If you’ve worked in b2b marketing or sales over the years it may have felt somewhat akin to alchemy: add a dash of this and a little of that, and – voilà! – a lead becomes a closed deal.
That’s because in the past there were a few things you could measure in a given revenue cycle, all the aspects you wished you could measure, and all the stuff you didn’t know you should measure.
But advancements in technology and methodologies have made it possible to get a unified view of the entire sales and marketing funnel, make adjustments in real-time and understand how buyer behavior predicts what leads will result in closed deals. In the process, marketing is moving from alchemy to revenue rocket science.
Several companies are transforming the traditionally separated sales and marketing functions by incorporating the principles of Revenue Performance Management. In the past, marketing might experiment with various elements (webinars, events, testimonials, email marketing, direct mail, etc.) in hopes that something would lead to gold. But with little insight into the process it was difficult, even impossible, to determine what resulted in improved revenue performance and replicate success.
Yet, Eloqua research found that several companies are measuring five Revenue Performance Indicators (RPIs) that have enabled them to outperform the S&P 500. Rocket science requires understanding the forces that impact your revenue engine, not just the internal propulsion. The RPIs give businesses the ability to grasp the totality of how sales and marketing ultimately drives revenue.
These five RPIs include
- measuring the overall value of each revenue cycle, taking into account various lead stages, and not simply active sales pipeline;
- tracking the reach of the organization’s database so it understands how many people it can market to at any given point in time;
- watching conversion rates so that leads are continually moving forward and addressing choke points before they cause an engine stall;
- understanding the velocity of a revenue cycle so that the business knows how long it takes them to move from the prospect stage to the closed deal;
- and measuring the return of sales and marketing initiatives by tracking the costs against the revenue generated over time.
Finally, businesses need to apply benchmarking to their entire marketing and sales process so they can see how they are performing against industry peers and, as importantly, themselves.
Applying the principles of Revenue Performance Management makes what can feel like rocket science accessible. The result is less alchemy, but more sales and marketing gold.