You know that scene in the movie Planes, Trains, and Automobiles? The one where Dell (John Candy) loses his bearings and ends up driving down the wrong side of the road? The driver of another car is yelling out the window at Dell and Neal (Steve Martin) telling them that they are in trouble. But Dell doesn’t want to hear it!
Neal: “He says we’re going the wrong way…”
Dell: “Oh, he’s drunk. How would he know where we’re going?”
Launching a new product, entering a new market, or expanding into a new geography can leave you feeling a lot like Dell. You put a lot of work into market validation, messaging, positioning, sales enablement, and executed a great launch. But how do we as Product Marketers know whether we’re on track or whether we need to change course?
The following CRM dashboards and reports will provide you with excellent insights into how your go-to-market plans are playing out and what changes you may need to make to achieve success.
1 – Converted Leads by Month. Lead Conversion is getting your prospective customer far enough along their buyer journey that they wish to engage with one of your sales reps. Measuring lead conversion by month will tell you whether your content, lead generation, and lead nurturing activities are working effectively. If leads are not converting to sales opportunities then you need to evaluate:
- Are we reaching the right buyer persona?
- Are we clearly communicating our value?
Rapid experimentation and A/B testing will help you iterate your content and persona targeting until you achieve better lead conversion.
2 – % Leads Unqualified by Month. Use this measure to monitor the percentage of your leads that sales designate as unqualified. Make sure to dig into the details with the sales reps on why they marked a lead unqualified. The real reason may be that your sales team doesn’t understand the buyer or how to communicate value. In this case, you’ll need to provide them the tools they need to be successful. Measure the results of your efforts by looking for a reduction in the percentage of unqualified leads over time.
3 –Sales Opportunity Pipeline by Time and Stage. Is the sales funnel growing over time or staying flat? Do we have any ‘stuck’ deals in the pipeline? These reports help you evaluate whether your value proposition is resonating in the market and whether your sales team has the tools and confidence they need to close deals. Do you see that big stuck deal in May in the image below? I want to dig into the details and find out what we can do to move it along.
4 – Stage Movement Report. This measures how well your sales team is doing at moving sales opportunities through the pipeline to a closed deal. Are a lot of the deals in your pipeline ‘stuck’ in the early stages of your sales process? Or do deals get stuck at later stages when it’s time to calculate an ROI and present the same to executive leaders? If either of these cases are true, your sales team might not have the tools they need to be successful.
- Do they understand the decision-maker and how to reach them?
- Can they clearly articulate value to each buyer engaged in a decision?
- Does the value proposition resonate with buyers and is your sales team confident you can deliver that value?
Engage your sales team. Ride along with them on sales meetings. Help them prepare. Ask them for feedback. Iterate as needed to better prepare them for customer meetings.
5 – Top Open Opportunities. This helps you identify the large opportunities in the sales pipeline that can have a significant impact on your success. Create a top 5 or top 10 opportunities report and keep a regular eye on the top opportunities. Proactively engage your sales reps on those big deals and make sure they have all the tools they need to be successful. When you win one, let the world know! Success breeds success.
These essential CRM dashboards will help product marketing leaders better understand performance compared to your go-to-market plans and identify areas of improvement so that you can achieve success.
Dell thought he was on the right path. Unfortunately, he didn’t look for the signs or listen to feedback until it was too late!
Product Marketers, I’d love to hear from you…..what indicators do you use to gauge the success of your go to market plans?
About the author: Colm Lennon is the Founder of Haka Products. Colm previously held Marketing and IT Leadership positions in a Fortune 100 company. In addition to his LinkedIn profile, you can also interact with Colm on his Twitter account @ColmLennon.