Marketing VPs might not have as many different marketing and sales metrics to track and analyze as their counterparts in sales do, but this doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be expending the effort and attention to identify the right ones. Calculating the ROI of marketing campaigns or the trajectory of your lead generation efforts are common marketing metrics, but it’s a less common one that is one of the most critical – the percentage of the sales pipeline generated by marketing.
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In a world where sales and marketing alignment is essential for a company’s prosperity, it is important that both teams pull their weight. The percentage of marketing-generated pipeline is a great indicator that the marketing team is doing its job. If marketing is proven to be responsible for generating the entire or most of the sales pipeline, it might suggest that the outbound prospecting team is not pulling its weight.
While there is no clear-cut industry standard for how much marketing should be contributing to the sales pipeline – after all, every company in every industry is unique – there are certain benchmarks. SiriusDecisions notes that best-in-class marketing functions typically contribute between 10 and 40 percent of the sales pipeline, while Marketo notes that 38% would be an admirable proportion of the pipeline for marketing to strive toward.
Check out the Marketing Pipeline Contribution report below. The blue bars indicate marketing’s contribution to the sales pipeline in terms of the total value of opportunities, while the green bars represent other non-marketing contributions to the sales pipeline, such as through outbound prospecting or cold-calling. According to this report, marketing is starting to see the fruits of its labors, with significantly more contribution to the opportunity pipeline in July compared to June. Consequently, the data reveals that the cold-calling or outbound prospecting team was beginning to lag in its performance and was not contributing as much to the sales pipeline in July and August as it was in June.
Marketing VPs can use this report to gain better insight into whether or not their team’s efforts are contributing directly to the sales pipeline. The Marketing VP can analyze his or her team’s performance and connect the dots from all lead generation activities directly to the opportunity pipeline. They will be able to provide a concrete answer for what marketing’s contributions are and whether or not these efforts are actually growing the pipeline.
This is also a tremendous report to show your CEO or Board of Directors. Board members and your CEO are primarily focused on big-picture items, namely closed-won deals and the bottom line. They are not likely to care a great deal about nitty-gritty tactical details behind the ROI of various marketing campaigns or your overall lead trajectory. With this kind of C-level mindset, it can be difficult for a Marketing VP to fully convey the breadth of his contributions to the powers-that-be.
The Marketing Pipeline Contribution report can help bridge this gap. The report is a crystal-clear representation of exactly marketing’s true contribution to the company, providing much more relevant information than a simple leads report, for example. Additionally, the visual report clearly plots trends in an easily digestible manner. Is marketing’s contribution to the sales pipeline growing over the past 12 months? Has marketing’s effort consistently outpaced the lead generation and pipeline contribution efforts of the sales team? The trend lines in this report can answer each of these questions.
So the next time the Sales VP is harassing you for not contributing enough high-quality leads to the sales pipeline, or your CEO asks what your marketing team has succeeded in doing this quarter, point to your percentage of marketing-generation pipeline, indicate its substantial growth over time, and kick back and receive the plaudits you deserve for helping to grow the sales pipeline.