This is a guest blog was written by Remen Okoruwa, Co-Founder of StatusQuota.
I recently conducted a study on the state of marketing agency sales enablement by analyzing 50 Diamond & Platinum HubSpot partners + 429 published case studies. You can check that out here. There were a lot of interesting lessons for marketing agencies looking to deliver sales services to clients. But there were also several clear things agencies should AVOID doing if they want to make sales enablement a reality. Let’s walk through a few of those lessons.
What Not To Do
1. Don’t focus on top-of-the-funnel metrics
If you’re working with a salesperson on explaining the value of your services, the last thing they will care about is the amount new website visitors or the reduced bounce rate on individual pages.
That’s marketer shop-talk. What’s more, it is relatively easy to take these metrics and move the line up and to the right. But that doesn’t translate to an enhanced selling experience. Talking sales means you have to focus on the stuff that impacts her - leads & revenue.
2. Don’t just focus on leads exclusively
Didn’t I just say leads matter? Well, sort of. Lead generation is now commodity. There are now 107 marketing automation platforms allowing customers to manage digital marketing efforts. And when you consider all of the companies with their own partner programs, it becomes clear quite quickly that the competitive space for lead gen services has gotten pretty crowded. HubSpot itself went from one agency partner in 2007 to more than 3,400 today. Great marketing results should translate to revenue impact. If your client can’t point to top-line growth (for a product or business line served by your marketing team), it calls into question whether “a ton of leads” is really a good thing at all.
3. But don’t ignore leads entirely
And now I’m jerking you back again. There’s a balancing act here. If you can demonstrate high volume lead generation and link it to increased revenue growth, then that is interesting, although maybe not compelling. What’s to say another agency can’t generate just as many leads as yours? Or even more?
But if you peel back the layer and start reporting on lead quality metrics, you can tell a compelling story.
Putting on your salesperson hat, you can break down sales revenue into a simple formula. You begin with the number of leads worked. This is what every marketing agency is selling nowadays. But that’s only the first stage. Because next you have to apply a close rate to these leads to figure out how many turn into won deals. From there, you apply an average deal size to determine how much money you’re bringing in. And finally, you have to account for the sales cycle length, because the money doesn’t come in right away.
Marketers who can measurably increase sales close rates, grow the average deal size, and reduce the sales cycle length are worth their weight in gold. These are issues sales executives lose sleep (and jobs) over. So you’re talking their language if you demonstrate an ability to impact these significant issues.
4. Don’t get bogged down in the technology
Even if you know you are delivering great results and want to report it to clients, gathering and analyzing all of this data can be challenging. Linking sales outcomes to marketing activities requires blending information sitting inside a client’s CRM platform and their marketing automation platform. Most out of the box integrations don’t really give the right level of insight. And it takes a particularly brave person to manually export all this data, analyze it in Excel, and then create a custom report (don’t you do enough reporting already?!?!?).
My company, StatusQuota, helps agencies looking to report on these very important metrics by automatically merging and analyzing CRM & MAP data in pre-built dashboards. Whether you use our solution or put something together on your own, by committing to this level of ROI reporting, you’re on your way to generating happier clients. Happier clients with additional budget to invest :)
The marketing industry is undergoing another seismic shift. As marketing and sales become more closely linked, the agencies who can prove their work impacts sales results are best positioned to capitalize on the huge opportunity.