Why Sales and Marketing Need a Unified Dashboard

In our haste to attach measurable metrics to everyone in our sales and marketing departments, we seem to have overlooked the biggest metric of all--how it all ties back to revenue.

Marketers are focused on attracting, converting, and qualifying leads. Sales teams are all about quotas and conversion numbers. And because that's all each area is trained to focus on, a prevailing sense of "Well, that's someone else's job" has started to creep in. By parsing out metrics, we've forgotten to align our teams to the overarching goal that drives us all.

That's not to say that individual and departmental goals and metrics aren't important; quite the contrary. But in the reporting mix, it's vital to include visible metrics that demonstrate the impact each effort ultimately has on the bottom line. Such effects may not be immediately apparent; a new lead pulled in by marketing, for example, may take months to convert. But if it does convert, marketing needs to know.

A 2013 Marketo study found that alignment between marketing and sales can help companies become 67 percent better at closing deals and generate 209 percent more revenue from marketing. So how do you create better alignment?

Tie Metrics to Revenue

Establishing role-based metrics is good, but managers need to shift into creating role-based metrics that also tie directly to revenue production, so each employee (and manager) can continually evaluate the effectiveness of their jobs.

To enable this, companies would do well by investing in integrated CRM and marketing automation dashboards so employees have an easy way to view results. Such dashboards may take a little work to configure, but they provide an easier way to view and understand funnel production.

Managers need to be thoughtful about the types of outside metrics an employee may find valuable. At the same time, there should be a set of high-level metrics, such as revenue numbers, accessible to all employees right on their dashboards.

Surprising Insights Await

While you don't want to overwhelm your employees with data, you may be surprised by the kinds of insights your teams will have when they can see metrics outside of their job function. Seeing how leads are performing down the line can inform new strategies and testing ideas at various points along the funnel. The way a lead interacts while in marketing's court can be useful information to the salesperson who is ultimately assigned to it. The performance of a lead while in sales' hands may help marketers tweak their approach to nurturing.

Besides making high-level goals clear and visible, dashboard alignment has a beneficial secondary effect on employees--it makes them more productive. In recent years, studies have noted a shift in the way employees view their jobs. The desire to feel as if they're making an impact has become much more prevalent and important when it comes to job satisfaction.

One way top companies keep their employees engaged is by tying their roles directly to revenue and letting them see the impact their job has beyond day-to-day functions. In turn, this ties into revenue from a productivity standpoint. A Gallup report found that companies with the strongest employee engagement enjoy 90 percent higher growth than their competition.

Your CRM and marketing automation systems offer a ton of reporting capabilities. Keeping them separate keeps employees entrenched in their silos, performing their job duties without a true understanding of how what they do matters. By bringing the systems together into a unified dashboard, you bring your teams together and create true alignment around the one goal your entire company works toward--growing revenue.

Justin Gray is CEO and chief marketing evangelist of LeadMD.

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