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We Talked About Revenue Alignment for 3 Years – Nobody Cared

The idea makes perfect sense: 

Alignment of Marketing, SDR, Sales, RevOps, and Customer Success into a revenue machine, creating predictable pipeline and sales for the company. 

In theory, it’s Revenue Nirvana.  

Everyone works together as a team, in one cohesive unit. 

With the advent of online CRMs, Marketing Automation, Sales Engagement Platforms etc, everything from the top of the funnel to the bottom can be measured and managed. 

The entire funnel can be put under a microscope. 

[The new term is GTM Alignment but it’s essentially the same thing.]

For a while, it seemed the “CRO” was supposed to be across the whole cycle – from pipeline to revenue. Aligning it all to maximize potential, eliminate waste, and find GTM hypergrowth. 

Then, it became RevOps.  Then, ABM, and now GTM. 

But still, there was very little alignment, mostly proclamations and then, simply going back to the status quo. 

In our Advisory practice at Tenbound, we work directly with Marketing, SDR, and Sales teams and Executives to help increase their pipeline and revenue. 

A few years ago boiled down that, despite all the big talk, the silos that still exist between parts of the revenue engine are the problem.  

That’s right, the old silos are still there and they prevent alignment from happening. 

In seeing it over and over with hundreds of clients, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out. 

Why did the theory of Alignment never actually happen? 

Two words: goal setting. 

Yes, goal setting. 

Each of the departments has different goals. 

Although people theoretically believe in the idea of Revenue Alignment, in actual practice, the way that people are paid is different, and the way that people are reviewed on their performance reviews is different, the way people are managed is different, across all these teams. 

Marketing is goaled differently than SDRs, who are goaled differently from Sales, who are goaled differently than Customer Success. And of course, they have different goals than Executives. 

Plus, they are all paid differently. 

You can have all the meetings in the world to talk about Revenue Alignment, you can get everybody on the same page, once you go back to your desk, you just start working on the priorities that you’ve made already with your boss. And will get you to your financial and career goals. 

Revenue Alignment becomes just sort of an abstract concept. Even though there’s one funnel or one flywheel, and that’s a generally accepted terminology, in practice, it doesn’t exist at most companies. 

And, at Tenbound we’ve tried to introduce the concept and explain what the problem is. Everyone is very polite and listens, however, there is no leader to run the program, and nobody wants to step up and lead it. 

We all know, if there are 2-3 leaders (CMO, CRO, RevOps,? ), there ends up being no leader. The initiative dies. 

People will always move toward their own goals and objectives, versus an abstract concept that could potentially be more helpful to the company because they get a better return on their investment. 

Perhaps more importantly, it could be dangerous politically to stick your neck out to lead an alignment initiative, where you have to work across dotted lines and if it fails, you could be in trouble. It’s not worth it. 

[Ironically, the company doesn’t have different goals depending on who works at what job. It’s all one conversation in the board room: Pipeline, Revenue, Conversion rates.]

The news is not all doom and gloom, some companies are actually doing this at a high level. And they are crushing it, driving better pipeline and revenue performance, and saving a ton of time and money in the process. 

For an example of companies doing Revenue Alignment successfully, check out Travis Henry and Hillary Carpio’s description of the Busting Silos book here 

If you know of any others, please leave a comment. 

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