New Business Pipeline: How to Prove That Marketing is WorkingJan 15, 2021
As a B2B Marketer, you are accountable to prove that the work being done in your department is driving business growth. Like any other department or function within an organization, Marketing needs KPIs to track performance and outcomes.
The overall goal of marketing should be to help drive revenue for the Company - but it can be hard to measure this ROI without knowing how much influence Marketing has on New Business Pipeline!
Measuring Pipeline is a great way to prove that Marketing influences New Business. B2B marketers need to develop and nurture relationships with their customers, prospects, partners, and other people in the organization who are involved in selling or marketing products/services. Take time to understand how your Company makes money - what are some of the key performance indicators?
For most organizations, revenue generation is directly tied back to sales pipeline activity. This means you can use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) like "new opportunities" as a metric against which you'll measure success!
Marketing is one of the most important aspects of a company's success
In the pursuit of increased Revenue, marketing is a key component. Without effective messaging and an understanding of market needs, potential clients may be lost, or competitors may win them over. As such, marketers need to prove that their efforts yield significant returns on investment by highlighting metrics that demonstrate how they're driving growth in new business pipelines across all stages from initial contact through close rates. The more concrete evidence you can provide to your higher-ups about what's working, the better!
Marketing's influence on sales can be challenging to measure, but there are ways.
But first, let's talk about the challenges that hamper marketing from reporting on Revenue:
1. Poor Data Quality can prevent Marketing success
Data Quality Management helps to ensure that all data is accurate, complete, and current. It requires both Marketers and Business Leaders alike to understand the goals of each other so they can work together as a team. This will help them identify opportunities for better attribution methods in their marketing efforts.
But most B2B Marketers suffer from not getting the proper credit they deserve. For example, you launch a marketing campaign that drives high-quality leads, but it takes months to create opportunities. At that point, you lose track in checking if Marketing got the proper credit. Without this due diligence, you find no Lead Source associated with the Opportunity, and the Marketing Team misses out.
Not only has Marketing missed out on credit, but the Business Leaders have the potential to act on incomplete data.
2. Tracking Revenue is Complicated
The typical approach for Marketers to show that Marketing is working involves tracking pipeline revenue influence on new business. Tracking Pipeline Revenue Influence on New Business means looking at how much of the Pipeline's cumulative total has been influenced by marketing efforts. This metric can be calculated in Salesforce, but it takes a lot of work to clean up and aggregate information across different reports or solutions - not to mention time-consuming manual calculations with Excel!
3. Marketing Issues are not a Priority
Marketing Issues are not a priority for many business leaders because it's hard to prove that Marketing has been working on behalf of their organization - and even when they can, those efforts might be too small in scale or scope to detect any meaningful results. Those marketers have spent months strategizing and implementing Campaigns to track appropriately in Salesforce but don't see how these activities will lead them closer to proving that Marketing is working with their Company's goals.
4. CEOs don't trust Marketing
80% of B2B CEOs don’t trust marketers, having the perception that they lack business credibility and generate sufficient growth. Inaccurate reporting and delayed reporting contribute to it's bad reputation.
But...there ARE solutions!
And they're not even complicated ones. You need to have a data strategy in place to know what information is essential for your business metrics--and how best to get it.
As marketers, we need to change this. We have the power - and responsibility - to prove that Marketing is working on behalf of our organizations. It may not be easy, but it's worth it! And now you're armed with a new set of KPIs that will help get there faster than before.
The most common way for B2B Marketers to show they are valuable members of an organization is through showing them where Marketing has influenced the New Business Pipeline.
Why "Pipeline Revenue Influence" Matters for Marketers: This metric (in %) tells you what percentage of your pipeline revenue was influenced by marketing efforts during this reporting period, as calculated from all closed deals.
Here are some everyday use cases
Accelerate the Sales Cycle:
- Marketing can launch personalized campaigns to those Opportunities that haven't been touched by Marketing, which will improve the sales cycle of opportunities generated from Sales.
- If there are opportunities that are held up in the pipeline because the prospect is looking at other Competitors, Marketers can deploy specific Marketing Assets to win over potential customers.
- If a Sales rep is holding back from getting in touch with a prospect because they are waiting for approval, Marketers can provide sales collateral to accelerate their marketing efforts. This would help close more deals sooner rather than later.
Justify Marketing Budget
- The Marketing Budget is one of the first things to be cut when times are tough. It's up to Marketers to make sure Business Leaders realize how vital their marketing investment is so that they don't get chopped off during budget planning season. To do this, Marketers need to show what a dollar in marketing investment can turn into for them with key performance indicators like Pipeline Revenue Influence on New Business. If you know your ROI at the outset, it will give you an idea if your happy or not with your current investments.
- During your annual budget planning season, if you can justify and prove that you are making $5 - $10 for every $1 of marketing spend, you will be well-positioned to earn additional budget to generate more growth for the organization.
The most common way to tell the story of how Marketing is working is by showing them that it has influenced the Pipeline in one way or another. Marketers need to prove that their investments are worth it, either with ROI or other key performance indicators like our example of Pipeline Revenue Influence on New Business. It's essential not only to have conversations about what Marketing can do with new leads but also who they came from (e.g., Lead Source) to be more accurate attribution reporting for your future planning purposes.
Our Salesforce App, Kudoz the Opportunity Analyzer, can proactively help you detect and resolve missing credit so you never have another unknown lead source again. Click here to learn more about the Kudoz Beta App Launch!
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