Identify exactly how marketing can reduce the sales-cycle time and nurture prospects to action

February 9th, 2010 by Sean Dwyer

We are now up to fourth way marketing automation provides job security for marketers from 5 Ways Marketing Automation Provides Job Security for Marketers.  Below is the excerpt from the white paper:

“4. Identify exactly how marketing can reduce the sales-cycle time and nurture prospects to action.

When was the last time you sat down and mapped your marketing collateral to your prospects buying cycle?  Funnel analysis provides marketers with quantifiable data, reflecting the rate at which prospects are advancing through your sales process. This report answers the most important question a marketer has to answer – “At what rate are my prospects moving along the lead funnel?”  Marketing automation can transform this analysis and benchmark it over time delivering key metrics, such as the rate of conversion between first contact-to-conversion or lead-to-opportunity. This analysis can help marketers beef up nurturing and campaign initiatives accordingly.

Funnel analysis gives marketers visibility into the sales cycle and helps identify how marketing can do a better job educating prospects from lead to sale.  Marketers can use funnel analysis as the basis for collaborating with sales by working together to build programs more efficiently at each stage of the pipeline.  Marketers can then support the sales process with thought leadership or specific campaigns while sales may be able to provide key insight about the customers’ buying triggers.

Did you ever want to know how many days it takes for your prospects to move from one step of your sales process to the next?  Marketing automation can empower marketers with dashboard analytics on marketing and sales cycles.  Insight into the funnel progress enables marketers to know exactly how long it’s taking for prospects to move along every stage of the sales cycle and lead funnel. The ability to benchmark this metric over time further extends the power of this reporting tool. This information can be used to build better budget forecasts for finance and help the marketing department become more responsive to unpredictable market conditions.  A sudden change in the sales cycle could alert marketing to changes in the competitive landscape or macroeconomic environment.  The quicker marketing can take advantage of these changes, the more valuable they are to the organization.

Job Security Scorecard:

  • Benchmark the lead-to-sales conversion rate over time.  Identify when campaigns or initiatives drive above average close rates.
  • Forecast more accurately by benchmarking the total number of leads it takes to drive revenue targets at the bottom of the funnel.  Set realistic achievable targets for marketing and sales during strategic planning sessions with the CFO and CEO.
  • Identify what roles are most likely to evaluate products and services and how to meet the unique needs of these individuals based on role, region, or industry.
  • Identify how long it will take for prospects to convert to revenue based on historical averages.
  • Identify bottlenecks in the sales cycle.  Are sales reps incapable of addressing specific objectives?  Does marketing material address all of the buyers core needs?”

Download a free copy of 5 Ways Marketing Automation Provides Job Security for Marketers

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