In many organizations, sales and marketing teams seem to be at odds with each other, both applying an “us-versus-them” mentality. Sales can’t seem to understand why it takes marketing so long to update collateral that sales needs at an instant, and marketing gets annoyed when sales uses irrelevant content with the wrong prospects. More importantly, sales doesn’t understand the contributions marketing is making to the organization as a whole. Yes, marketing provides sales with leads that turn into customers, but in the greater scheme of things, if marketing isn’t speaking sales’ language, sales is not going to listen.
Sales reps and teams have monthly and/or quarterly quotas to hit, normally in dollar terms but always numeric. Marketing has goals as well, including number of quality leads generated and sent to sales, among other metrics. But if marketing can’t prove the contribution it makes to the sales process and end revenue, sales will never fully appreciate marketing’s efforts. Marketing is all about creating and adjusting messaging to reach the right audience, so how can they change their own activities and goals to speak sales’ language?
The key lies in quantifying marketing success. Sales operates by numbers, so if marketing can report its contributions and success quantitatively, it will mean more to sales. One way to do this is by measuring marketing’s direct contribution to the pipeline.
When sales success can be attributed to marketing activity, marketing is able to take credit for some of that success. But oftentimes, marketing metrics aren’t related to sales activities. If marketing and sales activities aren’t complementary, it is difficult for either team to succeed. If marketing can contribute to the sales pipeline—the stages that leads go through from initial contact to becoming a customer—sales will have a much better understanding of marketing’s role in bringing in customers and revenue. One way marketing can measure and assess this contribution is by tracking leads using lead scoring.
Lead scoring allows marketing to assign a numeric value to the actions a lead performs. A few of these actions to consider include downloading pieces of content, registering and/or attending an event, the level of importance of a lead’s role and/or title, visiting company web pages, and more. Your marketing automation solution should be able to help you organize and track these lead scores, and pass them to sales as soon as they reach an optimal score. If the characteristics of a marketing-qualified lead (MQL) are conflicting for sales and marketing, sales may be receiving leads from marketing that aren’t ready for sales interaction, or marketing may be excluding leads that could benefit from a sales conversation. Sales and marketing teams should work together to establish exactly what lead score allows a lead to be passed from marketing to sales, and the two teams should routinely revisit these rules to ensure that they are working productively.
This is just one of many ways marketing can use metrics to quantify its performance in a way sales will understand and appreciate. For more sales-approved marketing metrics, please download our new guide below!