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Why Marketers Should Relish Accountability

To a lot of B2B marketers, the notion of signing up for a sales target is not only terrifying; it also seems a bit foolhardy and somewhat irrational. In support of their argument, they’ll exclaim, “But we don’t have any influence over what happens in Sales! So how can we be held accountable for something we have no control over?”

On its face, that argument is perfectly logical and makes a lot of sense—you shouldn’t be held accountable for things you have no input, influence, or control over.

But what if you looked at it from a different perspective? What if you turned it around? What if signing up for a sales target actually gives you license to understand and influence what’s happening in Sales?

In an interview with Robin Caputo, the CMO of Datavail, we discussed how accountability and influence will often go hand-in-hand. In Robin’s case, the fact that she’s also on the hook for the sales number, allows her to question what’s happening in Sales, suggest potential improvements, and so on.

Robin is not a bystander. She has “skin in the game.” And as a result, she has a much greater degree of input into, and influence over, how that game is actually being played.

So, the next time you lament what’s happening in Sales…the next time you’re frustrated that no one in Sales is listening to your suggestions…the next time you shake your head and wish you were king for just a day…remember this:

Accountability and influence are linked. And the earlier argument also works in reverse—you can’t expect to have a great deal of influence over something for which you aren’t accountable.

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