With many of us hitting the road for holiday road trips, we’re reminded of those eternal truths passed down by word and deed over generations:
If you fail to plan, then plan to fail.
For B2B marketers, summer means that you’re far down the road in executing your annual marketing plan and starting to compare results to performance targets. What’s the best way to keep your plan headed in the right direction? If, like many marketers, you haven’t fully planned around KPIs, let’s take a step back to adjust in-route. Then, let’s apply our wisdom by turning to your teammates and to your data: continually adjusting your plans, and doing so using those specific, agreed-upon KPIs.
First thing first: this process requires that you bring marketing and sales together if you have not already done so. Every B2B business establishes sales pipeline targets and you surely have marketing conversion goals. Just don’t overcomplicate it. The key is to build a continuous marketing-through-sales funnel with shared definitions and (measurable)conversion assumptions at each phase. If you’ve already gone through this exercise in your strategic planning, feel free to move to step three (with our admiration).
For each major conversion point:
Don’t let your sales and marketing team leave the room just yet. You’ll need to make sure that these targets actually make sense in the real world. For instance …
Target = Wicker basket manufacturers
Without the gut check phase, lots of bad things can and do happen at the tactical levels of both sales and marketing down the road. Remember: if you have the time, use it.
• Which conversion assumptions are not being met?
• Do we need to loosen or tighten criteria? Or adjust our definitions?
• Do we need to focus on bolstering one part of the funnel — say, top of funnel suspects, mid-funnel leads, etc.?
• If so, what tactics might we add or change?
Time and time again, we’ve found that bringing sales and marketing together to build shared pipeline models, and then keeping them in lockstep with each other as time progresses, leads to repeatable, realistic demand generation strategies with results that draw cheers from the C-Suite.
Need help pulling this off? Sales and marketing integration consulting is a core part of our business. Let’s talk.