How Revenue Analytics Can Kill (Your Career)

March 23, 2015 Adam New-Waterson

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leandata_blog_image_pptx-e1427129915408Guest post by Tom Grubb, Chief Strategy Officer with Digital Pi.

When you’re a marketer, bad analytics can ruin your day – or your career. Following on the webinar I did with Dan Ziman this week, Dan asked me to expand a bit more on this subject from the Digital Pi perspective for their blog. Well expand I have, read on.

Bad analytics come in many forms, but the most insidious may be marketing analytics that distort marketing’s contribution to revenue. It’s easier than you think to under or over-report how marketing moved the revenue needle. The cost of being wrong even once is high; if you make a marketing analytics blunder – by error or intentionally – it’s extremely hard to undo the damage. So it’s really important that you understand some of the hidden traps along the way to revenue analytics where your numbers can fall down. In my experience working with companies of all sizes with Salesforce.com and Marketo reporting, I’ve seen how widespread this problem is and recognized just how big the challenge of getting to great analytics is for marketers.

One of the biggest holes in revenue reporting is the road back from opportunities (revenue) to marketing programs. In Salesforce.com, your tie to marketing from revenue depends on having a full accounting of people (contacts) associated with opportunities. Have you checked to see how many contacts are associated with opportunities at your company? If you’re handy with SFDC reporting, create a report that shows opportunities with/without contact roles and find out. What you see may surprise you. If your business has a long/complex sales cycle, you might expect to see double-digit contacts associated with deals. What you may find are deals with one – or no contacts associated with them. I’ve seen $1M+ opportunities in SFDC with no contacts associated with them. So you ask, how is it that a company can close a $1M deal and not be engaged with a single person at the customer’s company? Answer: sales person creates a new opportunity with no contacts.

And there is the boogeyman of revenue reporting: no (or too few) contacts associate with opportunities. What salesperson wants to spend valuable selling time making sure they always associate all of the relevant contacts from an account to an opportunity? I get it. But what is the cost to the business of not knowing the people that your company is selling to – all of them, on an opportunity-by-opportunity basis? Without contacts, meaningful revenue analytics go out the window, and you lose your ability to understand the relationship between people and deals. Wouldn’t it be great to look back at your pipeline and know that [these titles] are more likely to produce revenue than other titles? And so it goes.

If you want to learn how to overcome the challenges of under or over-reporting revenue analytics, watch our webinar – it’s thirty minutes that may save your day – or your career. And if you’re headed to the Marketo Summit in a few weeks, check out “Show Me the Money: How to Put Marketo Analytics to Work for You and Your Organization featuring FireEye and Blackline.”

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