Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A Marketing VP walks into a meeting with his CEO and the CEO asks him how the quarter is going.

Without missing a beat, the Marketing VP beams and says, “It’s going great! We’re on pace to crush our goals and have our strongest quarter yet!”

The CEO lets out a sigh. “No, no, no,” he says. “Tell me something I can use. Give me something that means something.”

“Ohh, ok,” the Marketing VP says, “I see what you want. Well, in that case: we’ve already doubled our lead generation efforts this quarter!”

The CEO shakes his head. “Who cares about leads?”

What was the mistake this Marketing VP made? The answer is that he was asking the wrong questions of himself and of his team. The modern CEO (and Sales VP and Board member, for that matter) doesn’t care about leads. They want to move past mere lead generation and dive deeper into the real marketing questions — how, exactly, has the marketing department contributed to bookings. Not just lead flow. Not just opportunities. Bookings.

In today’s business culture, Marketing VPs who stop at leads are bound to disappoint their CEOs and potentially put their jobs in jeopardy. Leads are still important, of course — they still form the backbone of any operation, but they are only one small part of a much larger equation. The rest of the picture is all about what happens to those leads. Did they convert into opportunities. Did they eventually become deals? Without knowing the answers to these questions, a Marketing VP is destined to disappoint his CEO.

So what’s the answer? How can a Marketing VP show his real value to his company? The answer is to show how the leads his team has created have contributed to bookings, and, perhaps even more importantly, how many deals have come from specific lead sources and which campaigns generate the most revenue.

Instead of simply touting the number of leads they’re creating, Marketing VPs need to start asking the questions that really matter: how much they’ve contributed to bookings, which of their campaigns are the most effective and how much of the pipeline they are contributing. New leads will never go out of style, but they are becoming a much smaller piece of the puzzle than they used to be.

If this all sounds like a lot for Marketing VPs to wrap their heads around, you’re in luck: We have a new FREE eBook that helps answer the questions listed above — and many more. Download the 12 Must-Ask Questions for Marketing VPs to learn what questions you should be asking and how to stop leaving CEOs shaking their heads.

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