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Many SaaS founders and marketing leaders wonder what is the best structure for their marketing team. Establishing a well-defined marketing team can be challenging, but with the right team, your business can scale faster and achieve your desired pipeline and his targets.
There is no one-size-fits-all structure for a SaaS-based marketing team. But in this article, we’ve created a list of five best practices to help you organize your marketing team in the right way.
1. Create a hiring plan early on.
The size of your company may look different now, but it’s worth considering early on what your ideal year-to-date team will look like. It’s also important to find someone who really matches your values, not just anyone. This may mean the hiring process takes a little more effort and patience, but it’s worth it.
Depending on the situation, it can take 2-4 months to find the right candidate, especially for management positions. This is especially important if your marketing function needs to grow rapidly.
Start a hiring planning conversation with your leadership early on. That way everyone is on the same page and can move quickly when hiring.
2. Adopt with existing leverage points in mind.
Recruitment plans should be developed with a focus on early business success, so the biggest goals of the entire company should always be your guide.
As you think about how to generate new demand, don’t forget to leverage existing demand capture channels. Reinforce what already creates value, and think about ways to make the appeal of these easy achievements even stronger, whether it’s by hiring the right leaders and specialists.
For example, if you’ve had early success with your content efforts, you can bolster your marketing team with a great content strategist, plus SEO and conversion optimization specialists to take your content and lead generation to the next level. Consider raising.
Recruiting people with your existing leverage points in mind will make your marketing team more efficient and get you results faster.
3. Balance in-house and outsourced talent wisely.
Young companies tend to struggle to find the right balance of generalists and specialists, and tend to underestimate the power of hiring the right marketing contractors.
The thing to know before hiring an outside contractor is that balance is important. The first marketer should be a generalist who can experiment with tactics and channels and manage external suppliers.
Early-stage agents or contractors typically need to replace specialists and provide valuable expertise to quickly test and scale. Knowing your agency’s core competencies is also important. That way, don’t waste your money and time expecting quality that your agency can’t deliver.
Once early-stage testing proves what delivers results, in-house teams can grow and begin tiering key channel experts, potentially replacing outsourced contractors.
At later stages, the marketing function becomes more diverse, requiring different skill sets as well as a clearer leadership structure. As a leader, this means you can focus on strategic initiatives and team leadership instead of assigning tasks.
4. Prioritize hiring functions according to growth stage.
While different marketing functions have different time to value, it’s important to balance your team structure to achieve short-term and long-term results. Not all channels work the same and you should define your priorities accordingly.
For example, SEO is typically a long-term investment. Traffic and lead generation potential are good, but it takes time to see results.If you know SEO is a big part of your strategy, get an expert early on is recommended.
If you can diversify both your long-term and short-term goals, it also makes a lot of sense to prioritize specific hires for each growth stage. For example, if you are mapping your marketing infrastructure, the top candidates are demand generation and content capabilities.
Once you have the basics in place to capture existing demand, it’s worth prioritizing hiring a conversion optimization specialist to maximize business impact and prove the value of your marketing.
Hiring a brand and PR expert will be a priority as you will look to strengthen your brand perspective at a later stage. If you hire , you may not be able to secure internal buy-in and marketing budgets.
5. Create a system through alignment with sales.
If your company is looking to align functionality with sales pipeline goals, having a Business Development Representative (BDR) team in marketing makes a lot of sense. There are obvious pros and cons to this approach, as the BDR can also be placed in the sales team.
One of the benefits of this approach is greater accountability for marketing who own pipeline numbers. Marketing teams also tend to work better with sales on feedback loops around message resonance.
The key to this approach is having a good comp plan around meaningful metrics (such as a qualified pipeline) and having a well-understood growth path to keep people motivated.
It’s also important to have a dedicated BDR leader who has enough time and energy for the BDR team. This role is getting more and more complex, so I can’t afford to have someone do it part-time.
Organize and manage your team carefully.
Hiring is a major challenge for both SaaS founders and marketing leaders who have a wide range of responsibilities and need to plan for an unpredictable future. Building a team from scratch can seem like a big challenge, but it’s important to start small and grow at the same pace as your brand.
As your business evolves, your marketing function gets bigger and better structured. Regardless of size or model, remember to hire the right people and manage them in the best possible way.
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