The Basics of Revenue Marketing

(with Yaagneshwaran Ganesh)


Yaagneshwaran Ganesh, popularly known as Yaag, is an award-winning marketer, author, podcaster, and TEDx speaker. He is the director of marketing at Avoma and the podcast host of The ABM Conversations Podcast. He is also a best-selling author of eight books including The Revenue Marketing Book.

In today’s episode, we’re going to discuss revenue marketing and how we can implement it in our businesses.

Key Takeaways

We will cover the following key takeaways:

  1. Revenue marketing focuses more on profit and the end goal, than expenses and short-term goals.
  2. To implement revenue marketing, we can use the GAME framework: gather, agree, map, and execute.
  3. Our sales and marketing teams should be aligned before we begin to execute anything.
  4. There is a power in imperfection.

What is Revenue Marketing?

Often, marketing becomes a department that is more expense orientated. When we look at the automation tools, many aren’t about tracking a new opportunity, but looking for a way to reduce costs. Revenue marketing is a method that focuses more on profit than it does with expenses.

“[Marketing] needs to at least lead to something that will eventually lead to revenue,” Yaag said. “That’s where the logic of revenue marketing comes from. . . . It’s about doing a set of things that make sense to the bottom line, or at least the top line of the organization.”

Marketing needs to have a method. The outcome may not be exact, but it needs to be measurable and lead to revenue. Instead of tossing all of our leads to the sales team immediately, we should wait until the lead becomes interested in buying.

Yaag often sees marketing teams that will hand off a lead to the sales team as soon as someone downloads an ebook or other online product. But, the lead only just got introduced to our brand and so they don’t find any value with the sales team. When this happens, we typically lose the lead and end up with friction between the marketing and sales teams.

“It’s not just about sending a contact, but making sure that these guys have a need for your product,” Yaag said. “You have to make sure that the set of things that you are putting your time on, give some results to the organization.”

Rather than only focusing on reducing our costs and sending off leads to the sales team as fast as we can, we should implement revenue marketing and focus on making a profit. We should focus on the bigger picture. For example, we shouldn’t design content only to get a lead. We should also design content to sell to a lead. The ads we run should also be created with the purpose to sell, not just to get an email.

“If it’s going to at least generate interest from the right kind of people towards your organization, does it [also] add value to the entire process? That is where revenue marketing comes in,” Yaag said.

The Revenue Marketing Framework

To implement revenue marketing, Yaag likes to use the GAME model or framework. GAME stands for gather, agree, map, and execute. If we want to have the most success, we should make sure everyone in our company or organization is on the same page and working towards the same goal. This is true, especially for the sales and marketing teams.

“Sales and marketing teams tend to have different goals,” Yaag said. “What happens is, sales teams have their own set of goals. [But] the way marketing aligns with sales, if it’s not contributing to the ad mark, they are not going to see value in what marketing offers,” Yaag said.

For example, if we’re working with the sales team to reach a set of accounts, we should sit down with them and ask questions. What kinds of accounts are working out for them? The great thing is, the sales team likely knows this information off the top of their head so we don’t have to use CRM and data to try and figure it out. We don’t have to waste time and money trying to learn something our other team members already know.

Once we know who our target clients or customers are, we can begin mapping out our processes. We can ask questions like: Should I send out emails to these people? Do I create ads on specific platforms or do I create content? What do we do once we connect with someone for the first time? When does the conversation happen? What should be our first selling point?

After we have the same clear goals and objectives, things will begin to run a lot more smoothly. If we are targeting the same people, we can make sure our sales team is getting the right contact instead of dead leads. We can also make the journey as easy and seamless for the customer as possible.

“You establish a baseline, and then start working towards it. This is a broad outline as to where we need to be. But at specific levels, if you go down deep, then it’s going to boil down to the people, process, technology, and everything that enables this entire process,” Yaag said.

The biggest mistake we can make is to have misalignment between our teams. When we aren’t aligned, we often end up spending money in places that are not working or optimizing. Before we do anything we should gather, agree, map, and then execute.

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One of the easiest and most effective tools we can use to help our teams stay aligned and organized is Google Sheets. This tool is simple to use and can be shared and edited by everyone. Most of our team members will already have experience using this tool so we don’t have to spend extra time training anyone on how to use it.

We can also look at using the following tools Yaag suggested:

  • Google Ads
  • HubSpot
  • Marketo
  • Active Campaign

There are thousands of tools available, we just have to decide what will work more effectively for our team and our core objectives. However, we shouldn’t focus too much on tools. Yaag said revenue marketing “is not very tool heavy. It’s more people and process heavy and then tools come in to fill in the gaps.”

The Power of Imperfection

In today’s episode, we also discussed the power of imperfection.

When we’re presenting, creating a video, or talking to people, we don’t want to use a lot of filler words such as “like,” “um,” “and,” etc. If we use too many, it will seem like we are nervous or unprepared. However, we also don’t want to use too little.

Yaag did some research and found that if somebody had absolutely no filler words in their conversation, it felt too robotic and rehearsed. They discovered that to establish the most trust in a conversation, about 2% of filler words is ideal. We should have a certain percent of imperfection in order to seem real and authentic. No one is perfect and if we claim we are, there is a chance people won’t trust us as much.

So often we feel that we have to be perfect. We have to have the perfect lighting and the perfect makeup and the perfect backdrop before we ever film anything and I believe that’s just not true. That’s not what our audiences want. When we do that, we actually take away from the authenticity and the power of the message we’re trying to share. We shouldn’t worry too much about getting the perfect backdrop or perfect hair. There is a power that comes from the authenticity of capturing a moment.

“At the end, if people are able to connect with you in real time, if you’re getting 5–10 minutes to spend with that person, and if they feel like they’re talking to a real person, that makes a lot of sense,” Yaag said.

Connect with Yaag

Thank you so much Yaag for sharing your stories and insights with us today. To learn more about or connect with Yaag:

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Nathan Gwilliam helps entrepreneurs and digital marketers transform into better digital monetizers with revolutionary marketing and monetization strategies.