You’re Playing the Game, It’s Halftime
What do your analysts tell you to reset your strategy to get you to the W?
Hopefully your team is giving you feedback and providing insights by data – numbers, percentages, and ranges. Just like the end of a game, the end of the year is approaching, probably faster than you think it is. How has your team measured up against the benchmarks it set for itself? Were your plans realistic? Are you on track to deliver? If you have not started asking yourself these questions yet, know that the stakeholders behind you have. You can get ahead of the end-of-year crunch by setting up a reporting framework and get insights from your data. This framework could also allow you to assess what, if any, corrective actions you need to take as we close in on the last quarter of the year, whether that is focusing man hours on a specific area or maybe just adjusting everyone’s expectations.
The Goal Line
While every deal and sale are unique, when you look at your company in aggregate, you can put together an “average” journey for your prospects and customers. What does the average new sale net in revenue? How long does it take to go from unknown to a sale? How likely is an unknown prospect to end up as a customer? Do you know what these statistics are for your business? Once you do, you can start reverse engineering how far you are from your revenue goal.
Without a proper reporting framework across the entire sales funnel, you are left trusting your intuition. However, modern Martech stacks include platforms like Adobe’s Marketo Engage include robust reporting tools. If you properly utilize these tools, the typical nebulousness of marketing begins to take shape into more concrete figures. You can then take those figures and make decisions based on data rather than a gut feeling.
Let’s take a look at a very basic theoretical case. Back in January, your company set a goal of $500k in net new revenue. You know any given prospect has about a 25% chance to turn into a closed-won opportunity (and a tip of the hat to your team for their high numbers). You also know that your average sale brings in $1,000. Working backwards, it takes marketing to four prospects to bring in every $1,000. Now that we are entering the last quarter of the year, you know you need another $150k to meet the yearly goal. So, unless you can also change your averages as the year closes, you know you need to be marketing to roughly 600k prospects to meet your revenue goals.
Calling the Right Play
When you know what worked and when it worked, you can leverage that knowledge in forming your game plan, choosing which moves to make, and when to make those moves. However, it takes preparation to make sure every campaign can be measured in such a manner. Adobe’s Marketo Engage has a vast array of features that can be utilized to get you this kind of data. Obviously metrics like clicks and opens are available, but a well developed reporting framework goes beyond that to include even more data points like program statuses.
As you dive into reporting, it can do more than just show what you have done. It will start to guide what you choose to do. Say, theoretically, as you evaluate your reports, you come to find that your webinar series is a short circuit in the sales process. You can prove that you always gain new prospects from it, and that these prospects actually have closed sales at double your average. Once you see this pattern, you can start leveraging your webinars at crucial times by perhaps scheduling a webinar event for a sales push.
Working with Your Team
A proper reporting framework breaks everything down to a very granular level. You can report on marketing programs in aggregate, by program type, by individual program, down to individual email. Marketing, as a department, has to work with other departments and under executives. Communication with those other groups becomes much more effective when you can use the common language of math and statistics, that in many cases also connect the data points through integrations. Facts carry more weight when they are backed up with data.
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