These days, aligning sales and marketing is no longer something organizations “should” do – it’s a must-do, and alignment happens only when teams are working toward the same goals. We all know we need to track together toward revenue, but what about the performance monitoring and optimization metrics that help you understand what is working and what isn’t working on your way to the bottom line?
When it comes to the sales funnel, tracking against these metrics often falls to two similar but different teams. Usually, the administration of the marketing automation platform (MAP) is the responsibility of the marketing operations department while the customer relationship management platform (CRM) belongs to the sales operations department. Without the two operations teams working closely together, full funnel metrics can be impossible to get.
To that end, it’s important for the marketing operations team to have a firm handle on what the sales side of the house is doing, and to work with sales operations to ensure that revenue can really be tied back to marketing activities. Here are a few metrics that are in marketing’s best interest to help the sales team measure:
Lead funnel velocity
This one can be tricky, but knowing how quickly sales and marketing move leads through the lead funnel, and using that information to optimize nurture and nudge campaigns can make a huge difference in the effort required to meet quarterly revenue goals.
- How to do it: Create date fields in your CRM that correspond to major lead status changes: Date created in the MAP, the date the lead becomes marketing qualified and was passed to sales, the date the lead was accepted by sales, and the date the lead was converted to an opportunity. Use either your CRM or your MAP to date-stamp the lead as it moves through the lead funnel, and use your CRM to report on how long it is taking leads to convert from created to marketing qualified, and from marketing qualified to sales accepted.
- What it tells you: From there you can clearly identify bottlenecks in the marketing and sales funnels, and test nurture and nudge campaigns to unclog them.
Response to sales emails
Whether your sales team is using email templates provided by marketing or using their own, or if you’ve automated some of the initial sales process in your MAP, measuring prospect response rates to sales emails can be immensely helpful in determining how to optimize responses to sales.
- How to do it: This can usually be done via your MAP as long as the sales team is logging their email responses in the CRM.
- What it tells you: Once you begin to track response times, you can A/B test those emails to increase responses and decrease response time. Tracking the response to sales emails can also help you determine which emails are candidates in the initial sales process to increase the capacity of your sales team without hiring more heads.
Sales campaign success
The marketing ops team usually has its own campaign setup in both the MAP and the CRM dialed in, but if there are outbound call campaigns, purchased lists, or other sales prospecting activities, marketing ops should work with sales ops to ensure that those types of campaigns are measurable, too. These metrics set up in the CRM need to be pulled quickly and easily, in the same way marketing can pull any of its campaign data.
- How to do it: Set up sales campaigns in the CRM as you would set up marketing campaigns in the MAP. (Alternatively, if it’s your sales ops team that drives campaign set-up in the CRM, ensuring that both teams follow the exact same process should suffice).
- What it tells you: Tracking the success of sales campaigns will allow the same data-driven ROI focus as there is on marketing campaigns and inform better decisions.
Number of touches
How many times does a prospect need to be touched before it converts to a sale? Sales teams often talk about how many times a prospect needs to be touched within 24 hours in order to get a decent conversation going. And marketing teams keep track of the number of marketing touches a prospect needs before they are passed through as qualified for sales. But what about the total number of touches and how the percentage breaks down between marketing and sales? What about touches before and after qualification?
- How to do it: You can sync all marketing touches to your CRM and run a formula field to track their frequency, but your sales team may become unhappy when they can’t easily see sales touches and completed sales activities because they’re bogged down by marketing activities. Instead, if you are pushing your MAP-based marketing campaigns and results into your CRM, count the number of campaigns the prospect has touched and add that number to the number of sales activities logged using formula fields in your CRM. The exact method of doing this will vary based on your CRM and its calculating capabilities.
- What it tells you: Being able to measure all the touches a prospect receives – and then testing the makeup of that number – can be another way to optimize the full-funnel process. Do prospects move more quickly when they have more sales touches? Or fewer? The best practices here vary company to company, so it’s a fantastic thing to measure and optimize.
Aligning sales ops and marketing ops teams and getting both teams on the same page about how and what to measure as a lead moves through the sales funnel is an essential process that allows marketing to do a better job of supporting sales. Recognizing sales and marketing as a single “revenue” team can’t just be lip service. The operational aspects have to function as a single team as well, even if marketing operations and sales operations are focused on different sections of the funnel.