For marketers who rely on siloed data generated by individual solutions in the martech stack, coming up with an annual marketing plan is stressful. They cobble together metrics from a variety of sources to try to create a holistic picture of marketing/sales funnel performance, using numbers that don’t necessarily resonate outside of the marketing department. Attributing revenue to campaigns is mostly guesswork.

For marketers who share a single source of data truth with colleagues outside of marketing, creating an annual marketing plan is simpler, and it’s also an opportunity to demonstrate how marketing drives revenue. Marketers who track funnel and attribution metrics in the CRM system can not only develop a realistic plan to reach next year’s revenue objectives, they can gain insights that improve performance. Here are three ways full funnel data improves the annual planning process:

1. Data sheds light on where process improvements are needed: Marketing/sales funnel metrics like volume (number of leads in each funnel stage), velocity (days spent in each stage) and conversion rates (percentage of leads that progress from one stage to the next) let marketers know how effectively they’re nourishing leads at the top of the funnel and driving conversions over time. Attribution metrics show which specific campaigns and actions drive revenue at a point in time. Both sets of metrics are critical to planning, but funnel metrics also help marketers identify process bottlenecks and breakdowns like marketing-to-sales handoff problems, identifying opportunities to improve operations performance.

2. Data improves campaign investment and mix allocation decisions: Marketers who analyze funnel metrics and attribution data from the current year can pinpoint specific campaigns that are driving revenue (or falling short) and gauge how marketing initiatives resonate in specific segments and verticals. Armed with that information, marketers can make better decisions about where to invest for the year ahead and optimize mix allocations. The current year’s results also make it simpler to create more accurate forecasts so that estimates based on current numbers aren’t just guesswork.

3. Data inspires marketing and sales teamwork: Current year results can also inspire marketing and sales to work together to create better campaigns. Marketers who share a dataset with the sales team have a critical advantage since CRM data is credible to both groups. They can take a look at the current year’s data, identify which programs are driving growth and agree on a strategy. With better team alignment and transparency in the marketing/sales funnel, marketing and sales can work together to identify the volume, velocity, and conversion targets they need to achieve revenue goals.

Your marketing team is a revenue engine, but because you use an array of martech solutions that generate reports that don’t necessarily resonate with colleagues outside of marketing, it can be a challenge to get credit for marketing’s contributions. That changes when everyone uses the same source of data. With full funnel metrics and campaign attribution inside the CRM system, you can use data to create a more effective annual marketing plan — and get the credit your team deserves.

 

[Guide] The Performance-Driven Marketer's Guide to Annual Planning

Download this guide to create your annual plan with confidence. Learn how to lay out the direction, strategy, and tactics to achieve success. 

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