The buying and selling landscape is constantly changing. In recent years, a dramatic shift is evident across all sectors from office supplies to consulting services to cars. Today, buyers resist talking to salespeople until they've completed their own research and are confident about their options and what they want and need. In taking control of the purchasing process – much to the chagrin of sales teams around the world, they have made the role of effective and engaging marketing more critical than ever before.
The Radical Sales Shift explores this changing landscape and is an essential tool for sales and marketing leaders in B2B companies. It outlines how successful business-to-business (B2B) companies are using marketing to generate sales - a role that used to belong solely with sales teams. Based on the expertisze of leading B2B marketers, the book shares 20 lessons with practical tips to grow sales and profits while navigating the new rules of selling and buying.
In the six years since the book was published - Lesson 18 - ‘Don’t Report Marketing Metrics Outside The Marketing Team’ - continues to stand the test of time. The gist of the lesson is that there are two kinds of metrics that marketers need to track.
One set of marketing metrics measure performance and are often called Key Performace Indicators (KPIs). They are the 3 to 5 things that marketers really need to accomplish as an output of their work. Typically these metrics might be ‘Number of opportunities’ and ‘Sales Volume in the funnel’, among others. These are the metrics that marketers should report to their executive team and others outside of the marketing function.
The other set of metrics are what we call ‘activity metrics.’ Some people call them ‘vanity metrics.’ These are inputs to the overall marketing system as well as to the KPIs. Granular in nature, activity metrics might include things like ‘Number of followers’, ‘Website visits’ or ‘Email open rates.’
Because activity metrics are specific, and they are inputs to overall goals rather than the goal itself, we make the argument that they should NOT be reported outside of the marketing team. Why? Without the proper background knowledge or context, non-marketers easily misunderstand why these metrics are tracked, and make the incorrect assumption that marketers believe these metrics are the goals. We have often found that presenting granular marketing data outside of marketing makes non-marketers think their marketers are focused on the wrong goals.
Avoid the confusion. By sharing only the ultimate goals and metrics – typically qualified leads, revenue and profitability – no one will assume marketing has the wrong priorities. When marketing metrics are kept within the marketing team where their significance is understood, B2B companies avoid sidetracking non-marketing executives with operational data.
This doesn’t mean the granular data doesn’t need to be shared. It absolutely does - just not with everyone. These results need to be measured, tracked and reported extensively, but only within the marketing department.
Every company is different and reporting is a very individual and customizable function. Some organizations do well by offering a mixture of metrics. Sharing a high-level accounting without providing details may do well for a handful of very analytical businesses, but the risk is that their non-marketers will focus on what they understand, which may not be what marketing is focused on.
Get everyone on the same page with the detailed explanations and examples in Lesson 18. B2B companies can use them to propel their business and report on appropriate metrics. Download the chapter now, or request a complimentary copy of The Radical Sales Shift by completing the form below.
To learn more about how Mezzanine B2B Growth Agents can help your B2B company contact us today. We’ve helped more than 250 companies generate B2B leads, accelerate their pipeline, drive sustained sales growth, and build long-term internal marketing & lead generation capabilities. Our strategic guidance, hands-on execution and proven framework can help your business create lead generation campaigns by developing your people, processes and technology.