Marketers are incredibly busy people — especially on the B2B side. Marketing is in charge of the customer experience from the first anonymous touch online, through each step of the buyer journey, to closing the sale and beyond via upselling and retention initiatives. As a marketer, you need all the help you can get to manage the customer lifecycle effectively.
That’s why it’s so important to make sure your martech stack is working as hard as it can for you. Do you have visibility into all stages of the sales and marketing funnel? Can you easily measure conversion between stages and attribute revenue to specific campaigns? Does data drive your priorities? Here are three signs your martech isn’t working:
1. I can’t produce the charts my boss needs for the board meeting. Have you ever spent a weekend trying to get reports together for a board meeting and discovered you are unable to find answers to critical questions? Have you had trouble producing the charts you need to demonstrate marketing’s contribution to revenue? If so, that’s a sign your martech isn’t working.
At its most basic level, marketing’s job is to reduce friction in the buying process. If you’re a B2B marketer, you help prospects do their jobs successfully by providing the information they and their teams need to make the right purchasing decision. That involves producing a lot of content and conducting outreach to the right people.
But you also have to prove that marketing gets results. You need a martech solution that gives you transparency into the marketing and sales funnel. You need a way to attribute revenue to campaigns on a granular level, using data that everyone in the organization trusts, the de facto revenue system: CRM.
2. I don’t know if sales is following up on marketing qualified leads (MQLs). Given the scope of marketing’s remit, it’s critical to have insights on handoffs at different stages of the buyer journey, including the point where MQLs go to sales and become sales qualified leads (SQLs).
Say you’re in charge of lead generation for SMB, midmarket and enterprise sales teams. Your campaigns have been generating MQLs that have a healthy conversion rate to SQLs for weeks or months. But then suddenly, the conversion rate falls by a third, and you’re not sure why. You need granular data to see what’s happening in the handoff.
With the right martech solution, you can see that MQLs are converting in the SMB and enterprise sectors but not the midmarket unit. Because you’re able to pinpoint the drop off in conversion rates to a specific group, a bit of detective work reveals that the sales manager instructed the midmarket sales team to stop following up on leads and focus on closing deals instead. Now you know it’s not a content issue but a handoff problem.
3. Sales wants us to do a tradeshow, but I’m not sure the investment will pay off. Your budget is limited, so you have to allocate marketing spend strategically. When sales asks marketing to invest in a tradeshow or other type of campaign or when your CMO is creating a budget, you need campaign performance data.
If you’re unable to accurately attribute revenue to specific campaigns, that’s a sign your martech isn’t working. When sales asks you to do a tradeshow or your CMO is preparing a budget with ROI projections, you need a martech solution capable of projecting that Campaign Type A returns five dollars for every dollar invested while Type B returns six dollars for every dollar spent.
If your current martech tools don’t allow you to get that specific on ROI or if you’re guessing rather than looking at reports that track leads from the first touch to a closed deal, you are flying blind. You need complete attribution data to make the right decisions about budgeting and investment.
So, do any of these scenarios sound familiar? Do you find yourself scrambling to put together reports that demonstrate marketing’s contribution to the revenue stream? Do you wonder if someone is dropping the ball once you’ve generated leads? Are you unsure which campaigns produce the most robust returns?
If so, you have a martech problem. You need a single source of data truth to demonstrate marketing’s contributions. You need granular conversion data to know if you have a content problem rather than a handoff issue. And you need an accurate account of ROI to invest marketing spend wisely. If your current martech stack doesn’t supply these answers, it’s time to find a solution that does.
Bonnie is a 5-time VP of Marketing at Genesys, Netscape, Oracle (Network Computer Inc.), Stratify, and VoiceObjects. While valuing the creative side of marketing, Bonnie’s real love is marketing operations — measuring marketing investments and determining investment optimization. Now as CEO of Full Circle Insights, Bonnie is working to help fellow marketers get the data needed to succeed. In 2000, Bonnie was named one of the “Top 20 Female Executives in Silicon Valley” by San Jose Magazine. Bonnie holds a B.A. in biology from Princeton University.