May 27th, 2014 by Steve Niemiec, SVP of Sales
With 10+ years in this evolving industry, having seen a host of changes, I’m often reminded of the old days when we had limited insight into campaign success and feedback meetings on program progress were met with marketers throwing their hands up in the air saying “who knows!?!” Leads were lost, never called, or, god forbid, never even tracked.
If you’re a marketer, you are probably having nightmares looking back on these days, but don’t worry, you’re not alone - we’ve all been there. And while this certainly still happens today more than it ever should, marketers now have more intelligence at their fingertips than ever before. Data and intelligence are changing how marketers think about success and the ability to leverage project level influence and intelligence is providing marketing with significantly more control of the ever-changing demand gen funnel.
I was recently in the UK and while meeting with one particular marketer, it was evident within the first 2 minutes of our discussion that he was very frustrated with his sales team’s measurement – nothing attributed to marketing, no feedback shared. To help, we spent 20 minutes to go through our project data and the TechTarget campaign reports he had received. We worked together to match our intelligence to pipeline and opportunity creation, looked at the project evaluation criteria, competitive install, and past leads piped. What did we find? Over $3M in direct marketing pipeline over the last quarter. We also found multiple leads at confirmed projects not called, as well as live opportunities from accounts not touched.
Is this type of sales/marketing disconnect par for the course at every organization? No. But it is an example that illustrates how important having the right intelligence can be for marketers.
Intelligence means you no longer have to solely rely on sales for feedback on how the leads you deliver are moving through the funnel. It allows you to see how your efforts have directly contributed to the organization, the revenue opportunities you have influenced, the deals you have touched over extended sales cycles, how you have engaged your competitive install base, and more. Most importantly, intelligence helps marketing form more impactful relationships with sales to help the organization better turn prospects into customers. In other words, it helps you become a hero to your sales teams.
How can you be a hero to your sales teams?
It starts with knowing who the buyers are and where the deals exist. You need to leverage every advantage, mine every data point, and use the intelligence inside and outside of your ecosystem to understand:
- Leads delivered at accounts with live projects (regardless of what sales has done with them or where they sit in re-messaging)
- Knowing about confirmed projects that are right now not considering you
- Getting insight into which competitors are actually on the project shortlist
- Which of your customers is evaluating your competitors
The stories are starting to come in and marketing is taking back control. Our upcoming ROI Summits in Europe feature marketers from world-class companies like Salesforce, Google, Marketo, SAS, Dell, HP, and Cisco that will be telling specific stories about how they are using intelligence to drive their businesses to new heights.
Successful marketers will be those that work with sales to demonstrate impact and knowing where live revenue opportunities are is a whole different ballgame.
As I have said in the past that the next era is upon intelligence-driven marketers who yearn to have more control and build programs that demonstrate real influence and ROI. Are you ready to be a hero? If so, I am here to help. Feel free to leave a comment or you can connect with me directly or via LinkedIn.