Enabling Your (Sales and Marketing) Salmon to Cope with (Demand) Waterfalls

By Giles House, Vice President of Marketing Communications and Products

Takeaways from the SiriusDecisions 2012 Summit

Enabling Your (Sales and Marketing) Salmon to Cope with (Demand) WaterfallsIn my last blog post I looked at what a miracle cure for a dearth of sales talent might look like. Alas neither the talking toaster nor the cloned sheep was going to work out, so instead I turn my attention to more conventional ways to drive sales performance - and in this case a wash-up of last week's SiriusDecisions annual summit. The summit gathers together sales and marketing leaders who take a peek at what their peers are doing and hear from the analysts as they unveil best practices. One such snippet was the new high definition, multicolor Demand Waterfall, presented by Tony Jaros.

A framework to measure sales and marketing performance

There were some excellent takeaways from Tony's session, which in my view was the foundation for the sessions and content that followed. The newly revamped Demand Waterfall provides a framework to measure sales and marketing performance as visitors give birth to leads which grow into opportunities as they journey through the funnel to become closed deals. Tracking key metrics throughout this funnel provides great indicators into the quality and performance of your inbound, outbound, and enablement programs.

This is only one piece of the overall revenue puzzle

I am looking forward to updating our waterfall model in our LeadFormix marketing automation tool, linked to our CRM system. The metrics I will get from that will tell me a lot of what I need to know regarding the performance of the campaigns and programs the team will be rolling out over the rest of the year. But this is only one piece of the overall revenue puzzle. I'm also interested in tracking the performance of the enablement and training content being produced. The conversion rates in the waterfall will give me some insight, but on their own won't tell the full story. I need to make sure, down to the individual piece and module, that the content is being used and the courses are being completed - the old school method of portal logins and quota attainment doesn't cut it for me. Luckily we've got a great Sales Enablement Platform and Learning Management System in place that serve up this information. Combining this all together, I've got a great view into the performance of my content marketing, enablement, social, reputation and demand programs all in one place. Enabling Your Sales and Marketing to Cope with Demand A lot of the people I spoke with at the conference were not so fortunate however. They had disjointed systems that either didn't link closely enough or couldn't provide the necessary numbers to give a clear picture of performance. And so to the title of this blog, Salmon. They are a fish with curious swimming habits. They battle with currents as they swim upstream to reach their goal - a safe place to spawn. Some won't make it and will ultimately end up as a tasty accompaniment to scrambled eggs in a morning snack. Sales and marketing shouldn't have to feel like salmon, constantly swimming against the current, burning time and energy to try and meet their goals. The danger is they don't always reach their final destination – quality leads and deals slip through the net. Having fragmented systems and approaches to enablement, marketing automation, and sales training will lead to a leaky funnel. It also makes it impossible to pinpoint the leaks and understand how to plug them. It's time to get dirty with the data.

By Giles House | June 1st, 2012 | Marketing

About the Author: Giles House

Giles House

Giles House is Executive Vice President, and Chief Product Officer, SAP Sales Cloud.