We’ve entered a new era of sales and marketing alignment. According to The Bridge Group’s Sales Development Metrics and Compensation Report nearly one half of inbound-focused inside sales reps now report directly to Marketing. While this may seem counter-intuitive to some, it actually makes a lot of sense. Marketing already owns much of the technology that can help reps nurture, engage and prioritize leads. It’s also crucial to ensure that Sales and Marketing are perfectly aligned when it comes to messaging.
As a B2B marketer, you may have already noticed an increasing shift toward sales enablement (if you haven’t yet, it’s virtually inevitable). And part of sales enablement entails taking accountability for not just lead generation, but the entire buying cycle. This likely requires expanding your repertoire of KPIs to gain visibility into your entire sales funel.
By tracking the following seven KPIs, you can do a much better job of optimizing inbound sales, from lead generation to ROI.
You’re likely investing in a variety of organic and paid search campaigns to inspire leads to call and fill out forms. But when those leads do reach out to your company (and don’t connect with a live rep in real time) are sales reps responding quickly enough? There are few things more frustrating than letting sales-ready leads fall through the cracks. Data from Harvard Business Review reveals that sales reps are seven times more likely to have a meaningful conversation with prospects if they call back within the first hour. That’s why it is so important to ensure that sales reps are actually getting in touch with inbound leads quickly enough.
It’s important to know how many inbound calls and web leads are being generated by each marketing campaign. This can help you predict how many reps will be needed to respond to inbound phone leads from various campaigns. However, it’s also important to tie calls to revenue, because you don’t want to invest in campaigns that drive a lot of calls from unqualified leads.
Marketers routinely track which paid search keywords result in web leads. But it’s just as important to track which keywords are generating calls, since inbound phone leads are often sales-ready. By using a marketing automation solution and a call tracking tool, marketers gain 360 degrees of visibility into which keywords are driving valuable leads.
Is your lead qualification team properly staffed to respond to incoming calls? Tracking call volume by time of day can help marketers work with sales managers to ensure that no hot inbound leads fall through the cracks. By using intelligent call routing, marketers can help ensure that leads are always routed to the right reps or queues while minimizing hold time. This can have a profound effect on inbound call conversions.
Are your efforts providing account executives with the right number of opportunities they need to meet their quotas? If marketers are generating a mass of leads, but too few opportunities it can indicate that there is either a problem with lead quality, or it means that your inbound sales reps need to do a better job of advancing leads to the opportunity stage. When there’s a dearth of sales-qualified opportunities, sales and marketing leaders need to collaborate to ensure that marketing efforts are generating quality inbound.
How long are inbound leads taking to close? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the correct number, since every industry is different. If your time-to-close metrics aren’t to your liking, however, it’s a great time to see whether increased marketing automation utilization or sales coaching can help.
Which efforts are driving your biggest deals? This is your opportunity to measure quality, not quantity. Before you curtail marketing investments that don’t seem to be driving much volume, make sure you see whether the few leads they are driving tend to be high-end.
For more ways to help accelerate inbound sales revenue, check out our free eBook The B2B Marketer’s Guide to Managing Inbound Sales.
Jesse WestDirector of Lifecycle MarketingringDNA
Jesse Davis West is Director of Lifecycle Marketing at ringDNA, focusing on improving the experience and maximizing the lifetime value for customers across their entire journey. Drawing on 9 years of B2B marketing experience, Jesse is passionate about communication, branding and strategic marketing. He also plays a mean lead guitar and can throw down at karaoke.