Marketing Automation is on its way to the peak of the hype cycle. People start adopting software because it’s cool, not because they know what to do with it. The result: inflated expectations.
However, there are a couple of B2B Marketing experts who understand how to avoid inflated expectations. One of them is Megan Heuer of SiriusDecisions. Together with Craig Rosenberg (aka The Funnelholic) of Tippit she presented a webinar called The 9 Metrics Every Marketer Must Track. This webinar shows how to focus on the correct metrics rather than on gimmicks.
My recommendation: use your Marketing Automation project to improve these 9 metrics and you have a good chance of avoiding disillusionment (and pleasing your CEO).
Key Performance Indicators
Some long-standing VPs of Marketing seem the best marketers of their own performance: by staying vague about results and telling a good story they can hold on to their jobs for quite a while. However, the truly effective VPs of Marketing promote transparency and have an intense focus on improving the few metrics that matter. The strongest metrics show how marketing contributes to bottom-line revenue.
In the webinar, Megan mentions the following key performance indicators:
- marketing sourced pipeline
- marketing influenced pipeline
The first two focus on the influence of marketing on the sales pipeline, and the last two give an indication of the ROI. Obviously, #4 (investment to revenue) is also dependent on the performance of the sales team (whether they are effective in closing deals). You can watch the webinar to get benchmark figures for these KPIs.
Updates to the KPIs from the previous paragraph take some time to show up, because inquiries first need to turn into opportunities. Megan suggests 5 metrics to keep an eye on this process. These metrics are starting to get broader adoption, so I encourage everyone to standardize on these stages:
- Measure Inquiries
- Marketing-qualified leads (MQL), definition should be established together with sales
- sales accepted leads (SAL), formally accepted by sales
- sales qualified leads (SQL), evolved into an opportunity
- closed/won business
An inquiry could be any new lead, also someone who dropped off his business card at a tradeshow, or a download of a whitepaper. An MQL is also called a sales-ready lead. Usually some kind of Lead Scoring is used to determine whether a lead is ready to be passed on to sales. For more details and benchmarks, watch the webinar.
The cool thing about these metrics is that you can update them more frequently, so you know immediately whether you are on the right track. This is your Lead Management Thermometer!
How Does Marketing Automation Fit Into This?
Marketing Automation is a tool. It’s supposed to improve business results. In my previous post, I suggested to look only at increased revenue to measure success of Marketing Automation. These metrics are a great way to see if you’re on track.
More practical: how does Marketing Automation influence these metrics? Just some examples: continued lead nurturing turns more inquiries into sales-ready leads; lead scoring shows when leads are sales-ready; lead scoring gives quick feedback on the quality of various lead generation programs. But ultimately, the features of the Marketing Automation are only valuable when they are used well, and improve the above-mentioned metrics.
What is your favorite Marketing Automation metrics? Let me know in a comment…
Couldn’t agree more with your comment “People start adopting software because it’s cool, not because they know what to do with it. The result: inflated expectations.” Process is key to seeing results with a ‘cool tool’.
I also agree that today, more than ever, metrics are becoming more critical for a marketer. Marketing sourced & influenced pipeline, as well as contribution to revenue is what really matters in the end. Many marketers, however, find that difficult to measure.
So, in addition to Marketing Automation being a ‘tool’ that helps improve these metrics, the right Marketing Automation tool can also help you capture these metrics accurately.
That said, a ‘cool tool’ is not the silver bullet… you need the right processes adopted and ‘good marketing’ to improve marketing’s influence on revenue.
In our experience, the three metrics that BtoB marketers tend to prioritize are: Number of leads generated (quantity measurement); qualified leads as a percentage of leads generated (quality measurement); and cost per lead (effectiveness measurement). Of course, these metrics are not mutually exclusive. For the marketing-qualified leads (MQL), metric, we agree 100% that before starting any campaign, marketers must work with their sales team to agree on how to define qualified leads. As experienced marketers know, number of leads alone is not enough. Qualified leads are a quality measurement for campaigns that can be used early on, in conjunction with the quantity metric (number of leads). These two metrics together help to project the impact that the marketing campaign(s) will have on company revenue. Determining criteria for lead qualification helps organizations better understand which leads should move through the qualification process (and eventually into the sales pipeline), helping to determine early cost-per-qualified lead calculations.
Rhonda: good point, Marketing Automation makes it easier to collect the right metrics
Kristin: thanks for sharing the Neolane experience!
Nice post, Jep. SiriusDecisions has a great approach.
Too many times companies buy marketing automation without thinking through their content and processes.
For real success, they need remarkable content mapped to personas and buying processes and they need a formalized process like what Megan and Craig explain.
Later this month we’ll have a new eBook entitled “Prospect-Driven Marketing” which will explore this in more detail.
Bravo on a great article with some clear recommendations on metrics relevant to the sales pipeline.
But when it comes to marketing automation, I recommend caution. I’ve seen too many marketers crash and burn because they believed that by “automating” all of their lead gen problems would be over. They forgot to first set a strategy that carefully targets prospects with relevant messaging. Automating the “garbage in, garbage out” marketing approach benefits no one.
Marketing automation tools are the future, I believe. Before you pull the trigger, don’t forget to:
* Define the target audience/personas
* Craft a positioning statement that maps to the target
* Develop the “story” that you want to unfold through the course of the campaign
* Plan your moves with a “marketing blueprint” that links your activities and offers together in a way that’s meaningful and relevant. Now you have the ingredients that can be automated. And, with confidence!
With these best practices in mind, marketing automation will work its magic. The ROI will be evident in the metrics laid out in this blog post.
My favorite marketing automation metric is Marketing Funnel Value. This is normally 8-10 the sales funnel value and truly reflects the value of marketing to an organization.
The problem of backing into the sales funnel to determine marketing’s contribution means that marketing’s value will always be LESS than what is sold. You’ll be lucky to get credit for 25% of closed business.
Dale – EchoQuote
Pingback: How to measure the ROI of online and offline media channels with analytics. | NuSpark Marketing
Hi! I could have sworn I’ve visited your blog before but after going through many of the articles I realized it’s new to me.
Anyhow, I’m definitely pleased I stumbled upon it and I’ll be bookmarking it
and checking back frequently!
As for your website, you are his Chuck Norris. Wallace did direct users to websites
where he would be paid for Internet traffic. Facebook profiles
have allowed phishers to gather more information to work with to
pull in more valuable information.
I see you don’t monetize your site, don’t waste your traffic, you can earn extra cash every month because
you’ve got hi quality content. If you want to know how to make extra bucks, search for: Mertiso’s tips
best adsense alternative
Pingback: Seven Ten Marketing News for 05-23-2018 – Marketing Automation
I do consider all oof the ideas you have presented for yiur post.
They are really convimcing and can definitely work.
Nonetheless, the posts are too short for newbies.
May just you please lengthen them a bit from subsequent time?
Thank you for the post.
Fine ᴡay of telling, and good article tⲟ take data ｒegarding my presentation focus, ѡhich i
am going to convey іn school.
Hi! Do уou knoԝ if thеy makme any plugins tⲟ heⅼp wіth Search
Engine Optimization? I’m tгying t᧐ get myy
blog tо rank for sоme targeted keywords but І’mnot
sеeing ｖery ցood success. Ιf yοu know of any pleаѕe share.
My brother suggested I might like this website.
He used to be totally right. This put up actually made my day.
You cann’t believe simply how much time I had spent for
this info! Thank you!
Wonderful goods from you, man. I’ve understand your sruff prior too and
you are simply extremely great. I actually like what you’ve bought
right here, certainly like what you’re stating and the way in which during which
you say it. You are making it enjoyable and
you coninue to care for to keep it smart. I can’t wait to learn much more
from you. This is actually a terrific web site.
This is a good tip especiallpy to thkse new to the blogosphere.
Brief but very precise info… Thank you for sharing this one.
A must read post!
I’m gone to say to my little brother, that he should also pay a visit this blog on regular basis to obtain updated from latest gossip.
Great webloog here! Additionally your web site lots up fast!
What web host are you the usage of? Can I am getting your affiliate lonk for your host?
I desire my website loaded up as fast as yours lol
I visited many blogs however the audio quality for audio
songs current aat this websiye iis genuinely excellent.
I would like to use the ability of saying thanks to you for that
professional instruction I have always enjoyed browsing your site.
I am looking forward to the commencement of my university research and
the entire groundwork would never have been complete without consulting your web blog.
If I might be of any assistance to others, I would be
pleased to help by means of what I have discovered from here.