Jason Lemkin's Thoughts on Marketing can Change the Game for B2B Marketers

Sangram here. We had a blast at the #FlipMyFunnel conference in San Fran and you can check out all the buzz on Twitter with #FlipMyFunnel!  It was fascinating to meet and have a live “fireside” chat with Jason Lemkin, Jill Rowley, and Matt Heinz at the #FlipMyFunnel conference. These guys are the rockstars of SaaS Venture world, Sales, and Marketing respectively. If you don’t know anyone of them, I’d suggest to look them up and follow them.

I will write up on the entire chat in a week’s time when the video recording is released; but until then, I wanted to write about a couple of Jason’s points that made all of us who were listening in and the social feed go wild. I am going to go off my memory here, as it’s pretty fresh in mind, as this is something I really want to share with everyone.  

Jason’s response to the following two questions are game changing for B2B Marketers across startups and enterprises.   

Q1: Should marketers have revenue goals?  
Jason’s response: CMOs MUST have revenue goals. Not should, MUST!  

That’s game changing.  The underlining point that Jason made was if marketers don’t have revenue goals, they probably don’t need to be working for that company. His investments are with companies that have a transparent and super clear vision on what every key executive role is and the goals that are in the organization. Of course, it’s been talked about quite a bit lately for B2B Marketers to have revenue goals but I haven’t heard a VC talk about with so much passion and clarity. Since the #FlipMyFunnel conference was focused on marketers, we had to dig deeper. 

Q2 – So, should the Marketers get a commission check?    
Jason’s response: Resounding “yes,” which again made every marketer in the room perk up and wonder what that means.

We delved deeper on the specifics and discussed that of course; the Sales Commission will be a lot higher than the Marketers. But this will give the marketer the due credit that has been missing. If marketers meet their revenue goal, then you now have one cog of the wheel working, and now you can optimize the other cogs.  Just like the Sales leader, the CMO is doing what he/she is signing up for – meeting their revenue targets. Jason made a point talking about how B2C marketers always have clear goals, so why not B2B? The devil is in the details on how the commission structure would work and we had a healthy debate on it but the fact that one would think that B2B Marketers should get a commission is not something you hear every day. 

To me, these two thoughts are incredibly honest and game changing for B2B Marketers. Being a marketer at heart, I always wondered how VC’s thought of the Marketing role in the organization, especially in startups as I am the co-founder and CMO of Terminus, an Account-Based Marketing Platform.

My hope with this short post is that these thoughts from the fireside chat and candid responses from Jason should start a healthy debate in the marketing word on the following three topics:

  1. Role of the CMO 
  2. Goal/Target of a B2B Marketing Organization
  3. Sales like compensation for B2B Marketers when they hit revenue goals  

What are your thoughts? Should Marketers get a commission check and have revenue targets? How would you measure it and please share any ideas on a fair commission structure? 

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