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13 min read

How to build high-functioning teams

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This panel, now in written format, was originally from our Revenue Marketing Summit London.

Everybody wants a high-functioning revenue marketing team, right? But what does that mean? And how do you find the right talent and keep them from falling foul of the scourge of quiet quitting? To help you get to the bottom of all these questions and more, Alysha Spencer-Pares, Head of Marketing at Shieldpay, moderated this lively discussion with…

💠 Nick Roberts, VP of Marketing at MotorK,

💠 Tom Livingstone, Head of Marketing at Talentful, and

💠 Renata Pasternak, Global Marketing Lead of HSBC.

Let’s dive in.

What is a high-functioning team?

Alysha Spencer-Pares

We're here to talk today about high-functioning teams. What does that mean to you?

Nick Roberts

For me, high-functioning teams are able to get on with the job and show value. High-functioning teammates are people that have confidence in their abilities. When they're given the opportunity to ship and show what they're about, they can let their work speak for itself. I try to hire people that are extremely smart, and then give them the range and freedom to execute on what they think will deliver value to the organization.

I'm a big proponent of execution over perfection. Speed is one of the biggest drivers that allow you to be competitive, especially if you're in a competitive environment. If I can bring people along who can ship quickly and get high-quality stuff out the door without having to focus on perfection, for me, that’s what a high-functioning team looks like.

Tom Livingstone

I'm sure we can all agree on that. I’d just add that, for me, a high-functioning team is one that has a purpose and works strategically towards that, rather than having everyone pulling in different directions and doing their own thing. It’s really important to have a common, aligned goal that every team player can chip into.

Renata Pasternak

From my perspective, the additional aspect that we should never forget is still having fun with what we are doing as marketers. It's so important that we don't get killed by KPIs. We need to be creative, and for me, a highly functioning team is a team that really enjoys what they are doing. That's the additional human aspect.

Training your team in agile working
51% of marketers are working agile. If you’re trying to implement agile working into your organization, this article can help you get started.

The best metrics to measure your marketing team’s performance

Alysha Spencer-Pares

What metrics do you use to measure your teams?

Tom Livingstone

You mentioned getting killed by KPIs, Renata. That’s stuck in my head and I’m going to take it home with me. Why don’t you start?

Renata Pasternak

Of course, we have a lot of KPIs – I represent a huge organization. The big thing for me is really measuring those KPIs in comparison to what we've done before, not campaign to campaign, but seeing how we are improving as a team.

On top of our marketing KPIs, we have HR-type KPIs – things like team attrition and talent growth. We want to see whether junior people are staying with us and growing and changing roles. If they change roles within the organization, it's a success. It means that they feel they’re in the right place.

We have one ambitious KPI, which we're quite often challenged on: how many awards we get. That's probably the most difficult KPI to meet.

Nick Roberts

We’ve been trying to break away from monolith metrics recently. I've challenged the team to put forth campaigns, projects, plans, and programs, and talk about the metrics for that campaign specifically or the environment they're trying to drive.

There’s an understanding that the only monolith metric that investors or the street care about is growth. That's always going to be there, so we don't need to take that on individually. Instead, we’re looking at, for instance, bringing 10 of our customers to an event to increase NPS for those 10 customers because they're at risk or something. That doesn't necessarily translate to revenue, but it could translate to happier customers for that campaign.

This post was a collaboration between

Nick Roberts, Tom Livingstone, Renata Pasternak

  • Nick Roberts

    Nick Roberts

    VP of Marketing at MotorK

    More posts by Nick Roberts.

    Nick Roberts
  • Tom Livingstone

    Tom Livingstone

    Head Of Marketing at Talentful

    More posts by Tom Livingstone.

    Tom Livingstone
  • Renata Pasternak

    Renata Pasternak

    Global Marketing Lead of HSBC

    More posts by Renata Pasternak.

    Renata Pasternak
How to build high-functioning teams