By now, most marketers understand the importance of mending the traditional rift between sales and marketing. The mistrust and miscommunication that’s so often found between the two teams can act like an anchor on your company’s growth rate. In fact, organizations with good alignment between sales and marketing teams achieved 20% annual revenue growth in 2010, according to a study by the Aberdeen Group. By contrast, companies with poor alignment saw revenues decline by 4%.
But even if you've taken the necessary steps to align your sales and marketing (AKA SMarketing) team through tools like closed-loop analytics and a service-level agreement (SLA), failing to monitor progress toward those SMarketing goals is a common mistake many companies make -- and it can be costly. If you’re not keeping an eye on your goals, you’re less likely to spot areas of concern until they spiral into big problems. And at that point, it may be very difficult to repair the damage that has already been done.
Luckily, there are two awesome reporting tools you can use to manage your SMarketing organization: 1) daily dashboards, 2) detailed monthly reports of sales and marketing activity.
Let's learn how to use these reports to keep your sales and marketing teams accountable for their progress toward their goals.
Sales and marketing dashboards turn data from your closed-loop reporting system into a daily
snapshot of the team’s progress. Dashboards should be shared with the entire SMarketing
team by building them into your CRM system, incorporating them into your marketing software
platform, or emailing them to the entire team. This highly public update not only tracks your progress toward goals, but it can also help your team meet their goals. Marketers and salespeople are less likely to fall behind if they know that the rest of the team will see their
numbers every day. And if people do fall behind, they’re more motivated to fix problems on their own.
The Marketing Dashboard
This marketing dashboard, also known as the Daily Leads Waterfall graph, is a simple but very effective way to visualize your marketing team’s progress toward its SLA goals. The graph compares your actual daily lead flow against the target rate that you need to hit your monthly goals. Generating a Daily Leads Waterfall graph is simple. If you’re a HubSpot customer, your software does it automatically on your Dashboard.
If you’re not a HubSpot customer, you can use this Excel template to create and maintain your graph. Enter your results every day to plot your progress against your SLA goal. The
resulting chart can show you where to focus your marketing team’s attention.
1) If Leads Are Behind: If actual leads are below the goal, your marketing team must do additional work to deliver on its SLA promises. That might mean developing new content, increasing social media engagement, or spending additional money on PPC.
2) If Leads Are Ahead: If actual leads are running above the goal, your marketing team has some breathing room and can look ahead to the next month or next quarter. For example,
you could start working on next month’s campaigns, or hold back a few pieces of content for next month’s promotions.
Sales dashboards generally measure follow-up timing and contact attempts. Have your sales manager dig into CRM data to create charts that illustrate whether the sales team is delivering on its SLA goals. Two key dashboards are:
- New leads that were not called within XYZ hours, as specified in the SLA
- All leads that weren’t called at least XYZ times within XYZ days
These daily reports will show when specific teams or individual sales reps are falling behind on their goals. That early warning gives sales managers the chance to jump in, diagnose the problem, and provide some coaching that will help the team or the individual get back on track.
Dashboards provide a daily update of the most important metrics for your SMarketing team.
But you should also create a monthly sales and marketing report that gives a detailed look into
your sales and marketing strategies and results. This monthly report should be shared with the entire company. It not only creates transparency about sales and marketing activities, but it also highlights how your efforts are impacting the entire business. The monthly report should feature charts that quantify the work that sales and marketing does each day.
Marketing Monthly Report
The marketing team’s report should illustrate the impact of its recent activities, using a range of charts, including:
1) Visits, Leads & Customers by Source: Show how your marketing channels have helped you attract visits, leads, and customers. Compare different sources and evaluate which ones provide the most return on investment. Such insights will help you prioritize efforts in the future. For example, here is a screenshot of these analytics as shown in the HubSpot software:
2) Performance of Marketing Assets: Next, look at how your marketing assets -- web pages, landing pages, and calls-to-action -- are performing. These are the assets your various marketing campaigns leverage in order to be successful. In fact, they are the substance of what your sources use to generate more traffic, leads, and customers. In order to evaluate how these assets are performing on a monthly basis, review the conversion rates of your landing pages and calls-to-action. Here is an example of what these analytics look like through the HubSpot software:
3) Speed From Conversion Event to Sales Follow-Up: If you're a B2B marketer, you should also be aware of how long it takes for a salesperson to follow up with a lead. That will give you an idea of how you can speed up the “demo worked” process by creating more high-quality leads and/or ensuring that your sales team is contacting those leads quickly enough. Here is what that chart might look like:
Sales Monthly Reporting
The sales team’s monthly report should feature charts that show what’s being done with the leads that marketing is generating.
1) Sales Waterfall Chart: The most important chart look at there is a visualization of actual sales results vs. quota. The chart should show the percentage of the goal that was reached and if there was a gap between the quotas and the monthly goal. Here is what this chart
can look like:
2) Total Sales Cycle: It’s also important to keep track of how long it takes your sales organization to convert the leads that marketing generated into customers. Monitoring this view will give you a sense of your sales cycle and if you are ever below or above average. Whenever you do nonstandard marketing initiatives, keep a close eye on this chart because it will give you insights into the performance of your efforts from a sales perspective. This view is also tremendously helpful when you slice it across different target personas. If you're targeting customers with different needs and preferences, you might notice that their sales cycle is drastically different.
What other reports do you use to keep your sales and marketing teams accountable?
This article is an excerpt from our ebook, The Complete Guide to Unifying Your Sales & Marketing Efforts. To learn more about everything from creating a service-level agreement to holding effective SMarketing meetings for better sales and marketing alignment, download the ebook here.