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You’ve spent a lot of time and money on your MAP and CRM, maybe just to get them working and set up. How do you prove the value of this investment?
Dashboards show you how your new processes are performing. But you also need to make sure sales has a view into these metrics so they can see the value of the investment firsthand. And of course, you need a tight team to efficiently carry out and fine-tune the operations of your CRM and MAP to support ongoing performance.

How do you measure marketing horsepower?

Setting up your MAP and CRM to properly track funnel metrics and campaign attribution is one of the most important things you'll do. Whether it's full-blown intelligent lead nurturing or running an ABM pilot or both, you must accurately measure how well the programs are driving demand to prove the value of your hard work and your investment in your CRM and MAP.  

Before you start measuring performance, decide what you’re going to measure. 

Information at a glance

You’re going to have a lot of data and you need a dashboard to organize and simplify it. A good dashboard offers a single, easily accessible, and real-time view into the health of your marketing programs and allows you to respond quickly to correct problems or run new A-B tests if your programs aren’t performing as expected. You can even use that information to steer conversations and the direction of your business.
Every major MAP offers the ability to build dashboards. The best dashboards display the most important trends in campaigns, sales, and performance at a glance and make it easy to run a one-off report to share with higher-ups. Well-designed dashboards show everyone at any level in your marketing and sales organization the data they need to know—yes, it is possible to fulfill everyone’s wish list for regular updates on important metrics and KPIs without spending hours digging through the system.
Ensuring a good edit of data for those who consume it is important, especially if you have a particularly data-driven organization. You don’t want executives to get hung up on how many people clicked on one of the 17 emails you send in a week. Likewise, you don’t want field marketing managers to stress over a revenue indicator that they may not be accountable for or have much control over.

dashboards for everyone

You’re not the only one in the car—everybody else with a stake in marketing and sales is going to want to roll their own windows down. So you need controls everyone can reach. Are they in your MAP or your CRM? Somewhere else?
The answer is simple: wherever your teams are already looking. Usually this is your CRM, but if you have a product like BrightFunnel or Domo, it might make more sense to direct curious executives there.
If you have extenders in your MAP like Marketo Revenue Cycle Explorer, you might want to be more strategic about where you put your data because it could be easier to build your full-funnel dashboards in your MAP (for reasons detailed in the next section). But your executives and sales team, who aren’t usually keen to poke around in a marketing system, also will want access. This shouldn’t be a problem, but you'll need to review how your user permission settings are governed.
Dashboards help make the value of your MAP and CRM tangible to executives and sales teams. Marketing can also boost the value of the MAP to sales teams by creating and training them on sales nurture and sales enablement using the MAP.
Under the hood

hacking period-over-period reporting in salesforce

The question, “How many MQLs did we create in January?” shouldn’t be that hard to answer, but you won’t find it out of the box in Salesforce.

Luckily, the solution for this is easy, if a bit of a hack. Get the full Marketing Automation Owners Manual to find out how.
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putting sales in the driver's seat

Part of proving the value of the investment in your MAP is being able to demonstrate that value to teams outside of marketing. The best way is to do that is by ensuring a solid rollout of the sales enablement tools your MAP came with, such as Salesforce Engage library or Marketo Sales Insight. Using these tools, your MAP can be something your sales team regularly uses and gets a lot of value from, helping you break down silos between sales and marketing and making you a hero to the sales team.
Lead nurturing, when done right, shows how powerful marketing campaigns can be. The goal of nurturing is to take cool prospects and slowly warm them up with a well-planned series of touches and meaningful content. Too often, though, nurturing ends when the marketing team hands off a lead to sales. But not so with sales nurturing!
Sales nurturing extends lead nurturing down the pipeline. With the sales team’s blessing, marketing can—and should—continue with targeted campaigns, tracking, and scoring tactics that nurture sales-ready prospects to purchase. Sales nurturing is more than engagement. It builds the relationship between prospect and sales rep.
From a rep’s point of view, it’s empowering to find a lead in the CRM and manually enter it into a targeted sales-nurture track. Salespeople want—and deserve—control of sales leads in the CRM.
When a sales rep enters a lead into a sales-nurture track, the rep should be confident that the following will happen:
  • The lead will continue to receive relevant content.
  • All communication will occur in text-based (not HTML) email that appears to be coming from the sales rep.
  • Whenever the lead advances in the pipeline, it will be removed from the sales-nurture track so the rep can correspond directly.
Sales nurturing can be automated or it can be a series of emails sent manually by sales at regular times in their cycle.

sales and marketing alignment

Speaking of sales teams and dashboards, this is your opportunity to help your sales teams see not only the value of your MAP, but the value of the marketing team.

Your seasoned pit crew: Sales and Marketing Ops

We’ve included this in the section about proving value for a reason: Your MAP and CRM will never live up to their full potential without the right people and the right internal goals set for them. While you can certainly grow your own rockstar marketing automation team, it’s important to ensure that everyone is working toward the same goals, whether your ops team is a team of two or 50.

Some larger companies organize their sales and marketing ops team around funnel stages, which ensures alignment to goals and KPIs throughout the entire sales and marketing funnel. In this model:
  • A top-of-funnel team is responsible for loading lots of leads at the top of the funnel (this would be the team in charge of your web SEO, web optimization, and paid media. Their KPI is the number of MQLs.
  • A middle-of-funnel team is made up of the current demand-generation team and marketers who are working on nurture campaigns that target a higher sales qualification rate.
  • A bottom-of-funnel team who are your account reps and a marketing team focused on accelerating the pipeline and helping your closers create good relationships with their opportunities. Their KPIs are all related to closed-won volume, average order size, and deal velocity.
  • A customer loyalty team, made up of account managers and renewal and customer marketing teams. They are responsible for reducing churn.
Larger companies or those with complex technical systems need robust internal IT support. A task force made up of sales ops, marketing ops, and internal IT should work toward this. A ticketing system can be helpful and the task force should evaluate each ticket and discuss how feature requests affect each system.
At smaller companies, it works well to have a single strong administrator for both the MAP and the CRM—a sales and marketing ops team of one, in other words. But it's important that the single administrator have a very clear and distinct process for making major changes and logging those changes, both for the redundancy (do you really want your organization to be completely without any systems knowledge if your admin quits?) and to support the administrator when saying no to requests that might adversely affect systems operations.

For example, if you have a list of seven lead sources, and that's what you base a lot of your reporting on, a request by a sales director to add an eighth lead source has real repercussions across your reporting. Make sure that a structure is in place so the admin can adequately review, respond, and say no to requests—or at least require requesters to complete a business requirements document.