Traditional marketing is dead.
Yesterday’s marketer, whose primary job responsibility was to deliver leads – a dirty four-letter word to CEOs and board members today – has gone the way of the dinosaur. Into his place stepped the modern, data-driven revenue-focused marketer. This new school of Marketing VPs are now being held accountable for revenue and as such, have had to undergo a dramatic paradigm shift in terms of their mindsets. Instead of worrying about leads, and the related metrics that drive leads, these new revenue marketers have their eye on the prize as outlined in their new job description – revenue.
What is revenue-focused marketing?
At its core, revenue-focused marketing takes into account all the marketing strategies and tactics that contribute to the business’ bottom line. These include delivering sales-ready leads that convert quickly into opportunities, actively contributing to the opportunity pipeline and, perhaps most importantly, measuring the impact of all strategies and tactics on revenue.
Revenue-focused marketing arose largely due to different expectations set by CEOs, board members and high-level executives. CEOs are becoming ever-more demanding in aggressively pursuing growth. They are focused on optimizing efficiency by emphasizing campaigns that demonstrate the best ROI. They are demanding better operational effectiveness at all levels of the marketing and sales process. Even the Sales VP has changed his or her expectations. Marketing is counted on more than ever to hold up their end of the service-level agreement that is critical for sales and marketing alignment – both sides of the agreement must deliver opportunities that contribute to revenue.
Revenue-focused marketing Metrics
The new-school revenue marketer is extremely data-driven, focusing on the right marketing metrics and reports that can help them refine their campaigns and efforts and really drive revenue. Identifying the right marketing metrics to track is the first step on a path toward becoming a revenue marketer.
For instance, look at the Pipeline Contribution report below. Once upon a time, marketing was simply depended on to deliver a huge number of leads, regardless of how qualified they are. Today’s sales reps don’t have the time to pursue a whole host of unqualified leads in an inefficient, helter-skelter manner. Therefore, the onus has been put on marketing to hold leads up to a higher standard of qualification, in order to ensure that only sales-ready leads are delivered and that these leads have a high rate of conversion to opportunities. In this example, marketing has steadily increased its contribution of opportunities to the pipeline, suggesting that the marketing team has become more effective and stringent in finding sales-ready leads.
Another great measure of how effective the leads that marketing generates are is to look at a lead funnel report. Such a report shows how the leads are progressing through the various stages of the funnel. At the top are marketing-qualified leads, leads that, according to marketing’s definition, have shown some interest in buying. Once the sales team receives these leads, they can then accept and qualify them on their own volition and standards, based on the leads’ sales readiness. They can then go ahead and start working them, eventually leading to a closed-won deal. The higher the conversion rates between each of these stages are, the better marketing is at delivering sales-ready leads.
The Marketing Cycle is a great leading indicator and marketing report that can help a Marketing VP effectively plan campaigns for upcoming months or quarters. This report displays how long leads take to convert to opportunities – the shorter the marketing cycle is, the higher-quality these leads are. This report serves two purposes. First, it lets marketers know if their efforts are actually improving; they should be analyzing their past marketing efforts and looking for ways to improve on the quality of leads being generated and, subsequently, shorten their marketing cycle. Additionally, this report is a critical asset in terms of planning. If it takes a lead 29 days to convert to an opportunity, the Marketing VP should know to launch marketing campaigns in advance within that time frame in order to hit next month’s or next quarter’s revenue goals.
Finally, the best marketing report to show its impact on the bottom line is, quite simply, a Marketing Bookings report. This report displays the number of deals and the total value of these deals that come directly from marketing lead sources. Marketing VPs can use this report in a twofold manner: first, to demonstrate to the CEO and board members what their direct contribution to revenue is and secondly, to help dictate their marketing efforts going forward. If certain lead sources are generating tremendous bookings and revenue value while others aren’t at all, the Marketing VP will know where to focus the team’s efforts in the future.
The common denominator between these marketing metrics and reports is that they all have an eye toward revenue. Leads as the most important marketing metric is part of an archaic mindset that is not reflective of what is expected of marketing today. Instead, Marketing VPs should expand their horizons to study the metrics that truly matter – how much marketing is contributing to the pipeline, how fast leads are converting and, most importantly, what impact marketing has on revenue.