Marketing departments, more than ever, are under the gun. Pressured by senior executives to deliver an increased amount of highly qualified leads, and often held accountable for their impact on sales performance, marketing professionals see their role evolving into a position that's more directly connected to revenue.
With the pressure to perform, many marketers are spending more time securing budgets, justifying the quality of programs and leads, and quantifying their contribution to revenue. Such is the cost of doing business today However, in situations where there is no clear definition of a qualified lead, no agreed-upon metrics that effectively measure marketing's impact on sales outcomes, and no real collaboration between sales and marketing, marketing's revenue-generating efforts are often set up to fail.
Jen Horton, RPM program director at Eloqua, suggests that marketing needs to better analyze each stage of the sales funnel. This includes placing value numbers on the early marketing stages of the funnel, and then looking at the velocity of campaigns from an aggregate view to see which ones accelerate velocity and to determine how to better move prospects through the purchase cycle. "By measuring, scoring, and placing values, you can see your baseline and set targets in the future," she says. "Once you have visibility, focus on what's working really well."