Traditionally, sales would scout for leads and marketing would craft the messaging. But in recent years marketing has undergone a sea change. It is trying to reinvent itself and shed its image of being a cost center. Today prospecting for leads has become a joint exercise between marketing, sales, and inside sales.
Five years ago marketing could function like an island of creativity running great campaigns with catchy slogans, making budget demands in the name of brand building. Marketers can no longer make budget demands and abscond all responsibility. Questions about ROI and accountability crop up ever so often.
Marketers today prospect for leads, nurture them, qualify them, and then pass them onto sales to close. Best-in-class marketers have perfected the demand generation process to make prospecting, lead nurturing, and lead qualification predictable, scalable, and repeatable. In a small, but quickly growing, minority of companies marketers even shoulder revenue responsibility, deliver on it, and call themselves revenue marketers.
So how much does marketing contribute to your sales pipeline and how much revenue are they responsible for?
Wait a minute. Did you say that you don’t calculate that? Boy, are you are missing the big picture!
It’s not enough for marketing to just count the leads generated from each campaign, that’s like counting your chickens before they hatch. Instead you have to figure out how many of your eggs go on to become chickens and how much each chicken was sold for. In a similar vein, marketing should ideally calculate the following:
- Marketing’s leads in terms of potential revenue
- Marketing’s contribution to closed revenue
How do you generate these numbers? A marketing automation platform tightly integrated into your CRM can deliver these numbers. Calculating both these numbers helps you understand marketing’s true contribution to top line growth.
So what should marketing ideally contribute to the sales pipeline? SiriusDecisions says that marketing departments contribute 10-45% of the sales pipeline, depending on marketing spends and target markets.