Biz Tips: How to Measure Sales and Marketing Alignment

Biz Tips: How to Measure Sales and Marketing Alignment

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How to Measure Sales and Marketing Alignment

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This year, one of the most important things growth driven organization’s can invest in is focused alignment between sales and marketing. Highly aligned organization’s average 32% YoY growth while their less aligned counterparts see a 7% decrease. (Source: Aberdeen Group) While the process of getting sales and marketing aligned takes time and commitment, the results can be business changing. So how do you measure your efforts in getting sales and marketing on the same page?

It will be important to outline KPIs in the early stages of your sales and marketing alignment (also called smarketing) planning. Include management of both teams as well as your CEO. Don’t be afraid to gather a little feedback from your reps before landing on the final KPIs. Here are a few starting points.

Source: Hubspot State of Inbound 2018

Revenue

Revenue is the most important metric to track, if you measure nothing else, make sure you at least keep track of revenue. This will be the easiest metric to create incentives for because you will see the money coming in and the teams that contributed will get a cut in their comp plans. You could also keep track of revenue by lead source to see if a specific marketing effort is making a big difference.

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MQL volume

Once there is an agreement on what a good lead is so no one is pointing fingers saying leads from marketing suck or sales won’t follow up. Establishing and measuring the volume of Marketing Qualified Leads or MQL’s is important to building scalability. Working back through the funnel you can figure out how many of these you need and puts an importance on knowing a few other metrics we’ll talk about shortly. But if you know you need to make $1000 this month, and that’s equal to two deals and it usually takes talking to 5 good leads (now defined as MQLs) you have a target set.

MQL-to-SQL conversion rate

This is your primary way to understand the success rate of your marketing team’s leads. Keep track of how many MQL’s are sent over to sales, and how many of those become SQLs meaning they are deemed well-qualified and being actively worked by a member of the sales team. This should help you understand the level of quality of the leads marketing is sending to sales. Another related metric to look at would be how many MQL’s are sent back as unqualified or in need of further nurturing. (Sidebar, this can be a real game changer for marketing. These insights can often unlock opportunities in content or targeting that make the whole funnel perform like a rocket ship when the weaknesses in your lead gen activities are identified. Talk to sales — get their feedback. Don’t just let them say this lead was unqualified, find a way to learn why.)

SQL (Opportunity)-to-Customer win rate

This metric will allow you to see how successfully your sales team is closing the qualified leads they are receiving. Another thing to keep an eye on within this area would be why highly qualified leads are lost, do they stop responding? Change their mind? Loss reasoning is important so you can identify trends and remedy anything that is within your control. KPI specialists Geckoboard have outlined some benchmark rates if you need an idea where to start.

Sales cycle length

At the kickoff of your smarketing process, figure out your current average sales cycle length. With marketing producing more informed and focused content along with your new massively successful handoff process from marketing to sales, the overall purchase process should begin to shorten. And since according to Marketing Charts, the average B2B sales cycle for a new customer can last half a year, any reduction in that time means more revenue on the books now.

Source: Marketing Charts

Content effectiveness & usage (both by customers and sales)

For this you can look at traffic rates for blog posts and landing pages, subscriber growth, search rankings, click-through rates, there are endless metrics to help you understand which content is landing well with consumers and which aren’t. For sales engagement, it will mostly be an ongoing conversation and being open to feedback. They can explain which pieces of content they’ve been utilizing for customers, which ones are working and which aren’t hitting the mark.

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How to Measure Sales and Marketing Alignment was originally published in Marketing And Growth Hacking on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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