Why do companies invest in marketing?
While this may seem like a rhetorical question, it’s certainly one we’ve seen many companies asking over the past few years. Laura Patterson, president of VisionEdge Marketing, in her sales & marketing funnel presentations on making marketing more relevant to the business, says, “companies expect marketers to be able to prove that they are acquiring more customers, faster, and at a smaller cost than if the monies allocated to marketing were invested elsewhere.” This theme ties nicely into one of our previous posts, Why Funnel Metrics are Essential to Marketing Operations by our ceo, Bonnie Crater, who went into detail about three key metrics that can help both Marketing and Sales Operations measure the health of your business – volume, conversion rates, and velocity.
Volume lets you determine if you are generating enough responses from your campaigns. Conversion rates show how many of your responses move through every stage of the Sales and Marketing cycle. Velocity shows how quickly new responses move through the funnel. Interestingly, according to VisionEdge Marketing’s 11th annual marketing performance management study conducted with ITSMA and Forrester in May of this year, 59% of Marketers responding to the survey indicated that they do not measure Sales pipeline velocity.
Tracking these funnel metrics is not just critical for your operations teams though. If you can accurately track and measure these key funnel metrics in your CRM solution it will go a long way to driving increased alignment between Sales and Marketing. Imagine you are able to measure the volume of all Sales and Marketing campaigns in once place. You could see which campaigns drive the most leads and then determine how to align the teams to drive leads most effectively.
Let’s take it one step further – if the conversion rates between all your demand generation stages (marketing, telesales, sales, etc.) are all inside Salesforce (or any other CRM solution) you can see where bottlenecks in the Marketing-Sales hand off take place with each type of campaign, which enables you to see where some Sales and Marketing processes might be broken.
Finally by understanding the velocity of your Sales and Marketing campaigns you can work with both teams to make sure the campaigns being run fit into the time-sensitive goals of both organizations (such as MQLs/month for Marketing or Opportunities generated for Sales).
Having all this information in the same place, especially inside your company’s CRM solution, makes alignment of Sales and Marketing so much easier because everyone is looking at the same data and thus can make decisions from the same metrics, resulting in a much more united demand generation and revenue closing strategy. In its white paper, “Don’t Waste Your Bullets: Accelerate Revenue by Keeping Your Eye on the Target and Using Customer Engagement to Align Sales and Marketing,” VisionEdge Marketing reminds us that we can use the customer buying process to accelerate alignment and offers six stages of observable customer engagement behaviors (contact, connection, conversation, consideration, consumption and community) to create a common foundation between Marketing and Sales.
The crux of the matter really boils down to this: Sales, you need Marketing to help you make your quotas and Marketing, you need Sales to sell your products otherwise everyone is out of a job! Since we all need each other why not leverage funnel metrics and other analytics to make sure you are in complete alignment so you can work together effectively and grow your companies to ensure everyone stays employed?