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What Is Revenue Marketing? Explaining the Science of Sales-Driven Marketing

Is revenue your end goal when you do marketing? If the answer is no, then take a step back and re-think this mindset. 

Business growth is mainly driven by revenue. If you don’t plan around revenue, you’re setting up your marketing strategy for failure. 

Today’s successful businesses have made one change. They’ve reduced the friction between sales and marketing. They know that these two teams have to work together to move the needle. 

How does that work?

Simple, by holding both teams accountable for the sales pipeline. This new practice is the core of revenue marketing.

Companies with shared revenue goals belong to the 67% who get good at closing deals and generating more transactions. 

It’s sad, though, as only 8% of companies have good sales and marketing alignment.

So if you’re here, it means that revenue marketing interests you. 

Our goal with this post is to re-code the DNA of your marketing by explaining the concept of “revenue marketing” in as much detail as possible.

We’re going to talk about:

  • The basics of revenue marketing.
  • Turning your department into a revenue data-driven business unit.
  • Framing you as a revenue partner instead of a sales support.
  • Being the revenue predictors than event organizers.

Ready? Let’s go!

What is revenue marketing?  

In 2010, Dr. Debbie Qaqish coined the term “revenue marketing”. It started from the simple question, What are you going to do about revenue?

She defined revenue marketing as:

The strategy that transforms marketing from a cost center to a revenue center.

So if we adopt the definition, does that mean that the marketing department turns into a revenue-generating machine? 

Exactly, but it’s not simple as reorganizing your team members or releasing a new marketing campaign. 

It takes your marketing and sales teams to work together: eliminating silos, openly sharing ideas, passing on feedback, smart ownership of martech stacks, and talking to customers.

“Transforming marketing from a cost center to a repeatable, predictable and scalable revenue machine by building a digital transformation foundation and accelerating the journey with customer-centricity.”

Dr. Debbie Qaqish

Revenue marketing is a revenue-driven approach to marketing and sales that aligns both departments on a common goal. 

Revenue marketing is when:

  • Marketers accelerate the sales process by passing sales-ready leads into the sales funnel.
  • Everybody is aware of the metrics that actually matter, like tracked leads, conversions, and customer lifetime value.
  • Marketing and sales work together to attract high-quality leads but only allow the right fit ones to go down to the bottom of the funnel.
  • Marketers are responsible for driving repeatable, predictable, and scalable (RPS) revenue performance.

Is revenue marketing important?

In traditional businesses, a sales representative tries to close a deal with someone they barely know, usually through telemarketing or cold emailing.

Most businesses today do not run on this model.

Revenue marketing is crucial because the majority of buyers today only talk to your sales department when 70% of their decisions have already been made.

In other words, in most companies, the marketing-owned part of the customer journey has a bigger impact on the customer’s final decision than the sales-owned (bottom-of-the-funnel) part.

That also means that the sales team doesn’t need to try as hard to close deals. The buyer has already gone through the pre-sales funnel and was strongly influenced by the journey created by the marketing team. 

Since revenue marketing is driven by customer-centricity and the main goal is revenue, it means that the marketing team is involved in the whole customer journey from the very first touchpoint until a deal is closed.

Here’s how it looks in practice:

Traditional Marketing vs. Revenue Marketing funnel diagram

The result of this holistic approach to marketing?

Efficient allocation of marketing budget that has a predictable return of investment (ROI)

Something that every business desires.

Revenue marketers work closely with sales to prevent good leads from falling through the cracks. This results in better conversion rates and more closed deals in less time.

Below are other benefits of revenue marketing. 

  1. It tracks the success of marketing campaigns so you can make necessary adjustments.
  2. It allows businesses to measure the return on investment (ROI) for each marketing activity, helping them allocate resources more efficiently.
  3. It helps you find new customers and retain old ones at the same time.
  4. It allows sales to spend more time on qualified leads and less time on bad leads.
  5. It keeps marketing and sales from working in silos. 

So the question is, “Is your business moving towards revenue marketing?”

The journey to revenue marketing is a long and difficult one. Rarely do companies start as a revenue-driven business. Your business will move through four different stages before reaching the holy grail of revenue marketing. 

In the next chapter, we’ll discuss the four company life stages. Use this information to identify your business’s stage and what you need to do to move to the next stage of the revenue marketing journey.

4 stages towards the revenue marketing journey 

Here are the 4 most common stages that each company goes through on the journey of revenue marketing (inspired by the “Rise of the Revenue Marketing” book):

  1. Traditional Marketing
  2. Demand Generation
  3. Lead Generation
  4. and ultimately, Revenue Marketing
4 Stages Towards Revenue Marketing Journey Diagram

1. Traditional marketing

Characterized by the Four Ps — Product, Promotion, Placement, and Price, traditional marketing involves promoting products and services to a broad audience. The wider your reach, the higher your chances of selling.

Traditional marketers lack insight into the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns.

Key metrics include 

  • number of ads 
  • number of commercial views
  • number of attendees to promotional events 
  • number of visits to a website.

For many companies, a large proportion of the marketing budget represents a blind expenditure. This stage is focused on various vanity metrics that don’t really matter to business executives. 

The marketing department is not concerned with generating leads. A huge gap between marketing and sales exists that makes both teams work on entirely different and, in many cases opposing goals.

2. Demand generation 

The next stage is demand generation.

Demand generation equates to brand awareness. And it’s all about making prospects know you exist. 

It’s how your brand gets noticed and makes people want to know what you do. Generating demand for a new product or service involves inbound marketing tactics like paid ads and content marketing. 

Only this time, there’s a focus on educating prospects on why they need you. When you do it right, you’ll generate more high-quality leads. A popular way to use demand generation is to blog and create helpful resources for your audience.

Here’s a good example:

This blog is a specific resource for SaaS startups looking to build their automation systems. If you’re into eCommerce selling dietary supplements, it’s implausible that you’ll read (or even open) this piece. As the audience of this article is defined, the lead quality is naturally improved. 

At this stage, the marketing team has moved towards attracting the right audience and providing value. However, it’s still not capturing their information or making substantial efforts to qualify the leads.

Read more: Revenue Marketing Vs. Demand Generation: Which one to focus on as a marketer?

3. Lead generation 

Did you know that the average number of times a user visits a website is 2? When they find the information they need, people leave your website. And that might be their last contact with your brand. 

So, what’s your ideal next move when you’ve attracted the right audience?

Capture their contact information and nurture them

Lead generation is about capturing qualified leads and nurturing them into paying customers.

Lead generation is how you boost your qualified leads’ interest in your business through nurturing. Ultimately, you want to convert people into customers by making them feel your product or service is a good fit for them.

Suppose you’re an Encharge potential user. In that case, it’ll be easier to turn your engagement with us into sales opportunities when we tell you that we support 30+ form tools and show you how some of our existing customers use these tools to grow their business. 

Every lead is an opportunity to increase your revenue, so take it seriously. 

At the Lead Generation stage, companies have adopted sales and marketing processes. They’ve started implementing an integration with their CRM and marketing automation tool. A company-wide taxonomy for MQLs (marketing qualified leads) and SQLs (sales qualified leads) has been established, and departments are focused on converting more leads into revenue.

4. Revenue marketing 

The final destination of your marketing journey is revenue marketing. The stage where the revenue attributed to marketing is now accounted for. Ideally, the system should be repeatable, predictable, and scalable (RPS). 

At this stage, marketing is accountable for ROI. This means revenue marketers now work on a “quota” that aligns with sales goals, similar to what salespeople practice. 

Marketing and sales work in perfect synergy. Marketing automation platforms like Encharge are deeply integrated with CRM tools like HubSpot to automate and accelerate the sales process. Generated leads are automatically nurtured, added to the CRM platform, and qualified on the go so that the sales team can focus on the right leads at the right time.

When starting, most digital companies are at the Demand Generation or Lead Generation journey stage. This is an excellent place to be, as you have already developed some processes and alignment between your sales and marketing teams. You are focused on attracting the right leads and nurturing them into customers. 

The next stage is to follow a revenue marketing model and gradually become a revenue-focused company. As we already mentioned, this transition is not an easy one, and it could take a lot of time and iterations until you fully transform into a revenue-driven business.

To help you get on the right track, we’ll share with you the most common revenue marketing frameworks you can adopt.

What are some revenue marketing models today?

The question, “What do we have to do to become revenue marketers?” can be straightforward if you’ve got some path to follow. 

We listed 4 revenue marketing models to help you shift marketing from a place where you spend money to a place where you make money. 

1. The Pedowitz Group RM6 model

This revenue model involves 6 key controls to get you on the revenue marketing road map―Strategy, People, Process, Technology, Content, and Results.

  • Strategy includes all of the elements described in the RM6 model. It defines the alignment of marketing strategies and sales goals, roles, and responsibilities to enable revenue marketing and management at each stage.
  • People are about empowering the collaboration of sales and marketing teams, including a business’s key executives. This also means providing proper training on new tools, systems, and processes.
  • Process involves identifying your current condition and the future state you want to be in. Developing such strategies and tactics must involve sales from the beginning.
  • Technology is the control involving your marketing stack. This includes marketing automation tools such as Encharge, which readily integrates with your CRM. 
  • Content drives your revenue marketing efforts. This control includes understanding the buyer persona, so your messages are compelling. Your content should show solutions that can end their pains.
  • Results are the last control where key metrics and marketing attributes are now analyzed. This assesses how you achieve ROI on your new strategy and proves the predictability of other marketing efforts.

2. Drift’s Clari Revenue Operations Framework

According to Drift, “the right framework in place to guide and prescribe next steps for revenue teams, you’re still introducing elements of unpredictability into your pipeline.” 

They broke the framework into alignment, action, and outcomes.

  • Alignment is when the company’s revenue goals are set by company leaders and shared among the entire organization, especially with the marketing, sales, and CS (customer success) teams. It’s your company’s operating plan.
  • Actions are the steps you take to move customers down the sales funnel. 
  • Outcomes are the results as defined by your organization. They’re the results of product marketing, sales, and CS working together.

3. The GAME Model

Short for Gather, Agree, Map, Execute, this revenue marketing model is a 4-step process for marketing and sales teams to work collaboratively to achieve the customer’s goals and generate revenue.

4. Marketo Model

This is a 6-step framework developed by Marketo. A solid process for marketers to evaluate their campaigns for revenue growth.

You might be asking what the best revenue marketing framework to use is? 

There isn’t a single one-size-fits-all revenue marketing model. Some frameworks like Drift’s involve different departments like the product and CS teams; others like the Marketo 6-step plan primarily focus on marketing. 

We recommend that you go through each approach and discuss some of the available options with your department heads. It is an iterative process, and most likely, you will end up creating your own framework that works best for your business.

Get started with revenue marketing – an action plan

1. Nail down the 3 key elements of every revenue marketing strategy 

Regardless of which revenue marketing model you decide to follow, there are 3 key elements you need to consider: your goal, target audience, and content.

Clear goal

When you create your marketing strategy, you’ve got to tie it to your revenue. The goal that both the marketing and sales team will understand is the revenue. And your metrics should revolve around it. 

Target audience

There’s only one way to make more sales. Maximize your time with people more likely to buy and minimize your time with the others.

This means you need to increase the time sales reps spend speaking with qualified buyers. And reduce the time reps spend speaking with less qualified buyers.

Paint someone close to your ideal customer profile. For this, you can use the popular Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD) framework. Once you get an intimate understanding of the jobs people are hiring your product to do, you’ll be able to find more people who have the same jobs to be done.


Content is the fuel for your revenue marketing journey. The foundation for a successful content program begins with using the buyer’s journey and digital persona.

2. Form your Revenue Marketing team

Now that your journey toward revenue marketing is set, you’ve got to realize that revenue marketing doesn’t belong to one person. You’d need teamwork and the right skills.

A full-fledged revenue marketing team could include:

  • VP of Revenue Marketing – This position is in charge of building the revenue marketing team. And by the time the team starts new campaigns, the VP is responsible for presenting revenue numbers to get buy-in.
  • Business Analyst – As the title suggests, they are responsible for analyzing the business impact of the results. If the system can be further optimized, it’s the analyst’s job to refine the current system in order to maximize revenue.
  • Power User – Implements campaigns, making use of technology as needed.
  • Nurture specialists – This role is responsible for developing a strong relationship with customers over time through digital channels. They’ll need to work with other team members to develop campaigns.
  • Content marketing The content marketer is responsible for creating and delivering content for digital campaigns. This includes inbound and outbound campaigns. They should understand the buyer’s journey to write accordingly.
  • Creative Specialist– This role complements all campaigns around a creative framework that not only attracts attention but also drives online engagement
  • Tele-Qualifying Team – A role exclusive to revenue marketing is being a tele-qualifier. MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads) are then given over to tele-qualifiers who will call them to qualify for BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, and Timing.)

If you are a small or medium-sized business or just starting out with revenue marketing, you won’t be able to fill in all of these roles. As a good starting point, you need a strategy person — someone to organize the whole revenue operation, a content creator — someone to produce content and nurturing materials, and a tech-savvy person to implement your CRM and marketing automation platform.

3. Make sales and marketing work together

This first question should be ― How to identify qualified leads?

Before: Marketing will pass leads to the sales team and disappear. Sales will do follow-ups, but to their dismay, most of the leads from marketing aren’t even qualified.

With revenue marketing: For marketing to generate sales-ready leads, they talk to sales and agree on what a qualified lead is.

You need to consider two simple questions:

  • What are your criteria for a good fit?
  • What activities directly impact sales?

For the first question, let’s create an ICP (ideal customer persona). Good fit leads are the top priority. 

The answer to the next question springs from their readiness to buy and the activities that signify it, like visiting the pricing page, clicking on your email’s CTA, or starting a direct conversation with the sales team.

Your marketing and sales teams need to come together and identify the most meaningful actions. 

Here’s a lead-qualification matrix from Hubspot.

Leads can be broken into 3 types ― sales-ready, unready, and hand-raisers (people who want a sales rep right away). You have a binary choice in terms of the fit, either good or poor. 

Done with identifying qualified leads? 

It’s time to make the sales and marketing teams’ goals complementary to one another so that they work together without competition. 

An agreement to guarantee each other’s output ― marketing promising a certain number of leads to sales, and sales promising to contact those leads within a certain timeframe. 

Here’s a basic example:

Every month, marketing will deliver 1000 qualified leads to sales, and sales will contact each of those leads within 24 hours of receiving it.

Keeping sales and marketing on the same page is key. It doesn’t matter how you try to align your teams — unified goals, shared definitions of leads, an SLA — it’s impossible if you don’t have a way to keep them on track.

This is where regular meetings come in. We call it smarketing (sales+marketing) meetings.

Common agendas of the meeting include:

  • Together, sales and marketing address problems
  • Find solutions for the problem/s
  • Assign tasks to finish before the next meeting

Next is automation.

78% of successful marketers attribute improved revenue to marketing automation. Meaning these tools are your key revenue drivers. 

One example of a marketing automation platform for your sales process is Encharge. You can use the flow builder to visualize your user journey and automatically qualify leads using lead scoring

Its integration with CRM software like HubSpot and Salesforce speeds up your sales by synchronizing user data like forms, emails, and page visits from your website to your CRM, as well as automating repetitive sales tasks. For instance, you can automatically change the deal stage to “Demo scheduled” when a person books a call.

Also, connecting Encharge to a calendaring service like Calendly automates sending confirmation emails to those who booked a meeting (or canceled an appointment).

Ready to start with revenue marketing?

Revenue marketing is all about creating systems that consistently bring in more customers and generates more sales. It will increase your revenue, but you must first bring marketing and sales together ― not just aligned, but in total synergy.

An excellent place to start is to leverage technology to connect these teams.

Unsure where to start, though? Try Encharge, a tool that will help you send relevant emails to the right people at the right time. Get all the data and insights you need to create successful revenue marketing campaigns with marketing and sales.

Try it today to see how you can increase your sales and grow your business.

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