If you look to the far left of the funnel, marketing tends to focus on driving traffic – either foot or online – to their various marketing assets. It is this traffic that may ultimately convert to a prospect name that may, along with other names, or perhaps different names, convert to an opportunity that sales moves forward as a deal and ultimately closes. The form of what each group cares about changes as it progresses through the funnel. On one end of the spectrum we start by worrying about traffic, on the other end of the cycle, it is the deal that we track. Yet that traffic is what ultimately transforms itself into a deal. B2B Marketing Contribution to Revenue is like tracking a Transformer.
This changing shape of what is important to those managing the sales process is precisely why trying to do Marketing Contribution to Revenue (MCtR) as a statistic is so difficult and not particularly meaningful. In a future blog post, I will tie marketing back to revenue, but MCtR is not the way to do it. This changing shape of tracking is a big part of the reason why this metric is so problematic. Sales reps closing deals talk about, track, and think in terms of the deal. They don’t think about nor track nor connect the clicks that ultimately created the lead that made the deal. In fact, the clicks that marketing tracked may not even be associated with this deal either because as part of the opportunity development, a different prospect name was introduced through the sales cycle who sales is now working with, or the marketing systems never were able to attach the prospect clicks to the opportunity.
If sales were operating in the world of “I need to close the deal from that click”, you would have tight alignment all the way through the process. But deals are composed of people, products, objections, different buyer roles, pricing, proposals, ROIs and politics. Clicks just aren’t part of what sales is tracking. No fault of sales. But this changing structure of the deal makes it tough to align the organization on clicks to revenue for complex B2B selling.
There is way to make sure marketing is delivering an ROI, but we won’t discuss that until we are through the next two reasons why marketing contribution to revenue is not a great metric.