Aligning marketing and sales is always a key concern for marketing executives. Unfortunately, the marriage of marketing and sales isn’t one always made in heaven. Clear and open communication is the foundation of any good relationship and the relationship between marketing and sales is no different.
One effective way to fix this is with shared CRM reports. Shared CRM reports reduce miscommunication and bottlenecks and can increase shared understanding of the company’s client base and performance. As a result, both teams work toward shared goals and can react nimbly and in tandem to changing market conditions.
When sales and marketing teams are aligned with data and reporting, they can best work toward shared goals and react nimbly and in tandem to changing market conditions.
Remember all reports, no matter the subject, should contain information that drives decisions. Compiling information just for information sake is a waste of computing power. No one wants to do that.
So, with this in mind, here are a few CRM-generated reports that marketing executives should be using to maintain alignment with sales and inform marketing decisions.
The CRM reports every marketer should use to align with sales
Report 1: Campaign leads by channel
The US Small Business Administration suggests that you spend about 7% - 8% of gross revenue on marketing. To get the most of every marketing dollar, a savvy marketing executive always keeps their finger on the pulse of every campaign and an eye on every campaign dollar spent.
A campaign lead report is like a pulse rate monitor. At a glance you should be able to know the number of leads each campaign is generating in each channel.
It’s important to have a CRM that allows you to define the time period for the report so you can compare results over different periods of time. By comparing the number of leads collected from email marketing campaigns to pay-per-click ads or inbound marketing efforts, you know which efforts on which channels are generating the most leads.
Once you know this, it is easy to compare outcomes, detect any bottlenecks, discuss the results with sales, and then optimize lead generating marketing efforts for future success.
There’s no quibbling as to what constitutes a lead when the data is automatically captured by the CRM, and decisions about the effectiveness of a campaign are easier to make when based on data. These are the marketing qualified leads that should be receptive to overtures from sales. Period.
Report 2: Opportunities generated
Not all opportunities generated are created equal. Both marketing and sales are concerned with the quality of leads that a given campaign generates.
By tracking the number of opportunities generated by each campaign, you compare the effectiveness of a given campaign and how it performs in relation to other campaigns.
Opportunities occur further down the funnel, and by this time the sales rep has verified that the lead has the need, budget and authority to make the purchase.
For some products, the sales cycle can take months. A CRM seamlessly tracks progress over the months and by tracking opportunities generated, both marketing and sales can identify if there are hold-ups in qualifying leads and take decisive action to eliminate or reduce these hold-ups.
Report 3: Opportunities by lead source
It’s also very important to keep track of where your opportunities are being generated.
For example, this simple pie chart generated by OroCRM displays the percentage of opportunities created by each lead source over a certain period of time. Note that 14% of opportunities had Internal source:
That’s valuable information. It means that those opportunities were generated from existing customers.
It’s important to keep a handle on the number of opportunities from new business as compared to repeat business. In the world of B2B marketing, you expect to build relationships that result in recurring sales.
It’s not surprising to find that 50% to 70% of your business might come from existing customers. But you can’t rely solely on existing customers for opportunities. In some cases, you’ve got to win new opportunities.
Conversely, if you discover a negative trend in these internal opportunities, it is a warning signal that your outbound marketing campaigns have lost effectiveness or business stagnation is imminent.
Either way, with this report you know how you can most effectively allocate your marketing resources and make decisions accordingly.
Report 4: Campaigns by revenue generated
Because the ultimate goal is a sale, you need a report to let you know what campaigns are generating the most revenue. That’s different from the number of sales – and just focusing on the number of sales can be misleading. Don’t be misled.
Keep in mind that a campaign that generates few sales but a large amount of revenue is much more valuable to the company than the campaign that generates many sales but very little revenue. And it’s easy to lose sight of the difference.
By examining the amount of revenue generated by each campaign channel, you can evaluate and rank the efforts of various campaigns.
Generally, your most valuable campaigns generate the highest ROI. Because you want to invest where your customer acquisition dollars pay off, the information in this report is used to decide where you can most effectively deploy your precious budget dollars.
It’s a graphic representation of what campaigns should be cut and where those dollars you’ve just freed up should be reallocated.
Keep in mind that if the sales cycle for your product spans several months, it doesn’t make sense to look at this data on a month-to-month basis. In fact, if you do the data won’t accurately reflect your true situation.
It’s better to use longer reporting periods to get a true picture of what campaigns are star performers generating the most revenue and which are turning in lackluster performances.
Why use a CRM for reporting?
These marketing reports may seem basic, but without the use of a CRM to automatically capture the data, compiling these reports would be a complex and time-consuming project.
Sure, you could patch together spreadsheets and databases and cross your fingers that sales and marketing are on the same page and willing to share data, but why should you? By the time you had your report the data might be stale. Who wants stale data? No one. Ever.
With a CRM that can provide well-designed dashboards and reports, everyone in the company from marketing and sales associates to the C-suite can visualize the effectiveness of all marketing channels and sales efforts with just a few clicks. And CRM data isn’t just data collected for data’s sake.
These are the insights and tools you need for informed decision-making. Dashboards with real-time results inform decisions on the effectiveness of marketing efforts. Reports help you uncover problem zones that can affect the profitability of campaigns.
It’s a decision-making toolbox that helps you adapt to a constantly evolving marketplace so your marketing department can meet or exceed your performance goals. When business is moving at the speed of digital, your decision-making must keep pace.
But far beyond marketing, an effective CRM gives everyone in the company access to a 360-degree view of your customers as well as your markets. You know what marketing channels are performing, how and what your customers are buying, and their support needs.
A CRM is the tool that not only tracks the sales funnel and pipeline, it supports your customers after the sale is made.
After all, if B2B commerce is built on relationships, doesn’t it make sense to leverage the power of technology to manage those relationships?