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The senior VP of marketing at a successful global technology company recently held her fiscal year 2016 planning meeting at a rustic, isolated hotel in the mountains, keeping the focus on business, not pleasure, for her senior global marketing team.

Her intention was to center all of their B2B marketing efforts on performance rather than activities, outcomes rather than deliverables.

As the team settled in for the first session, her VP of US marketing asked: "What should we use as guidelines for making decisions about priorities?"

After that question, the rest of the agenda was shelved, and they spent the entire day trying to create a consistent framework to help make the choices for every decision based on the performance and outcomes strategy.

What are those guidelines for making choices and setting priorities in your marketing organization?

To achieve success in 2016, these are the most important questions for marketers to ask:

  1. What are the reasons our sales teams lose deals they should have won?
  2. What key value do we deliver that sets us apart from the competition?
  3. What are the driving motivators behind the decisions that our customers make?

1. Why do we lose?

At a marketing conference recently, I asked the attendees (marketing directors and higher-ups from large companies) to tell the rest of the audience what the No. 1 reason was for sales losses at their company—specifically, deals that they should have won, not deals for which they did not have a good solution. A surprising number of marketing leaders didn't know the answer.

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image of Gavin Finn

Gavin Finn is president and CEO of Kaon Interactive, a provider of interactive 3D marketing and sales applications that help B2B marketers and salespeople consistently demonstrate and differentiate products.

LinkedIn: Gavin Finn