Act-On recently presented a webinar titled Lead Lifecycle Analytics: Essential Metrics for Perpetual Revenue Growth. During this webinar, Gleanster Principal Analyst Ian Michels discussed how to estimate the number of leads required to reach a desired number of sales, and how to estimate the marketing budget need to meet those goals.
According to Gleanster, nine out of ten B2B marketers use “revenue growth” as the primary metric for measuring marketing success. While revenue growth is important, according to Michels, it’s not the only metric marketers should be using to measure success. This webinar breaks down some of those metrics.
Best Practices for Measuring the Lead Lifecycle
When it comes to lead generation, there are a number of stages involved, including: the buying cycle, the sales cycle, and the service stage. Michels identifies these three stages, and how they work together, as the Customer Lifecycle (or Lead Lifecycle).
When it comes to moving between the buying cycle and the sales cycle, it’s not a passing of the baton; on the contrary, Michels stresses that this is a team effort between marketing and sales. Sometimes there are prospects that need to go back to marketing because they’re not sales qualified.
Many organizations measure only revenue as it follows from marketing to sales; however, that’s not the only time when revenue is generated. As Michels points out, revenue can occur at a number of points during the Customer Lifecycle. Not every customer starts in the buying cycle, moves to the sales cycle and then purchases. Sometimes prospects drop out of the sales pipeline and are nurtured by marketing; other times sales is able to up-sell to prospects and existing customers. It’s important to also measure this revenue, which can provide huge opportunities for the organization.
Besides revenue, what should businesses measure?Michels provided 15 critical measurements, which align to the different stages of the Customer Lifecycle, including: marketing success metrics, marketing and sales alignment metrics, sales success metrics and lifecycle revenue metrics. Here are the 15 items Michels says businesses should measure:
- Number of Inquires / Channel
- Total Number of Inquiries
- Total Number of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)
- Ratio of Inquiry to MQL
- Cost per MQL
- Total Number of Sales Accepted Leads (SALs)
- Ratio of MQL to SAL
- Cost per SAL
- Total Number of SQLs
- SQL to Closed Sales Ratio
- Average Deal Size
- Average Sales Cycle Length
- Number of SQL Not Ready to Purchase
- Cross-Selling and Up-Selling Revenue Growth/Decline
By knowing these metrics, you can better estimate the leads and budget necessary to meet your sales goal.
Three Tactics Businesses Can’t Succeed Without
In addition to 15 key measurements, Michels also identified three business tactics in his webinar:
- CRM Integration
According to a study conducted by Gleanster, 58% of Top Performers integrate their email marketing with a CRM.
- Standardizing Definitions for Measurement
83% of Top Performers document definitions for marketing qualified leads,sales accepted leads and sales qualified leads. According to Michels, it is very important to be consistent about measurement and calculations—you can’t benchmark on a moving target.
- Technology Doing the Heavy Lifting
More channels means more measurement, so make sure to utilize marketing solutions that help you track your efforts. According to Gleanster, two out of three Top Performers adopt standardized out-of-the-box metrics from marketing automation providers (like Act-On Software).
Knowing what to measure is important, but as Ian Michels points out, marketing automation and CRM integration are two systems businesses can’t succeed without. With the ability to integrate with a number of CRMs, Act-On Software is a robust marketing automation platform with the ability to help streamline your marketing efforts and improve marketing and sales integration. Sound like something that could benefit your organization? Contact our sales team to learn more about Act-On Software.