Sales and marketing alignment takes work. Lots of organizations have the idea to get both teams in a room together, communicating, collaborating, and all those other warm and fuzzy things that make our hearts flutter.
Problem is, that all just turns into a lot of hogwash and fingerpointing -- especially when the bottom line isn't getting hit -- when there isn't anything but "feelings" to back up the discussion.
That's why it's critical sales and marketing should track shared goals and metrics to keep each team accountable to the other.
When your two teams get on the same page with these 12 metrics -- that address both quantity and quality -- you'll find it's easier to objectively evaluate your respective performances without devolving into unproductive blame games that don't do anything to advance your company's goals. Here are the 12 metrics that will serve as the missing piece in your attempts at sales and marketing alignment!
12 Metrics Sales and Marketing Should Track to Stay Accountable
1) Reach: Reach is the total of a company's email database, social media following, blog subscribers -- anyone the company can reach with content or marketing messages. This metric is key because it measures the width at the very top of the sales and marketing funnel.
2) Leads Generated: The most typical marketing metric is leads, and it continues to be an important metric. Once someone is a lead, you have their contact information and can nurture them more effectively.
3) Revenue Pipeline: Revenue pipeline takes the leads marketing generates and projects the value of that lead based on lead close rates and average revenue per sale. Revenue pipeline is a surprisingly clarifying metric because you can directly line up marketing's efforts with sales' quota to make sure the teams are aligned to reach the same end goal.
4) Revenue: The ultimate goal of the entire sales and marketing team: revenue. Measure this not only at the end of a quarter or month (whatever your sales cycle is) but also throughout the month compared to your goal. That way you're not surprised on the last day of the quarter that you haven't reached your goal.
5) Visit-to-Lead %: This metric is a measure of the effectiveness of the marketing team's calls-to-action and offers. This metric reflects the quality of the marketing team's content and can identify any issues at the very top of the funnel. It's also good to look at conversion rate on offer landing pages, specifically, to understand if the problem is on the initial CTA or the landing page.
6) Lead-to-Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) %: The lead-to-MQL percentage is a measure of how effective marketing is at converting leads beyond the stage of simply having someone's contact information, to a stage of qualification.
7) Leads Presented-to-Leads Worked %: The percentage of leads worked by the sales team is a great -- not to mention quick -- measure of the initial quality of leads presented to your sales team. If a sales rep simply won't call or email a lead given to them (a hot, inbound lead!) then something is wrong with the quality of the lead, or the handoff/agreement between sales and marketing.
8) Leads Worked-to-Leads Connected %: The percentage of leads that sales is able to connect with reflects how likely or willing a marketing-generated lead is to take the next step to talk with sales, and/or reflects the effectiveness of the sales rep's follow up approach.
9) MQL-to-Opportunity %: The percentage of MQLs that become opportunities is a measure of the quality of MQLs specifically. If you see this metric going down, you may need to reassess your criteria for a lead to be considered an MQL.
10) Opportunity-to-Customer %: Once a lead reaches the opportunity stage, it's largely in the sales person's hands to bring it through the final stages of the sales funnel. The Opportunity-to-Customer % is a measure of the quality of opportunities the sales team is creating, and how effective they are at closing these opportunities.
11) Lead-to-Customer %: The final funnel metric, Lead-to-customer %, gives you one number on the effectiveness of your sales and marketing funnel. This is a good, single number to look at to understand how you're doing as a SMarketing team, while the other metrics above can diagnose which stages need work.
12) Average Deal Size: Since you're concerned about revenue more than just the number of customers, the average revenue per customer account is a key metric that can improve your company's financials without changing any of the other metrics.
Use Dashboards to Quickly Monitor These Metrics
Measuring all these metrics doesn't mean you have to sit and look at Excel all day, every day. Using the analytics built into your marketing software and CRM system, you can create standard reports and dashboards to automatically track all of your most important SMarketing metrics. Plus, dashboards save you time -- you create the report once and can stay up to date on all your metrics forever -- letting you skim all these metrics to look for any issues as they pop up.
Here are some tips in creating your dashboard for ultimate SMarketing alignment:
- Create a shared dashboard that includes the key metrics for both teams. That gives you one place for everyone to look for a high-level view of how you're doing.
- Make the dashboard accessible to keep both teams accountable to their metrics.
- Look at the metrics by short-term and long-term timeframes. At HubSpot, we look at our metrics by day (for the month) and by month (for the year). That gives you both a detailed and high-level view at the same time.
- Check the dashboard every day. If these are your most important metrics, you should know how you're doing at all times. Whether you manually check your dashboard every day or you have the dashboard emailed to your inbox, make sure you know your metrics.
How to Establish an SLA
The final piece in using metrics for better sales and marketing alignment is to establish a service level agreement (SLA) between the two teams. This SLA defines what each team commits to accomplishing in order to support the other. For example, an SLA may determine that the marketing team will generate 100 inbound leads per sales rep, and in turn, the sales team will work at least 90% of those leads and will pursue each lead at least 5 times over a month before considering it unreachable.
To establish your own SMarketing SLA:
- Run an analysis on the close rates by type of lead (ebook vs. demo, Healthcare segment vs. Technology segment).
- Determine the number of leads (or lead value, such as the revenue pipeline metric mentioned above) needed per sales rep to reach his/her quota. This becomes the Marketing SLA.
- Define the number and frequency of attempts a sales rep must work the leads generated for them. This becomes the Sales SLA.
- Include these metrics on the dashboard you look at daily.
Using data is a great way to bring sales and marketing together to align towards key business goals and keep both teams accountable and successfully working together. At HubSpot, we frequently use data to confirm or correct any feedback or complaints expressed by sales or marketing, diagnose funnel issues, and figure out how to constantly improve the effectiveness of the sales and marketing teams together.
How are you using data to align your sales and marketing teams?
Image credit: andreanna