Legendary basketball coach John Wooden once said, “Never mistake activity for achievement.” Just tying marketing-generated activities (e.g. clicks, opens, downloads) to campaigns isn’t enough to demonstrate value, as marketing is often asked to demonstrate the impact its activities have on other functions – especially sales.

A primary way that B2B marketers can demonstrate how activities have translated into results is by linking them to sales through key performance indicators, such as marketing sourced pipeline (percentage of total pipeline that marketing has uniquely created) and marketing influenced pipeline (percentage of total pipeline that marketing has touched during a set time period).

This can often be challenging because, though marketing can automatically associate activities with individual contacts, sales must associate contacts with opportunities. This connection is required to complete the link between marketing-generated activities and sales pipeline.

Though many sales organizations are initially reluctant to add more process and data entry requirements to the sales force automation (SFA) system, several of our clients have noted these additional benefits:

  • Account reviews. First-line sales managers gain additional insight into the status of the pipeline. For example: Should a deal be at X stage when you have spoken with only one person? This will promote structure and reduce the time spent in account reviews with sales reps.
  • Account transitions. Account transitions become easier to manage, as there is an indication of the individuals involved in purchasing decisions.
  • In-pipeline support. Sales gains more support from marketing in the sales pipeline, not just at the top of the waterfall, as marketing can better target and communicate to in-pipeline contacts.
  • Improved targeting. Through the analysis of titles associated to opportunities, the sales and marketing functions gain a better understanding of the specific titles that should be targeted for individual products, solutions and industries.