Tag Archives: marketing performance

What Marketing Metrics Should be your Focus?

Here’s some sound advice for deciding  which metrics should be in your management dashboard. Having some guidance is helpful because let’s face it, there are a million thingswe as marketers could measure, somewhat less than a million things that we can measure, and really only a handful that are most meaningful to top management.

Jon Miller of Marketo discusses three categories of metrics in this interview video on CRM Software.TV (4 minutes).

  1. Lead quantity and quality
  2. Improving sales effectiveness
  3. Optimizing the marketing investment portfolio

Do Marketers Have the Right Stuff to be Revenue Marketers?

In the past few months a cool new term has appeared on my radar. That term is, “revenue marketer”. Wish I had thought of it first. It defines a new level of marketing professional. While I’m energized by the term, sadly, I’m concerned that too many B2B marketers don’t have the right perspective and skills to play in this new league.

My latest exposure to the term was at an event in Austin hosted by Marketo, a marketing automation platform vendor. Speaking at the event was Debbie Qaqish , Chief Revenue Marketing Officer of  The Pedowitz Group, a demand generation agency based in Atlanta area.  Debbie has a Revenue Marketer blog, a Revenue Marketer internet radio show and is writing a book on the subject.  I’d say that qualifies her as a thought leader on the subject.  I think the Pedowitz Group has trademarked the term, as well.

In brief here is what Debbie defines as the characteristics of a revenue marketer and the role they play in their companies.

A revenue marketer is different from a demand generation marketer primarily in that the former is able to plan and execute predictable and repeatable campaigns. Other attributes:

  • Is obsessed about the impact that Marketing must have on revenue. Shares a business vernacular with the Sales VP.
  • Is a master of lead funnel management.
  • Possesses a deep understanding  of the market, of buyers,  and the buying process.
  • Is responsible for lead generation campaigns that can be tracked through the funnel and on to revenue impact.

With this check list in mind I did a quick mental exercise to see how many marketers that I know in B2B companies who have attributes of a revenue marketer. My unscientific survey had these results:

  • 20% are in the pro league; they have the skills, experience and the tools, such as marketing automation, and funnel modeling, to be a revenue marketer.
  • 20% are in the demand generation league, the farm league for revenue marketers. They are skilled at lead generation, but they are focused on lead counts, not on quality and not on revenue. The funnel may or may not be part of their world. They most likely have an email marketing platform, but don’t have a marketing automation system in place.
  • 60% are in the marketing awareness and branding league. Their focus begins and stops at ‘getting the product known’; having an attractive logo and website; and being mentioned in social media. They confuse gathering names with generating leads.

If you surveyed your marketing community what would the profile look like? I’d also like to hear from my friends in academia about what colleges are doing today to better prepare marketers for taking on the responsibilities of a revenue marketer.

Why Are Sales and Marketing Usually Unaligned?

(I originally wrote this post for Lead Views, Leadformix’s blog. I’m re-posting it here.)

At two different speaking engagements this month I asked the audiences of marketers if they thought the lack of sales and marketing alignment was the biggest obstacle in their company to achieving significant revenue growth.  At both events (one a marketing conference, the other a webinar) the results were similar. Over 60% agreed that the leading nemesis to greater revenue performance was the lack of alignment between their department and Sales. The other 30% to 40% believed another factor was primarily to blame such as market/economic factors, resource restraints, skill gaps, relationship gaps, or process / tool gaps.

Let me cut to the chase on the topic of sales and marketing alignment. There are three reasons why mis-alignment is present.

1.       Top management doesn’t understand the full contribution that Marketing can make and should make to the business.

2.       Marketers are not adequately trained to be true partners with Sales in the revenue generation process.

3.       There isn’t an integrated planning process to enable (or force) Marketing and Sales to craft unified strategies and tactics.

The CEO. The buck stops at the top. So I’m placing some of the blame at the feet of the CEO because of their misunderstanding or ignorance of the significant role that Marketing can play in their organization. If they don’t really understand the power of Marketing, they won’t hire the right skills, insist on the right processes, or insist that Marketing and Sales work as a tight team 24/7.  The CEO doesn’t have to know how to align he just needs to create the environment where alignment will occur. Without a really capable Marketing function a company is going into battle without all its weapons.

The Marketer. Sorry to admit that one of the biggest reasons for lack of alignment in B2B companies is that the folks in marketing just don’t have the necessary skills and perspective. Too many bright marketers haven’t learned how to be of greater value to the organization. Marketing in a B2B company is so much more involved than “branding”. We must see how to contribute closer to the “point of revenue” than our programs are impacting today. We must connect and measure our ability to impact company goals. This takes advanced B2B training, coaching, or years of painful experience. Without requisite skills the Marketer can’t earn the respect of Sales and the CEO.

The Process. The annual planning process is usually done in silos. Marketing does a plan. Sales does a plan. The two seldom talk during this critical period. The right mercifully short but rigorous planning process can harness the creativity of Marketing and Sales to construct together an action plan for achieving a revenue objective. The right process will focus the two departments on the buyer’s journey and the market, rather than a sales methodology.

If my two unscientific polls are representative of all B2B companies, 60% are blocking themselves from achieving greater revenue performance because the CEO doesn’t know what to demand from Marketing, Marketers don’t have the right skills to deliver bigger results, and the companies aren’t following an integrated market-focused planning process involving Marketing and Sales.

The good news is all three of these situations can be remedied in a relatively short period of time. CEO’s can learn what to expect from the marketing function. Marketers can learn critical skills. Sales and Marketing can plan together in a way that really aligns their efforts and processes.

The Best Time to Align Marketing and Sales

If you sense that your revenue engine is under-performing and believe that aligning Marketing and Sales will lead to the necessary transformation you might next ask when is the best time to launch an alignment initiative.

Fair enough question and I’ll provide some ideas beyond the obvious answer of, “right now”!

Aligning the Marketing function and the Sales function to the buyers’ journey and to a single, measurable revenue-generation plan is frequently the transformation that leads to breakthroughs in revenue growth and revenue-generation efficiency. Here are several events that usually trigger a decision by top management to look for ways to improve the combined performance of Marketing and Sales.

  1. Revenue growth has been stalled for 2 or more of the past 4 fiscal quarters.
  2. Margin has been shrinking due to inefficiencies in the lead cycle and sales cycle.
  3. New CEO, new head of Marketing or new head of Sales comes on board.
  4. Forecast accuracy has become a joke.
  5. A mature company in a mature market is running out of ideas to improve organic growth.
  6. A company is entering a very new market, or launching a major new product line, or forming a new business unit.
  7. Company embarks on new sales strategy such as adopting a 2-tier channel model versus a direct channel model.
  8. A significant strategic relationship is formed with another company involving expectations of incremental revenue growth driven by collaborative marketing and sales.
  9. It’s time for annual planning and budgeting.
  10. A competitor is eating your lunch.

As I look back on the list it’s clear to me that if one isn’t experiencing at least two of the events on the list right now, you’re probably on sabbatical.  Therefore, the point is clear: get the alignment initiative in motion right away. The sooner that you can close the gap between your company’s strategy and revenue results the better.

Forget about Branding. Get Marketing Closer to Revenue.

If you are a B2B marketer reading this your job could be in jeopardy and you don’t even know it.  If you are a CEO or CSO you’ll see why you tend to be frustrated by the marketing function at your company.

Try this. Make a list of all the tactics your demand generation campaigns include. For each of the tactics make a note of what the objective is.

In most companies a majority of the list includes tactics devoted to “building name awareness”, “getting our name out there”, “positioning the brand against the competition,” etc.   Good enough,  but what about the tactics that move buyers into and through the funnel?

If Marketing’s primary focus is on branding, it isn’t doing enough to partner with Sales in driving revenue.

How should a company view the role of  Marketing in its revenue generation process? I suggest you register for free 45-minute webinar on July 29 at 2:30 EDT.  This webinar is being presented by MathMarketing, a thought-leader in the area of sales and marketing alignment. (I am associated with Math Marketing as  a Funnel Coach in North America).

Here’s what will be covered:

  1. The 4 most common reasons Marketing fails to deliver accountable results
  2. 3 proven steps to get Marketing and Sales on the same, revenue-accountable track

If moving Marketing closer to revenue is important to you I suggest you register today.

Should Marketing Be Measured on Conversions?

Good question. Up until recently I thought the proposal conversion rate belonged to Sales and therefore Sales performance should be based, in part, on the rate of proposal wins.

After attending a FunnelAcademy(tm) workshop lead by Hugh MacFarlane, I have changed my way of thinking.

The percent of proposals  won is directly related to the quality of the buyers that marketing places into the revenue funnel and advances through the early stages of the funnel.

Yes,  Sales should still be measured, in part, on their effectiveness in closing deals, but so should Marketing.

What better way to put Markeing and Sales on the same page than to have both evaluated for the same key business metric?