For quite some time, CFOs and CMOs have operated in silos with little alignment on cross-departmental operations and high-level plans to exceed the organization’s goals. Marketing has long been viewed as simply a cost center for most businesses, with the value or revenue derived from marketing initiatives hard to quantify and understand.
As the old adage states, “Half of our marketing is effective, we just don’t know which half!”
Today’s tech-savvy organizations are beginning to align these two departments, primarily due to the emergence of sales and marketing automation tools.
SaaS and PaaS solutions afford clever entrepreneurs the ability to measure, visualize, and optimize their entire sales cycle from prospecting to close. This advanced insight can be leveraged to allocate financial resources to the appropriate marketing channel(s), improve the customer’s path to purchase, reduce cost per new client acquisition, and increase the overall ROI of the Marketing Department.
In today’s digital-driven work environment, sales and marketing automation tools have become increasingly popular. Most everyone has used or is familiar with companies like Salesforce and Hubspot. These companies strive to streamline the workflows associated with sales and marketing, while simultaneously accruing data to make managerial decision making around strategy and execution easier.
Twitter appointed its CFO, Anthony Noto, to temporarily lead the organization’s marketing strategy. He said, “Marketing is a constantly improving discipline and function, and there’s continuous feedback that allows you to improve marketing, both your strategy and your execution.”
Ultimately, every CFO wants to understand The 4 Marketing Hows’:
- How are our leads finding us?
- How much do leads cost? As well as the Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
- How do sales engage the leads?
- How can we improve and save money?
By implementing sales and marketing automation tools, organizations gain insight into the above questions, and can effectively optimize their marketing strategy and execution.
1. Where are our leads coming from?
One of the primary functions of the CMO is to develop a marketing channel strategy. Where (medium) and how (creative) should marketing dollars be allocated?
While each organization’s channel strategy is unique… there is always 1 constant… not all channels are created equal! It’s important to understand that volume does not equal value.For example, Channel A might generate 100 leads/month, while Channel B may only generate 10 leads/month. On the surface, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion, “Channel A is far superior to Channel B!”… In terms of sheer volume, this is true. But it’s important to understand the Close Rate of these leads to assign the true value and ROI of the channel. This, of course, brings us to our next question…
2. What does our Sales Funnel look like?
The sales funnel is a way to visualize demand generation, lead nurture, and sales cycle. From a managerial perspective, this is a truly valuable asset. Understanding how many leads are generated, how many leads turn into sales opportunities, and how long it takes to convert these opportunities into new business is of supreme importance to any sales organization.
While marketers are primarily concerned with adding new prospects to the top of the sales funnel, they are also responsible for nurturing these leads through the funnel. This is generally done through a mix of marketing automation and manual sales outreach.Leads from different channels should be actioned uniquely. A lead that downloads an eBook should not be nurtured the same way as a lead that was acquired via a trade-show.
Understanding the percentage of leads that turn into new business, as well as the time it takes to complete this cycle is fundamental in improving the marketing process moving forward.
3. How can we optimize our assets and sales funnel?
Decisions need to be made from data that’s accrued from sales and marketing automation tools. Management will be in a much better position to optimize campaigns and improvements to their marketing strategy, execution, and processes.
CFOs need to leverage the evolving sales and marketing technology available today to gain insights into their organization’s marketing strategy and execution.The cornerstone goal should be to consistently and incrementally improve the sales and marketing processes.
It is very important to view marketing as an “Investment something that delivers an expected, quantified return over time.”
Implementing sales and marketing automation tools will help you to establish benchmark performance metrics, gather the data necessary to improve the process moving forward, as well as gaining perspectives into your customers.
Contact us today or more information on how to take your marketing and sales strategies to the next level, and to learn which techniques are right for your specific business.