Sales and marketing alignment can be challenging for many businesses, but the rewards are definitely worth the effort. Closer alignment of sales and marketing processes can send your revenues soaring—an increase of 208% in marketing revenue going to companies that closed the gap successfully. Lets explore some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding sales and marketing analytics, and ensure you are tracking metrics that matter most to the success of your business.
What are some benefits to aligning sales and marketing processes?
Misalignment between sales and marketing can actually be costing your business millions in revenue every year without stirring the same panic that a product recall or PR disaster might.
The problem is that when sales and marketing aren't aligned, one department is calling, yet there's no (or an ineffective) response: misaligned sales/marketing can mean that up to four-fifths of leads generated by your marketing are not converted by your sales department. Yikes!
What's crucial is getting better metrics for an aligned sales and marketing team. Better alignment, and metrics to track the effectiveness of your sales and marketing processes, should translate into more effective lead nurturing and, consequently, much higher conversion rates.
Can you show me examples of the kind of metrics I can expect?
As it happens, your marketing reach, lead conversion rate, and lead-to-customer percentage are all metrics that can be continuously tallied and conveniently viewed from your CRM dashboard.
Fortunately, sales and marketing alignment drive up many of these metrics since when these two intra-organizational departments are working together, you can expect more conversions and a higher rate of customer retention.
Perhaps the most foundational metric within sales and marketing is your overall "reach" among potential customers.
Your "reach" is the total number of people compiled in your email database and targeted in your email marketing campaigns plus your fan following on social media.
Your reach also includes everyone regularly reading your blog and, by extension, any potential customer that's interested and game to receive content marketing from your company.
Arguably the second most important metric, after you've established the scope of your marketing reach, is the number of leads that you're regularly generating.
The quantity and quality of your leads is so important because it can make or break your ability to move those leads through the sales cycle and process of lead conversion.
A metric on lead generation also likely tells you how many potential customers have subscribed and provided you with their contact information, which has a profound effect on your ability to later nurture those leads and achieve conversions. (HubSpot)
Visit to Lead
Your visit-to-lead percentage is defined just like it sounds—a metric for determining the number of people who come to your website through an email offer, landing page, or call-to-action who eventually turn into qualified leads.
In turn, a number of qualified leads that you're generating can be tallied via a lead-to-qualified-lead percentage (n.b., lead qualification is sometimes called sales development).
This is another foundational sales/marketing metric that you want to stay on top of because a lackluster visit-to-lead percentage can clue you into the collective in/effectiveness of your inbound marketing efforts, the persuasiveness of your offers enclosed within your email marketing campaign's emails, and any issues you might be having with your top-of-the-funnel content.
Qualified Lead to Opportunity
Metrics for calculating the volume of marketing qualified leads (MQL) that you turn into opportunities (a.k.a., contacts that have a chance to become a sales opportunity) and the amount of these successfully generated opportunities that you subsequently turn into customers will profoundly influence your lead nurturance efforts.
Lead to Customer
This is the metric that everyone wants to jump ahead to…and for good reason. A high lead-to-customer percentage indicates that your content marketing is on track and that customers are zipping right through the sales funnel without any bottlenecking or slowdowns.
How can I view these metrics in real-time to confirm that I'm on track?
A high lead-to-customer percentage likely indicates that other metrics playing a supporting role are in order. If you have any doubts about that, then you can access the sales and marketing analytics displayed on a customer relationship management (CRM) dashboard.
Your CRM dashboard is a tool that you can use to track all of the metrics mentioned above as well as create standardized or tailor-made reports based on those sales/marketing metrics.
Another advantage of a CRM dashboard is that it creates more transparency and accountability among your sales and marketing departments and encourages both sides to work in closer alignment with the other.
Instead of playing the blame game, both departments are responsible for low percentages and each can take joint credit for successes.
A real-time dashboard can also help businesses overcome any potential myopia that leads to an emphasis on quarterly revenue over long-term brand awareness, market share and year-on-year revenue. A dashboard CRM lets you efficiently track minute details and big picture success.
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