I was looking at a presentation the other day on 50 digital marketing metrics for CMOs, CIOs and other CXOs.  It was by a pretty stellar CMO who’s especially active on Twitter. It really was very thorough, a great piece of work. What I found odd, though was that only a couple of the 50 metrics focused on the sales side of the funnel.

Only this morning I was talking with a senior director of a globally renowned BI company about the divide that exists between sales and marketing, principally because the two areas – which should be joined at the hip – were judging success differently. One area saw a high volume of leads as successful, the other saw the lack of quality pipeline as unsuccessful. You see this gulf in many companies. I’m sure you’ve seen it in companies where you’ve worked.

To return to the marketing metrics presentation: the success of demand generation is in the amount of business that results from an activity. You should break this down further into 3 key metrics that have a direct bearing on the success and wellbeing of the entire company:

– deal size. What is the average deal size of a lead from a marketing activity that became an opportunity? What is the average deal size for the opportunities that you won? Some marketing activities will generate bigger average deal size than others.

– win rate. What percentage of the qualified leads did you win that were generated by marketing activities? What percentage of the qualified opportunities? Some marketing activities will generate better close rates than others. This tells you about the quality of leads you create, and the quality of your qualification process from lead to opportunity.

– close cycle. What was the average total elapsed time from lead creation to closed deal? From lead creation to opportunity creation? From opportunity creation to deal closure? Some marketing activities will generate faster close cycles.  Speed is of the essence when you’re trying to grow the business.

You have to tie marketing efficiency forward – not back – to revenues.  Better to focus on a few metrics that measure sales + marketing than 48 that measure marketing alone.

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