Demand Generation Blog Articles

5 Lead to Revenue Management Mistakes Costing You Marketing Success

As marketers, we are tasked with not only generating and nurturing leads through the funnel to prepare them for sales, but also proving how every campaign and marketing tactic we’ve run is tied to revenue. In order to effectively do this, our Lead-to-Revenue Management (L2RM) game must be on point.

To help you more easily demonstrate the ROI of your B2B marketing programs and solidify your L2RM process, make sure you are getting the most out of your tech stack. We’ve assembled a list of the top five common, but avoidable, L2RM mistakes you may be making in your CRM and marketing automation platforms.

1. Not properly integrating your marketing and sales tools

Whether you’re building a new tech stack or switching things up, you took the time to choose the perfect marketing automation and CRM platforms to meet the needs of your business. Did you know that integrating the two isn’t just a matter of pressing connect?

Step one of a successful L2RM process is getting the two platforms to work together in a way that supports both the marketing and the sales teams. After all, being able to attribute ROI from marketing efforts means being able to tie leads generated to opportunities created.

Easy questions that you should be able to answer with a confident, “Yes!”

  • Did you follow the proper step-by-step guide to integrating the two?
  • Are the necessary Lead and/or Contact fields mapped between the two?
  • Is prospect data being synced and updated in both systems?

P.S. If you are scratching your head for an answer, we’re here to help make sure your marketing and sales platforms are aligned.

2. Messy (or lack of) automated lead attribution

Arguably the most important way to show your marketing team knows what they’re doing is by attributing success to marketing campaigns and channels. A.k.a. lead attribution.

Marketing automation platforms like HubSpot, Pardot, and Marketo may have out of the box functionality to help support a lead attribution model, but relying on their default process without customizing it to your own business can lead to un-organized chaos. Each company is unique, so make sure your lead sources fit your marketing and sales model.

We encourage our clients to focus on the end goal, like thinking about a simple marketing dashboard, or key performance indicators for a board meeting deck. Often, this includes leads, MQLs, opportunities, and deals closed/won by channel, which requires streamlined attribution to report all the way through to revenue.

3. Not differentiating between lead scoring and lead grading

There’s definitely a difference, and they should be used in tandem to determine the optimal time to automate passing a lead to sales. Learn more about the power of lead scoring and lead grading and how they can be used to precisely match leads to the ideal marketing or sales followup.

If you’re not quite ready to start using lead scoring and grading models inside your business, that’s okay. These are complicated processes that should be thoughtfully put into place in a way that aligns to your specific use cases. Either way, think about the optimal time for passing leads to sales to ensure maximum conversion across your sales cycle.

If you do have one or both of these tools in place and are using the standard models, take a step back and think about how you can customize them to align to your specific goals. Not doing so could result in a lead being sent to sales way before they are ready to have a conversation.

4. Misalignment between marketing and sales

Pop Quiz. What constitutes a Lead, an MQL, and an SQL? And why are Marketing Qualified Leads being returned to marketing? If you don’t know the answers to these types of questions, it’s time to critically evaluate your lead stages.

Defining these important milestones and criteria helps to ensure everyone in your organization is on the same page. If you haven’t already, create a Service Level Agreement between your sales and marketing teams that defines not only lead statuses but the role played by both team during each phase of the marketing to sales hand-off.

Here are three tips for fostering marketing and sales alignment.

5. Not reporting and analyzing through the entire funnel

Make sure to track leads and their revenue all the way through the sales funnelTo really understand marketing success, each campaign and channel should be tracked to revenue. Net new leads may be rolling in at the top of the funnel, but if they aren’t becoming Sales Qualified or resulting in new Opportunities, can you really classify the campaign as a success and worth the investment?

If you have the ability, make Salesforce campaigns, reports, and dashboards all your new best friends. They will be the easiest and most accurate way to show both campaign and channel level data while understanding the individual influence each has on your entire buyer’s journey.

Remember: Don’t just set it and forget it

Once your fresh lead attribution model or lead scoring and grading framework is live, it’s important to ensure it’s continuously working as planned. Spot check your work on a regular basis to ensure your Leads, Contacts, and Opportunities have the right source, conversion data, campaign data, and are all syncing accurately to your CRM. As time goes on, your Lead to Revenue Management program should evolve to support your growing business!

L2RM is hard. Don’t go at it alone!

Lead to revenue reporting is a common challenge for B2B marketers because it requires strategy, technical know-how of marketing and sales platforms, and a process to align marketing and sales. If you want to improve your lead to revenue reporting and better demonstrate your marketing ROI, contact SmartAcre’s certified lead and demand generation experts.