3 Metrics That Will Align Sales And Marketing Today
When sales and marketing are aligned and work together with cooperative goals and strategies it improves results for businesses. Revenues are increased, sales cycles are shortened, conversion rates are improved, and, most importantly, sales forecast accuracy is enhanced. But these aren’t the only metrics that should be tracked to understand and optimize your sales and marketing (Smarketing) efforts.
In this article, we will take a look at three key metrics that are generally overlooked by companies and give deeper insight into how effectively your marketing strategies are aiding your sales pipeline. We have segmented them over the two disciplines to make it easier to understand how each contributes to the success of the other.
1. Marketing – Intent Score
Intent scoring uses multiple data points to understand how a potential customer has entered a marketing funnel and at what point they are actually at in the purchase decision-making process. The metrics are technically shared between both the marketing and sales functions however, there is more value within it for marketing initially, whereas sales will take the data from closer to the endpoint.
By tracking this metric, gain insights that help to rank potential customers across several KPIs, including their interest in the product or service, where they are in their own buying process, and how the prospect fits within target personas. From this, marketers can see how “warm” a prospect is and at what level they are at within the nurturing process thus allowing marketers to tune the targeting of collateral to increase the likelihood of conversion.
So how do you do about delivering scoring based on intent, marketing can set key behavioural based events that attribute a particular score weighting, for example out of 100% clicking on an email link to a product could add 20% as this is a heavy indicator of interest in that product. Events don’t just need to be interactive, however, if a customer has visited certain pages on your website or spent a certain amount of time on key pages these can also be set as scoring triggers. So as prospects hit the triggers and increase their intent score they are then pushed into different categories which show their likelihood to convert.
Sales can then evaluate the prospect’s level of interest and salespeople can place them as a contact within a priority list based on that intent level and what actions they have taken. By prioritizing the prospect based on their intent score, salespeople can focus on the potential customers who are more likely to convert based on where they are in the buyer journey. This refinement of your pipeline will improve how your sales teams use resources and optimize their workflows to become more efficient and productive.
2. Marketing – Grading
This metric tracks how closely a prospective customer matches your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). This is a more complicated metric as it requires assessment and evaluation based on your current customer profiles to develop before being deployed. However, once the legwork is done it can have a dramatic impact on your ability to rank and score your customers by profiling them against historical information. Grading works by connecting prospective customer data points against your perceived and established criteria within your ICPs. Depending on how many points an individual customer or company hits defines how likely they are to be interested in your product or service, and how likely they are to convert once they are in the funnel.
Grading your customers allows you to focus not only on your targeting to ensure that you are pushing potential customers into the right kind of nurture funnels, but also enable you to connect your sales team with customers who are more likely to convert to have more productive conversations and increase deal closing.
While Grading your customers sounds similar in practice to Intent Scoring as they both establish the interest a customer has in a service or product, Grading is an internal tracking system that you can deploy either in tandem with Intent Scoring or as a basis for your outreach programs.
Grading helps to pull together the intent that marketing is looking for to create and establish collateral for distribution, while also providing sales with solid profiled and data-driven prospects. This alignment then allows for sales to be more assured of a prospect’s interest as they should be further along the sales funnel. While on the other hand, marketing can understand what collateral is needed for specific profiles and how to more effectively target nurture campaigns to drive more MQLs (Marketing-Qualified Leads) and SQLs (Sales-Qualified Leads).
3. Sales – Engagement Score
Engagement scoring is possibly the most important and, ultimately, is the Holy Grail of sales qualification. The engagement score shows how engaged the prospect is with your company overall. By showing the levels of interactivity that they have had with marketing collateral, webpages, as well as sales outreach, it combined all of these data points into one holistic scoring mechanism.
By measuring the engagement score that a potential customer has across all interactions, it gives the best possible indication of how likely they will convert. Not only that but as engagement is broken down over each contact point across marketing and sales there is a direct correlation between how marketing’s collateral and strategies are influencing sales closing and conversion rates.
By utilising the above metrics and measuring the success rates over the the course of a sales prospects life cycle enables you to optimize your marketing strategy and improve the sales conversion rate. Each of these metrics allows you to improve the alignment of marketing and sales to make these traditionally symbiotic but separate departments to start to work closer together to drive sales and increase company revenue.