2 Ways for Sales Operations to Improve the Sales Funnel
You need to improve your ability to accurately forecast so the VP of Sales can make the number. One way is to control the top of the sales funnel. The top of the funnel starts online where your buyers are.
In a study released by eMarketer, “US online ad spending will post growth well above 20% this year to reach nearly $40 billion.” In fact, this year is the first time ever that online media spending will surpass that of traditional print stalwarts: newspapers and magazines. So it’s not a secret that this is the most measurable way to reach your buyers.
How can Sales Operations control and improve the top of the sales funnel? Start with these 2 ways:
- Hold marketing accountable by tracking key metrics of the online ad campaigns that fill the funnel
- Hold sales accountable by tracking how quickly sales reps respond to online-generated leads
1. Hold Marketing accountable
You already know you can influence marketing. But when it comes to online advertising effectiveness, there are specific measures to track against sales performance. Add these to your Lead Generation Success Metrics to gain more control over your sales funnel. Download the tool here.
- Audience Targeting. Based on the needs of Sales and how the customers are actually buying, help define and monitor the online target audience. This is the very top of the sales funnel. The more effectively you target your ideal customer, the more you will see positive results in your pipeline. Ask Marketing for the ComScore audience data of the sites on which they advertise. Match that data to your ideal customer profile.
- Click Through Rate (CTR). The effectiveness of an ad campaign is often measured by how often an online user clicks on an advertisement. The more effective the ad campaign, the more clicks to your site. This is a sign the right audience is driven to your site to inform themselves about your product. Ask Marketing for this performance stat from their ad server (ex. Doubleclick, OpenX, Google)
- Customer Acquisition Rate. The ultimate goal of Click Through Rate is to compel action from your target audience. It’s a simple measure, but it’s important to understand it and track it. Once your audience is on your site, does Marketing offer an incentive for them to provide their contact information? If so, is there a clear path for the Sales team to immediately contact these new sales leads?
2. Hold Sales accountable
As more online media-generated leads fill the sales funnel, Sales Operations needs to calibrate its forecasting. But your effort must take into consideration how quickly sales reps are responding to these online queries.
Measure how quickly the leads are provided by Marketing and how quickly Sales follows up. According to their annual study of lead response behavior, InsideSales.com found that only 23.9% of companies responded to web-generated leads within the high-value, five-minute window.
The study found that “a sales rep is 100 times more likely to make contact with a new lead, and 21 times more likely to progress that lead into the sales pipeline, if live contact is attempted within the first five minutes of a lead being submitted.”
Track Sales Rep response time as part of your Lead Generation Success Metrics.
Download this Lead Generation Success Metrics tool to get a complete picture of how effective Marketing’s efforts are. Use this tool and evaluate the effectiveness of the online advertising campaigns that fill your sales funnel. Understand how quickly your reps are following up with these online leads.
When you track these performance metrics and hold those around you accountable, you are better positioned to support your VP of sales so they can make their number.
Want more ideas on how Sales Operations can provide strategic value to Marketing’s online advertising budget process? I know online advertising and sales. Contact me today and I’ll walk you through the best way to use the Lead Generation Success Metrics tool.
Author: Dan Bernoske