams come in all shapes and sizes. At IMPACT, we have an 11-person marketing team and a two-person sales team. Meanwhile, one of our clients has 150 sales reps and only three marketers.
Having worked with literally thousands of sales and marketing teams over the course of the last decade, I fully understand that there is no one-size-fits-all template for building a perfect sales and marketing team.
Still, that’s what I’m going to do below — and I’m going to limit myself to seven employees.
If I had to start from scratch and build a team of seven that was balanced and forward-thinking, this is how I’d do it.
In the article that follows, I’ll start off by providing some rationale for my choices, then describe what each role looks like, after which I’ll explain how you can build the ultimate revenue team for your organization. It will break down like this:
- Why I would build the team I’m envisioning.
- Who is on the team and why.
- How you can build the ultimate revenue team.
Ready to see what I’m envisioning? Let’s start building our perfect team!
Why the perfect team looks different today than it did 5 years ago
We all know that the buying landscape is changing. The COVID pandemic put a lot of those changes into overdrive. One of the biggest things I’ve watched develop is this: The modern buying experience has become even more touchless.
According to a recent study from Gartner, 33% of all buyers would prefer an entirely “sales-free” sales experience. For millennials, it’s even higher: 44%.
Think about that for a second. At least a third of your buyers would prefer not to talk to your sales team at all. They want to be able to purchase exactly what they want without any contact with a sales rep.
This statistic does not stand alone. It feels like every day I read something new about how more and more of the buying process is happening according to the customer’s preferences.
But this doesn’t mean that sales pros have been rendered irrelevant. Instead, it means you need to retrain and redeploy them to better serve your buyers.
More than ever, it is marketing materials that are getting prospects close to a purchase: ebooks, videos, articles, emails, webinars, and more.
If sales and marketing are not in lockstep, the result is a disjointed process that will throw off your buyers.
As a result, you need a blended revenue team that’s aligned top to bottom. And that’s what I’m setting up to build.
Building the perfect 7-person sales and marketing team
If you forced me to create a sales and marketing department in 2023 with only seven employees, here’s exactly how I’d design the team, with corresponding job descriptions:
- Head of Marketing: This person will manage the marketing team and oversee the strategy for all content (written, video, social media). This person is tech-savvy, proficient with data and tools like HubSpot, and is a liaison with the sales team.
The head of marketing is a member of the leadership team.
- Content Manager: The content manager produces two or three educational articles per week that go on the company blog (and get organized in a learning center). This person oversees much of the website copy, helps produce social content, runs point on emails and newsletters as needed, and meets with the company’s subject matter experts to continually take their knowledge and expertise and get it up on the website. Your content manager needs to be a great writer.
- Videographer: Your videographer is a natural storyteller who sees everything the company does as a potential video. This person produces two educational videos per week that go on the company website and in the learning center (and also on YouTube).
The videographer coaches team members to get them to be more comfortable and proficient on camera. This person is outgoing, social, and creative.
- Sales Manager/Trainer: This person is a manager and trainer first — not just someone who was good at selling and moved up the ladder. Your sales manager is a master at effective 1-on-1s and continually works to help the sales team catch the vision of what great digital selling should look like.
The sales manager reviews a number of sales call recordings each week and is constantly helping the team to improve the “little things” that will make them more effective. The sales manager understands the importance of the CRM, but doesn’t allow too much data entry to deter from a salesperson’s job.
This person is a master at incisive, high-caring language, and is highly organized.
- Sales Person #1 (The Champion): “The champion” is a high performer who is willing to try new things and is obsessed with personal development. This person is so unrelenting when it comes to personal and professional development that everyone else on the team is literally lifted up and motivated by being on the same team.
This salesperson is successful with new tools and techniques (like video selling, for example), and inspires others to be willing try new things and embrace change.
- Sales Person #2 (The Expert): Your second sales rep is “the expert” when it comes to product knowledge. For this reason, this person is the go-to resource for the marketing team when they have questions about content, or need a video. This person also fields the calls from other sales team members when they need a quick answer.
- Sales Person #3 (The Analyst): This is the salesperson with an incredibly organized brain who finds ways to systematize everything. This person naturally brings order to chaos, which makes everything run more smoothly. This means improved CRM use, better systems and processes, and new systems for meeting and sharing information.
The unique needs of your team might mean you need another content writer, a social media manager, additional sales reps, a HubSpot administrator, a website specialist, or another position. But these are my seven. And I feel good about my choices.
How you can build the ultimate sales and marketing team
As I said before, every team is different. But across a wide range of industries and business models, this is the team I’d recommend. There are a few reasons why:
Marketing sits on the leadership team: This is critical for elevating marketing to its rightful place, considering the influence it has on your customers.
A heavy focus on content: You have two full-time employees whose primary job is content creation — both written and video. What’s more, you have a sales team liaison ready to help with answers when needed. You can’t get found without content, and the surest way to make sure this happens is with a steady stream of content and a solid strategy. This team structure guarantees both.
Your sales team is focused on innovation: Too often, sales teams resist change and cling tightly to the old way of doing things. The team I built is hungry for improvement and efficiency. Their skill sets complement each other, resulting in an incubator for great ideas, healthy competition, and camaraderie.
Want to build a team that’s equally effective?
- Audit your customer experience, paying close attention to marketing and sales. Is it smooth, seamless, and focused on education? Can your site visitors find what they need to become customers? Do your sales reps serve as trusted advisors or as pushy, sell-at-all-costs adversaries?
- Invite your team to take our free Inbound Assessment. Bring together everyone to compare your scores. See where there is alignment and discrepancy. Use this to chart a path forward.
- Celebrate small wins and innovation. In healthy company cultures, new ideas are welcomed and cherished. In unhealthy cultures, teams cling to a “that’s how we’ve always done things” mindset that inhibits growth. As a business leader, you can start the change by modeling a new mindset. Keep in mind, you don’t have to wait for earth-shattering events to shout people out. When someone has a fresh idea at a meeting, recognize it and use their name. Got to 500 (or 50,000) website visitors this month? Applaud the people who got you there.
- Use natural attrition as a chance to shake things up. Chances are, you don’t need to fire people to build a better team. When people get promoted or move on to new opportunities, use that as an opportunity to hire for the culture you’re building. Make it clear in the hiring process exactly what you’re looking for.
- Expand your team intentionally. If you want to embrace video at your organization, you need a professional who can own it. If video is something you only do when you contract an outside production company, it will never get off the ground. You’ll end up with beautiful, expensive videos that quickly become obsolete the minute you change your pricing or update your services.
Instead, hire a hungry, ambitious pro who can be your storyteller. While you might balk at the salary costs up front, I promise you in a year or two you’ll wonder how you ever did without that person.
The same thing is true with written content. If content creation gets added to someone’s already full plate, it will fizzle out or the person will burn out and quit. Having a great writer on staff is, to me, a no-brainer. The amount of value that person will bring will astound you.
Building a dream team takes work
Building a dream team is never as easy as I make it sound in this article. Most of us are not starting from scratch with a crystal clear vision of what we want.
So, remember that a dream team is always a work in progress. It takes a clear vision, great management, healthy culture, generous compensation, and more.
But this is my vision for a perfect sales and marketing team in 2023. If you’ve got a different one, I’d love to hear from you! Drop me a line on LinkedIn and let me know your thoughts!