Are Your Marketing Efforts Really Enabling Sales Performance?
A couple weeks ago, I attended High Alpha’s marketing forum and was reminded by one of the speakers of the simple, yet remarkable function of all marketing efforts: enable sales to close more deals. That doesn’t mean marketing plays a subservient role when sitting at the table with sales executives, but it does serve a measurable purpose and it’s time marketing is held to a regular revenue commitment.
So how do we help marketing help sales? Specific directives and clear goals. Here are some questions you need to ask your team to make sure they’re moving in the right direction.
Is your content really king?
Easily one of the greatest tools marketing can provide sales with is valuable, in-depth content that establishes the company as an authority and the product as a solution. eBooks, articles, emails and infographics can all play a vital role in properly educating the prospect and getting them comfortable with the buy. You must evaluate your current deliverables and decide if your sales team is being armed with the necessary ammo to hit their targets.
Are you communicating clearly with prospects?
Having the right content will keep the message clear and help your customers understand the product’s value while they’re not on the phone. But are they hearing the right message when it comes to demos and closing calls? That’s not only the responsibility of the sales team. Marketing reps should be sitting in on calls, stationed near the sales team and developing materials to improve communication in the sales process. Creatives should be helping with email communications and even provide some coaching with sales development reps (SDRs) and account executives (AEs) to help develop the right language that gets clients to commit.
How do you measure if it’s working?
Your marketing efforts should be every bit as accountable to quarterly goals as sales employees. Look at these data points—and more at Hubspot—to measure if they are making headway on their enablement efforts.
Content production goals
Quality content drives real results. But everyone has to hit numbers, right? Your marketing team should deliver quality at scale and hit regular production goals. Not only does it help predict traffic, boost SEO and create inbound leads, but it also helps the sales staff how many new assets they’ll have to dangle in front of potential clients.
Sales team NPS
Survey your sales team like you would any customer. Figure out if they are able to use marketing’s efforts to close deals easier. Is their feedback being considered? Does the content being created truly demonstrate value and explain the ways a customer’s pain points? If your sales team isn’t comfortable with the deliverables, your organization won’t maximize the value of your communications strategy and cause a riff that prevents true marketing-sales alignment.
Other metrics to evaluate conversions
Marketing is far from the only department that chips into sales enablement. The following metrics will help you measure marketing’s impact on sales enablement, but take into account that many other factors will move these metrics.
Measure lead-to-customer conversion rate of marketing qualified leads
Measuring lead-to-customer conversion rate help identify the success of a given channel. Marketing is no different. Evaluate the performance of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) to check the effectiveness of your inbound efforts. Finding a drop in this number over time can signal a drop in the quality of content (and vice versa for improvement) or determine if a change in messaging has brought in a crew of unqualified prospects.
Measure revenue per lead
As we’ve mentioned before, revenue per lead is really important to track. Use the following formula to figure it out: Revenue Generated/Number of Leads = RPL
RPL helps to determine if your funnel is healthy and your leads are quality. This is also a great way to check if leads are being converted well and if not, it might be time to refigure the enablement efforts. Earning more revenue on each lead can be one of the strongest indicators of a startup that’s growing right.
Are you beating your competitors?
One of the metrics that can truly determine if your startup is healthy and your sales team well-equipped is a good win/loss rate against your competition. You may feel your content delivers better quality and the messaging is clear, but if it isn’t providing the winning differentiator that edges out the competition, marketing efforts may be the problem. Tally these columns and share it with your team each month and tweak communications as necessary.