Over the last few years, marketing has shifted towards becoming as much of a science as an art. While intuition and panache still play a large role, focusing on the data behind marketing campaigns is now at the core of what defines effective marketing. Brands now have access to more data about their customers than ever before. Marketing is a numbers game, but succeeding at that game requires a deep understanding of what the data means.
The fact is that many marketers are unsure about what to measure despite having access to many data points through powerful tools like CRM systems and marketing automation platforms. Millions of marketers use Salesforce, but few have a solid understanding of the data they’re pulling, what metrics to measure, where it comes from, and how much they can trust it. As marketing continues to become more data driven, brands need to know their data inside and out and be confident that it’s accurate.
Here are four metrics to help you uncover key insights from your data to drive more revenue:
1. Lead volume: Before you measure anything else, measure lead volume. Lead volume indicates the raw number of leads that marketing teams, or other departments within your organization, have generated. It reflects the size of your demand generation funnel, and sets a baseline from which to build. Once you have a grasp on your lead volume, you can figure out whether you’ll hit your goals for inquiries, marketing qualified leads and closed deals.
2. Conversion rates between stages: Once you know how many leads you’re dealing with, you then need to look at how leads progress through the sales funnel, and specifically how they convert. Use your funnel volume data to calculate conversion rates between stages. This calculation reveals how marketing programs are performing throughout the sales cycle. For example, you can identify which campaigns have the highest sales acceptance rates and deal close rates, as well as problem areas. If you see that one campaign has a high conversion rate from one stage to the next, you can try to emulate that campaign in the future. A better understanding of what works and what doesn’t will enable you to send higher-quality leads over to sales and improve your marketing and sales processes.
3. Funnel velocity: In the demand generation funnel, velocity is another important metric to track. Velocity reflects how quickly leads progress through your marketing and sales funnels. It reveals how long your sales cycle is and the stages where leads move faster than others. To measure velocity, time stamp every marketing response to see how long it sits in each stage, which will help you identify bottlenecks — especially in the marketing-to-sales handoff. Maybe there’s miscommunication or your organization is slow to respond. With these insights, marketers can take meaningful action to address the problem and thus shorten the sales cycle. There are third-party marketing performance apps out there that simplify tracking funnel velocity.
4. Measure campaign influence: Campaign attribution remains the Holy Grail of marketing measurement. Accurate attribution is hard to track, but if you can it’s very powerful because it shows which campaigns are actually performing. Measuring true campaign attribution — i.e., how your campaigns influence revenue and pipeline — requires going beyond traditional single-touch attribution. You can track last touch-attribution natively in Salesforce, but it’s rare that one campaign will be responsible for the creation or close of an opportunity.
As a result, marketers need tools that provide a deeper understanding of a campaign’s performance by providing better data with multitouch attribution and weighted campaign influence models. Marketers are then able to attribute the appropriate amount of revenue to every campaign on an opportunity, and can understand which campaigns were the most influential in generating an opportunity for sales. The power to know where to invest marketing dollars for the highest return on investment is a competitive advantage in our modern marketing world.
Bonnie Crater is President & CEO of Full Circle Insights, a sales and marketing performance measurement software company. Earlier, Crater served as VP of marketing at several Silicon Valley software companies.