March 13, 2013

Peter Mollins Sales Enablement and Marketing Metrics

Written By: Peter Mollins

How do you justify your marketing spend each quarter? Lori Wizdo tackles this difficult question in a great blog post published last month. Without the ability to tie marketing spend to revenue, your CMO is going to have a lot of very difficult conversations with the CFO. That’s why a Forrester survey pointed out that 56% of marketing executives cite revenue-related metrics as their key measures.

New Category of Marketing Metrics

Lori discusses a new category of metrics have arisen to support these discussions. These range from volume of leads and how they turn into accounts to the velocity with which these prospects move through the customer experience to become won deals.

Note that these metrics don’t simply track classic marketing measures as if every lead is equal, or as if every sales process advances the same way. Each customer experience is different and the common denominator is to tie spend to revenue. So, as Lori highlights, you need to measure the entire process from lead through to closed deal.

Holistic Approaches Include Sales Enablement

This holistic approach that she recommends is often missing in most marketing measurement programs. They tend to concentrate on the ROI of lead generation programs like events, social media, and advertising. Yet, as I wrote about recently, the largest single component of most marketing spends is on sales enablement tools like collateral.

The traditional approach to collateral and other sales enablement tools was to treat them as a cost-center within the profit-center of marketing. But these sales tools are increasingly recognized as a critical element of the customer experience.

Marketing Must Measure the Effectiveness of Sales Enablement Tools

As the Internet and social channels allow buyers to research before they contact sales, companies need to ensure that each sales touch is extremely impactful on the buyer. Increased impactfulness for a given engagement requires that sales enablement tools are top notch. That means testing and measuring whether certain messages resonate in the sales process when confronted with specific pains. Or, whether different sales tools, say an ROI calculator, accelerate a deal.

Sales teams often don’t know what enablement tools and collateral to use at different sales stages. So, they use what’s comfortable, even if it isn’t effective. And if marketing isn’t measuring the use and effectiveness of its sales enablement tools, then it has no way or reason to improve the sales enablement tools it provides.

Taking a Moneyball Approach to Collateral

That’s why we advocate so strongly on behalf of a ‘Moneyball’ approach to sales and marketing content. That is, to look at the ROI of the tools that influence the velocity and efficiency of the lead to revenue process. Marketing should know which messages resonate best for different stages in the sales cycle. Does one message work well versus one competitor and not another? Does a case study only advance the sales process when used early in an engagement?

By tying revenue back to the tools used in the sales engagement, marketing can better understand which messages work and where it needs to deploy its collateral budget. Equipped with that data, marketing teams can better justify the large spend on sales tools. They can identify gaps and double-down on messages and content that are leading to real business.

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