Question

Topic: Strategy

Ratio Of Sales To Marketing Staff

Posted by Anonymous on 1234 Points
Okay corporate marketers, here's the challenge:

In a 50 person software company what should the ratio of Sales staff (including Outside, Inside, and Sales Engineers) to Marketing staff (including PR, Events, Marketing Communications, Sales Tools, Web Site, Documentation/Collateral) be and why? Provide convincing arguments that will back up your opinion.

Assume a Sales staff of approximately 15-20. How many marketing staff should be on-board to support this level of Sales staffing.

A few guiding facts:
* The product sold is enterprise B-2-B software with a total price that ranges from $25K to $2MM depending on number of units purchased.
* The sales cycle is approximately 6 to 18 months and is very high-touch (between 5-10 visits)
* The company sells a single product with a few different add-on modules. The same package is sold by all.
* While the product is sold internationally, there is no current need to produce documentation in other languages.
* The CEO has requested the ratio, but has conveyed he expects the number to be pretty close to 1 or 2 Marketers for 20 Sales. Any other answer will require iron-clad supporting arguments.

I'm sure there are more facts and variables that might sway the answer, so I encourage all of you to ask away to refine the answer.

This is a real-life conundrum, as quite a few suggestions have been sent up the line and they've all been shot down. What has been tripping this up is that while you can logically show that there is ROI attached to marketing events, it seems more difficult to establish ROI for a *well run* event or clean PR piece versus one that is slapped together. How can you quantify the difference to the bottom line that will be the result increasing staff to improve marketing effectiveness?


The questions (repeated)
1) What is a good ratio of Marketing to Sales and Why? (Provide iron-clad justification if possible)
2) How can you quantify the value of well done marketing versus poorly executed marketing?
3) What would the expected result be from not staffing up marketing to support the sales effort? Why? (Examples?)
4) Could it be that I'm wrong in assuming more
marketers are needed to support this effort?

This could be a difficult one to answer, so I'm throwing quite a few points at it. You'll get points and my eternal gratefulness for any serious attempts to answer the questions.

...and I did look around both on Google and KHE for answers to this problem and couldn't find anything that directly applies. (I did find information on how to sell marketing to a CEO, but that wasn't quite what I was looking for.)

...last... I feel like someone else is defining the game here - and I don't much like the rules. Someone help me change the game, please.

Thanks

Tate
To continue reading this question and the solution, sign up ... it's free!

RESPONSES

  • Posted by Peter (henna gaijin) on Member
    My thoughts - 2 people. Some sort of product/marketing manager and some sort of MarCom person.

    Product/Marketing Manager would guide the marketing strategy and be involved as the customer voice in the product development side. They are also the product's evangelist. And as a secondary responsibility, they would provide the input to customers (so sometimes go on sales calls) about the vision for the product line.

    The Marcom person is much more tactical - and have the main goal of actually doing the work (producing literature, ensuring that everything is ready for the trade show, etc.).

    It is quite possible the level of work of the MarCom person would be too high, in which case you might need to outsource part, use an admin for the administrative side, etc.

    This is also assuming that you have some sort of technical sales engineer, who would be the technical person called on by sales.

    Check out the articles at http://www.productmarketing.com/topics/index.htm for some interesting breakdowns on roles and responsibilities for enterprise software companies.
  • Posted by Deremiah *CPE on Member
    Tate,

    In this melliemium under a very decent company I've seen 36 people only have a support group of two and sometimes one marketing person. If you would like to know more please respond. Is there anything else I can do for you?

    Your Servant, Deremiah, *CPE (Customer Passion Evangelist)
  • Posted by Peter (henna gaijin) on Accepted
    The current workload seems too much for the staff, and I'd been assuming that collateral, web, events, and PR would each be managed by a different individual.

    The first sentence does tell a lot. If you have many projects going, then you may need more than what I said. Watch the work loads you have and see if it is justifiable to add some more headcounts (or use contractors) to get work done faster. Do keep in mind, though, that there will always be too much work - it is when work that really would be beneficial is not getting done that you need to get more resources.

    On separate duties, there is something to that. Particularly with the web, as it usually requires very specific knowledge. But you probably wouldn't want to bring in a full time person until you have the work to justify it. Outsource or put two or more duties on one person.

    The web could possibly be done (the actual coding) by one of the software folks you have, but it would take good guidance by someone within marketing on content and look.
  • Posted on Accepted
    The questions (repeated)
    1) What is a good ratio of Marketing to Sales and Why? (Provide iron-clad justification if possible)

    Every 5 salespersons you need 1 Marketeer.
    This method brings the customer needs near the company through a 5 salespersons channel.

    2) How can you quantify the value of well done marketing versus poorly executed marketing?
    Though Market Reasearch.

    3) What would the expected result be from not staffing up marketing to support the sales effort? Why? (Examples?)
    You will not be able to 'feel the direction of the wind'

    4) Could it be that I'm wrong in assuming more
    marketers are needed to support this effort?
    No, you are not wrong. If the number of marketeers is small then only the basic or day to day problems will be solved.



  • Posted by telemoxie on Accepted
    Welcome back, Leaky Funnel. Where have you been?

    I agree with Leaky Funnel and Whitefued that you need more than 2 - especially if you are rolling out new marketing programs. You have asked for more, the CEO has said no repeatedly, what can you do?

    If it were me, I would identify a list of my primary competitors (possibly from lost sales analysis - are you doing this?). I would quickly survey those companies, I would gather samples of their marketing materials, and I would calculate the percentages as best I could for those companies. Without wasting too much time, I would also attempt to obtain any position descriptions that I could for marketing or sales positions posted by my competitors, so that I had some data points on the functions performed by the marketing staff of those companies.

    Rather than presenting an ultimatum to the CEO, I would present a sliding scale: here is what I can do myself with contractors, here is what we could do with 2 staff, here is what we could do with 4 staff. He'll probably pick the option with 2 staff - get over it. You will need to outsource projects to contractors.

    When the sales staff starts asking for more than you can deliver, you will then be in a stronger position to augment your staff.

Post a Comment