Research Strongly Supports Shifting to a “Converged Growth,” B2B Go-to-Market Organizational Model, Led by a Chief Growth Officer

My most recent blog posts have proposed a new approach for B2B go-to-market teams — a Converged Growth organizational model.  This new organizational model represents a complete rethink of traditional B2B sales, marketing and customer service roles, with blended teams, organized around stewardship of customer journey phases.  The approach is to operationalize go-to-market around customer lifecycle.  The objective is to do so in a way that directly optimizes growth.

The critical question:  What is the benefit of operationalizing in this way?  What is the benefit of driving this type of transformation?  What’s wrong with the status quo of siloed teams and random acts of sales and marketing?

The research supporting the shift to a Converged Growth model, led by a Chief Growth Officer, is significant:

  • Gartner: “B2B organizations that unify commercial strategies and leverage multithreaded commercial engagements will realize revenue growth that outperforms their competition by 50%.”
  • Forrester: “Organisations [sic] that are pivoting and turning the focus of their operations, technology and go-to market messaging to centre [sic] on the customer are twice as successful, and they enjoy longer customer retention, higher brand recognition, and even improved employee retention.”

Moreover, rationalizing and optimizing go-to-market resources against growth improves alignment of sales, marketing and customer service with critical corporate goals:

  • Vista Equity Partners: “53% of CEOs cite growth as a top business priority, ahead of profitability, customers and product improvements”

The benefits expand as we dig into some of the underlying elements required for go-to-market transformation.

Closing Gaps Between Sales, Marketing and Customer Service – Pre-Sale and Post-Sale

Companies generate tremendous waste by having sales, marketing and customer service teams that are not only not coordinated, but that are at odds in their objectives and programs.  Thus, alignment is more critical than ever.  It’s not ‘static’ alignment, but rather, ‘dynamic’ alignment that’s required.  Too often organizations simply focus on the linear ‘hand-offs’ and ‘SLAs’ — literally encouraging these teams to avoid working together.  Rather, alignment should be about driving collaboration and adaptation to customer information and support needs, pre- and post-sale, and this requires orientation around customer stages, segmented by core personas.

The research supports this approach and speaks to the significant benefits to customer lifetime value:

  • MarketingProfs: “[O]rganizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing functions experience 36% higher customer retention rates and 38% higher sales win rates.”
  • Forrester: “[O]rganisations [sic] that successfully align these three core functions report 19% faster growth and 15% greater profitability than their less integrated peers.”
  • Forrester: “Organizations that align their revenue engine pre- and post-sale grow faster and more profitably than those that aren’t aligned.”
  • Content Marketing Institute: 58% of “high-alignment” sales and marketing organizations use buyer personas to align sales and marketing

Nurturing Holistically – Cross-Channel, Cross-Team and Cross-Buying Stage

Customers’ greatest frustrations occur when there are disconnects between touch points — such as marketing emails and sales/service conversations that seem at odds.  This results from a.) lack of awareness of a customer’s buying stage and needs and b.) failure to orchestrate interactions across sales, marketing and customer service.

The research shows that when organizations take a converged approach to process, organization and technology, they are able to change this dynamic — ‘nurturing holistically’:

  • Prophet / Altimeter: “The benefits of collaboration are high. Consider the enormous investment marketing teams have made in technology, data, and skills development. Much of that investment can be leveraged by sales to digitize selling. By sharing the same data, enablement tools and customer experience platforms, costs can be reduced, and effectiveness increased, as near-real-time decisions can be used to nurture leads and provide the intelligence needed to up-sell, cross-sell and re-sell.”
  • Velocity Partners: “A salesperson in a converged world can respond directly, instantly and intelligently to people wherever they are in the ‘lead-customer-funnel-journey-pipe-cycle’.”
  • Velocity Partners: “Converged marketing can create and target micro-segments based on sales and service engagements, not just marketing ones.”

Unifying Growth Insights + Systems

The core of a Converged Growth go-to-market organization is a defined, underlying customer journey and real-time telemetry underpinning the understanding of and optimization around this journey.

The research — some of it rooted in the now-aging ‘revenue operations’ concept — speaks to the benefit of working off of a converged base of systems, data and insights:

  • Forrester: “The results of our study showed that when they executed it well, organizations that deployed revenue ops in some form grew revenue nearly three times faster than those that didn’t. Public companies with revenue ops also had 71% higher stock performance.”
  • Velocity Partners: “The Great Convergence of customer-facing disciplines means that each discipline can do two things with increasing degrees of frequency, accuracy and ease:
    • “They can listen to and learn from all the interactions that take place under the stewardship of the other two (as well as their own).
    • “They can share data with and send signals to the people in the other two disciplines, so they can listen harder and learn faster, too.
  • Prophet / Altimeter: “Sales’ digital transformation will rely on new levels of trust among sales teams for the data and tools they use to navigate digital selling. This trust is lacking among the average digital seller, but high among top performers.”

Unifying Leadership Under a Chief Growth Officer

One of the most significant shifts of the move to a Converged Growth organization is the elimination of traditional, siloed sales and marketing leadership roles.  Instead, the organization sits under a Chief Growth Officer.

The research shows that this move — and this new role — are seeing a significant uptick; moreover, organizations are seeing significant benefits in this reorganization step:

  • Vista Equity Partners: “CGOs are increasingly tasked with responsibilities that transcend existing departments.”
  • Vista Equity Partners: “By dismantling silos, a CGO can align a company for future growth and departments can create a seamless customer experience. With more open communication, transparency and flexibility can flourish …”
  • LinkedIn: “Having an understanding of what a customer wants, building trust with them and listening to their needs are vital skills of a CGO. Taking this further, a CGO must be able to examine if the business is capable of delivering on the [customer] need and if not adjust strategies accordingly. This work helps with both customer acquisition and long-term retention.”
  • LinkedIn: “[T]he role of Chief Growth Officer has increased by 37%.  Blending the expertise of marketing, sales, product development and finance, the Chief Growth Officer helps businesses achieve their strategic objectives.

Transforming Your Go-to-Market Organization

How can you take the next step in your transformation towards a Converged Growth B2B go-to-market organization?

Here are several, key content pieces that address different elements of growth strategy and go-to-market transformation that will help you think through your approach:

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