In Focus on Metrics that Matter, Andrew Gaffney’s section of The Quintessential Marketing Automation Guidebook, he highlighted three areas that marketers often overlook: Database Enrichment, Pipeline Conversions and Revenue Impact. Given the emphasis on accountability for today’s marketers, I invited Andrew to expand on a few ideas he raised to help you understand how you can put metrics to work to improve the results of your marketing programs.
CD: You talk about the need for marketers to demonstrate their influence on buyers at different stages in their buying process. What are a few ways marketers can prove influence at different points of transition?
AG: The most direct way is by having the ability to source a lead from contact to close. When marketing tags or IDs a lead the first time that prospect engages with the company, and then tracks their activity and behavior over time, they are able to show which campaigns were most impactful over time and also how lead nurturing programs helped accelerate the buying process.
The engagement process doesn’t always happen as quickly as sales might like, but it is still powerful for marketing to be able to demonstrate how a new customer was influenced by different messages and campaigns over the course of their lifecycle.
CD: In your section, you mention that a focus on volume causes leads to leak from the funnel. Can you give us a level set on “leakage” and highlight some of the causes?
AG: The race to increase revenue often causes sales to over-emphasize the net new opportunities rather than harvesting some of the deals that are already in the pipeline. Unfortunately, one of the realities of recent economic crisis was that a great number of deals that looked ready to close wound up being pushed off indefinitely. When you look at sectors like financial services, there was a lot of upheaval—from M&A activity that took place in a short period of time due to new government regulations.
These changing market dynamics can often lead companies to bury opportunities that had to be put off. However, as research shows, those companies will likely to go and buy the solution they were researching once the business climate normalizes. Companies that nurture and track all the opportunities in their pipeline are the ones that are going to emerge the strongest once the dust settles.
CD: One of your core areas of focus for metrics is Revenue Impact. How can marketers use these metrics to achieve closer sales alignment?
AG: I see the best success when alignment is brought down to a micro level. For example, a company that is looking to grow its footprint in the healthcare sector starts out by bringing Marketing and Sales together to identify a list of target accounts and strategize on the right messaging to send to that sector. Since that effort is collaborative from the beginning and the campaigns are based on a targeted, segmented audience, it is much easier for Marketing to share the metrics from campaigns to that segment and ultimately get buy-in and support on how marketing programs are contributing to driving revenue in that new sector.