"Marketing ROI" is a trendy catch-phrase these days, but what does it really mean? While many top managers we speak to think their marketing programs are generating positive results, in reality, most of them don't really know.
Since Marketing's top priority is to generate qualified leads for Sales, management's focus should be on measuring the quantity and quality of leads which Marketing is driving into the sales pipeline, and which Sales is converting into revenue. The best place to capture and analyze this information is in your CRM (customer relationship management) system.
Yet getting this information from most CRMs is difficult, because sales orders typically bypass the CRM altogether and are entered into a separate Order Entry system. Too often, it is difficult to track sales orders back to the marketing program that originally generated the sales lead.
If you are serious about tracking the return on investment from your marketing efforts, here are some simple but critical steps you should follow to capture the right data, at the right time in the sales process:
- Make sure your sales people are accurately tracking each actual sale in your CRM system, by converting opportunities into closed orders, with accurate order values.
- In addition to normal CRM entries, make sure your CRM has standard fields to capture the following data:
Reason for Win/Loss
- Train and require all marketing and sales personnel to fill in each of these fields in the CRM consistently, as leads are generated throughout the sales process. Many companies program rules into their CRM workflow which makes these fields required.
- Take steps to collect, analyze and measure the results of each campaign, as soon as the campaign has been completed. This will allow you to capture the information while it is still fresh, and instill discipline and accountability in your organization to regularly report results.
- Proactively track and compile statistics for management which highlight Marketing's contribution to Sales' success. At a minimum, management should be receiving quarterly reports with the following marketing data, sorted by campaign, lead source and sales region:
Total leads generated
Leads passed to Sales
Orders from leads (number, dollar value)
Total campaign investment
Sales divided by campaign investment (ROI)
By creating and following these simple processes, you can be among the few companies out there that are actually measuring their Marketing ROI efficiently. The benefits from such discipline are numerous, including:
Continuous campaign improvement
Better marketing budget justification
Improved recognition of Marketing's role in driving sales growth
Better collaboration between Marketing & Sales
Increased revenue and profit!