Prove the value of your marketing activities and contribution to revenue across the sales and marketing funnel. Imagine being able to walk into a meeting and say, “this is what our content has done to accelerate deals, the amount of revenue it has affected, and the ROI of our overall content strategy.”
Every marketer dreams about proving ROI and the Information Age has finally made it possible for marketing teams to get concrete numbers on the success of various campaigns, but proving the value of your marketing activities, especially content production, can be challenging if you’re not tracking the correct KPIs.
With all the data out there, how do marketers know which KPIs provide the best insight into the health and success of their marketing activities?
Read on this article to learn the top sales enablement KPIs for improving internal marketing efficiency, having better visibility into content usage and proving content value:
- The top KPIs for improving internal marketing efficiency
- The content engagement analytics that prove value
- How to have better visibility into what content sales uses most often
You know who loves data? Marketers.
They can’t get enough of the stuff! Have you ever seen a marketer start to really dig into some analytics? Their eyes glaze over like they’ve entered the matrix.
The obsession with reporting and studying activities is a very important trait for nearly all marketers. The Information Age has finally made it possible to get concrete numbers on the success of various campaigns. Previously, marketers would put up a billboard, wipe the dust off their hands, and head home after a job well done.
That won’t fly anymore. Nowadays, marketers need tons of data at their fingertips. It’s impossible to plan intricate marketing campaigns without having numbers that can bolster the decisions you make. There’s no such thing as running a huge campaign based on a hunch. This hunger for data dovetails nicely with the emergence of the era of sales enablement. Sales enablement breaks the chains of both marketing and sales to usher in an era of enlightenment. Instead of Sales having their analytics in one silo, and Marketing having their analytics in a different silo, sales enablement breaks through those barriers to empower both teams to have full, unfettered access to whatever information they need.
Let’s take a look at the sales enablement KPIs that will help you understand the health and success of your marketing activities.
Internal Efficiency KPIs
One area that is often overlooked for marketing teams is efficiency. The sales process is measured down to the millisecond and every dollar tracked meticulously. How quickly a rep is on boarded and selling can have outsize effects on the entire organization. But marketers don’t traditionally think about the efficiency of their own processes.
An entire marketing department can be derailed by inefficient processes. For large organizations, campaigns require an intricate level of planning and scheduling. If the pieces that fit into that campaign aren’t a well-oiled machine, then the whole thing can fall apart.
Time-Spent Creating Content
As a content-creator myself, I can realize that it’s difficult to consistently churn out genius-level stuff. It’s hard always crafting the exact right piece of content that tickles the fancy of a buyer, sends a tear rolling down their cheek, and ends with them solemnly nodding to themselves before picking up the phone and calling your team. However, we can’t always just beat our heads against the wall until the creative juices flow out of our ears. There are deadlines to be met and schedules to keep. Measuring the time that is spent creating and executing each piece of content (guides, blogs, webinars, etc.) will help ensure the sales team can have exactly what they need, when they need it.
“The best laid schemes of mice and men / Go often askew,” wrote the Scottish poet Robert Burns way back in 1785. A simpler time then, no endless need for content, no sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach about the widespread disaster that is social media. Anyway, what he was hinting at is that you can plan all you want, but then one day a Scottish farmer might run over your house with a plough. So it goes with one-off requests that Marketing receives from Sales. You can have the most foolproof content calendar there is, but inevitably Sales will have a burning request for a piece of content they swear will close the big deal they’ve been working. One-off requests throw a wrench right into marketing plans. Tracking how many of these you receive is a great way to determine how much time and effort is being lost to inefficient requests.
You’ve done the hard work of creating content or a program that engages prospects and gets them to the stage of being an MQL. Great! You’ve done your job, and in today’s day and age there’s something to be said for simply doing your job. But that pat on the back is worthless if that MQL ultimately stalls out and doesn’t become a real lead. Nothing is more dejecting than handing an MQL off to Sales only for them to metaphorically throw it in the trash. Tracking the percentage of MQLs that become SQLs is important to determine if you are scoring your leads correctly, if there is any gap in the hand-off process, and if technology is performing as it should.
This one is a bit nebulous but can really drag down overall efficiency, and delay getting necessary content into sellers’ hands. To properly track this, you need to look at your process for coming up with ideas for new content. Is there a monthly meeting? Quarterly meeting? Do concrete results come from those meetings? Do you emerge with a fully-formed content calendar? Are there clear dates that need to be followed to ensure the content is created on time? All of these processes add up to a lot of time. Measuring this will allow you to guarantee content is created efficiently.
Turning the lens inwards as marketers can often reveal great insights. Measuring your own internal processes is a great way to ensure that as a department, Marketing is holding up its end of the bargain in terms of sales enablement.
A lot of what marketing does is centered around content. Content is the lifeblood of most marketing activities, and rightly so. Buyers want informative resources that help them navigate their journey. Sellers want something they can use as follow-up and a way to understand a buyer’s needs. Marketers want an outlet for their frustration at their failed creative endeavors. It’s a win-win-win!
For a long time, it was near impossible to know the actual impact that content had on the sales cycle. There, of course, are the traditional data points such as: downloads, shares, opens, and clicks. But those metrics are only skin-deep; they don’t reveal anything about how or why a buyer engaged with a piece of content. It’s 2019 now, we need to move past those obsolete stats and start thinking like it’s almost a new decade!
So, let’s dive into the kind of content engagement analytics that really matter for marketing leaders:
Average Page Views
How many pages do readers hit on a piece of content? This can also be extrapolated out to the entirety of a content library to determine any overarching trends and themes about an organization’s content views as a whole. Are recent changes to content structure or topics resulting in buyers reading deeper into pieces?
Median View Time
How long are buyers reading the content your organization creates? If they aren’t spending much time actually reading it, that doesn’t speak well for the content’s value.
Engagement by Sender
What sellers are getting the most interaction when they send content? Those with the best engagements likely have processes that can be shared with the larger sales team.
Engagement by Content
What pieces of content get the best response from buyers? The best performing pieces will reveal truths about your buyers, and in turn lead to better-focused content that drives more revenue.
Engagement analytics reveal many different trends about your content—and marketing team overall. These data points show if buyers actually read content, what aspects they are most intrigued by, and which pieces Sales loves. But the buck doesn’t stop here. Oh no, there is an even deeper layer of insights you can obtain.
Organizations have long been on the hunt for the elusive data that would prove the ROI of their content efforts. Without these statistics, content is just a guessing game full of anecdotal evidence and no hard data.
What makes finding out the ROI of content efforts so hard? Disparate systems and a lack of technical sophistication. Marketing and Sales have long been separated by a wall that inhibits a free-flow of information. Traditionally, leads are generated by Marketing and then tossed over the wall, without any sense of what happens once that handoff occurs. With no information being traded back and forth, it becomes nearly impossible to determine what content helped throughout the process—especially as organizations become larger.
But as mentioned previously, sales enablement tears down that pesky wall and helps Sales and Marketing align like never before. By building on the base of content engagement analytics and content usage statistics (as well as integrations with CRMs and marketing automation platforms (MAPs)) a sales enablement platform provides the real-deal ROI of an organization’s content.
Here’s what you should be tracking to prove the ROI of your content across the sales and marketing funnel:
- Content Activity Across Sales Stages: Where in the sales cycle did a buyer engage with content? Does a particular piece resonate better at the beginning or end of a cycle?
- Content Activity for Deals Won and Lost: See the ways that content affected a deal—whether it was won or lost. By performing a post-mortem after a deal has been closed, an organization can see exactly when, where and how content is used. This examination is important for either reinforcing strategies or leading to overhauls of a content strategy.
- Content Performance in Deal Stage by Chosen Criteria: Discover how content performed in each deal stage based on a wide-number of criteria. See how content affected a deal by creator, seller, type of content, group of users, and even close date.
Those ROI statistics are hugely important for revealing a piece of content’s worth. Imagine being able to walk into a meeting and say, “this is what our content has done to accelerate deals, the amount of revenue it has affected, and the ROI of our overall content strategy.” That’s something every marketer dreams about, to prove their worth. Tracking these content insights will allow you to do just that.
If you are able to accurately and regularly track these KPIs your marketing team will be operating at a very high level in regard to sales enablement.
Remember, sales enablement bridges the gap between Sales and Marketing, but each team is still responsible for being as efficient as possible to ensure success.
To ensure you are fully ready to monitor these KPIs I’d recommend brushing up on your sales enablement knowledge. Take some time to refresh yourself on everything that the term covers, the available solutions, and what success looks like with sales enablement. Knowledge never hurt anybody, so you might as well get to it!
Before you know it, you’ll be a sales enablement expert writing your own content about the subject.