You’re a CMO, and you’ve just accepted a position at a promising B2B SaaS company. Already, you see plenty of growth opportunities, and you just know your team will start seeing positive results as soon as 90 days out.
Your CEO is eager to sign you up for performance goals, and you’re under pressure to commit to tangible results.
The problem is that you need to figure out what your team can report on today. For all you know, they could have gaps in their lead data or still rely on vanity metrics like website visits.
Your choice is to commit to a number and hope your team can measure it by your deadline (which isn’t super helpful without that starting baseline to compare your results against), or you can take the time to understand which metrics are in place today.
While cautiously approaching goals isn’t conducive to looking like a hero, it can save you a bruised ego and burned equity with the C-Suite. No one likes walking back a commitment because they don’t know how to get to the numbers to prove their work had a tangible impact.
Our best advice to any new CMO is to take a breath and take the time to figure out the metrics in place today before signing your team up for outcomes that they can’t measure.
Know What You Don’t Know
The key to knowing what and where to improve is understanding where you’re starting. It also prevents you from making promises to the board or C-Suite that you can’t report on or prove.
Our downloadable 90-day guide begins with a self-assessment that will help you and your operations team understand the most urgent gaps in your tech stack and give you a prioritized list of what to attack first.
Once you understand the landscape you’re starting with, we’ll give you customized plans catered to whichever stage your business is at today.
What’s on the Roadmap?
During the assessment, you’ll understand whether you can track and report on critical aspects for perfecting your overall go-to-market strategy. We’re adjusting what to focus on to fit your self-assessment, so many early-stage items are assumed “complete.” If that’s an incorrect assumption, you can reference earlier stage work plans to fix your gap.
The following is a list of areas you’ll be assessing and a short explanation of why they’re essential.
Confidence in Our Target Market Definitions
As a marketer, you know precisely how important defining your ideal customer profile (ICP) and key personas is to nail your message. While your executive team may be operating with 100% confidence that they have uncovered their customer profile, they may be in denial. We’ll assess whether you track and automate key data points necessary to unlock your ICP.
We’ll ask you several questions to help you uncover system issues like integration breakages and process gaps.
Understanding your lead gating mechanisms is also crucial to understanding the maturity of your organization. It’s common for sales to receive every form fill response by default in small organizations. It’s (unfortunately) also not uncommon for operations professionals to get a little overzealous when they first implement lead gating.
Sales leaders have a history of memorizing key funnel metrics. They understand that the key to attaining more pipeline predictably is understanding which stages are “sticky” and whether core conversion rates are on pace or behind industry benchmarks.
The most critical aspects of the funnel for marketers are MQL conversion to pipeline and pipeline conversion to bookings (or the pipeline coverage rate). If your team understands which lead channels convert more efficiently and how much pipeline is needed for sales to hit the next quarter’s number, you can react and create positive outcomes before the quarter ends.
Check out our guide for more on how and why the funnel is vital in B2B.
Attribution and Proof of Marketing “Contribution”
B2B SaaS organizations operated on a volume-centric goal structure prioritizing lead generation. Over the years, businesses have adjusted their goals to focus more on bookings efficiency. Giving your team a pipeline and bookings goal creates different behaviors that force the team to align with the sales goal.
Determining where your organization is on its attribution journey will help you quickly understand department alignment (or lack thereof). And remember, just because a company has a multi-touch attribution model doesn’t mean they’re using it in the boardroom or with finance.
Control Over Budget
Every marketer hopes to work in an organization where they can drive the budget conversation. Working in collaboration with finance and agreeing on a methodology to calculate return on marketing investment is the only path to this utopia.
Reactive vs. Proactive
A regular reporting cadence builds confidence in understanding numbers. It will naturally lead to understanding or spotting when the company is behind target and what can be done to fix it. The goal is to eventually be a best-in-class marketing organization with easy access to return on marketing investment data necessary to improve your overall strategy.