It’s the week before a board meeting and you are finishing your presentation and marketing update… which metric do they care about most? Revenue influenced by marketing? Pipeline generated? Is CAC most relevant? If only there was a way to show the overall health of your pipeline to the board.
In order to make pipeline meaningful, we need to know conversion rates, probability of conversion, and timeline estimates– and currently that’s where a sales manager commits or a sales forecast comes in. However, that commitment doesn’t help marketing to get back to the beginning of lead generation efforts. It doesn't ensure that efforts are optimized that will be more likely to translate into opportunities and closed revenue.
Introducing the Health Framework for Pipeline Generation, a framework for evaluating the holistic view of the buyer journey, through conversion to close. This framework can help marketing accurately predict pipeline generation, so they can generate quality leads and meet revenue targets– but not in the traditional reactive way. Measuring based on future actions can result in better marketing strategies adaptation, increased revenue generation and less friction with other teams.
What are the elements of a pipeline generation health score?
What we mean by predictability is around the quality of pipeline generation as well as the quantity of opportunities and their value. Ensuring predictability around pipeline helps ensure go-to-market teams deliver results consistently and reliably.
In terms of quality, predictability helps ensure that the pipeline output meets the required standards and specifications, while predictability around quantity helps ensure that the pipeline delivers the expected amount of output on a consistent basis.
Predictability is key to planning and resource allocation. If pipeline output is unpredictable, it can be difficult to plan downstream processes or allocate resources effectively. This is especially true when the downstream team, sales, typically has a longer ramp period to produce their most effective results.
Acceleration is critical for pipeline health because it ensures deals move through the pipeline efficiently and quickly. This leads to increased revenue and growth for the business.
There are a few areas that impact the acceleration of leads into opportunities. These areas include demonstrating clear value to the prospect, timely follow-ups, and effective objection handling. Businesses can streamline their sales process and close more sales. However, it’s also imperative to prioritize leads appropriately through these conversations. Not all leads are created equal, and businesses need to focus on the leads that are most likely to result in closed deals. By prioritizing leads based on factors such as their level of interest, budget, and timeline, businesses can focus their efforts on the most promising leads. This will enable them to move them through the pipeline faster.
Another area impacting acceleration is leakage and bottlenecks. These occur when deals get stuck or fall out of the pipeline, either due to lack of follow-up or issues with the sales process itself. By identifying these areas of leakage and bottlenecks and addressing them, businesses can reduce the time BDRs/SDRs spend revitalizing those deals. In addition, marketing won’t have to recreate additional qualified leads.
Effectiveness is significant for pipeline health because it enables businesses to make data-informed decisions and optimize their sales process to drive growth and revenue. Why are data-backed decisions relevant? By tracking key metrics such as conversion rates, sales cycle length, and deal size, businesses can gain valuable insights into their buying process effectiveness. This data can be used to identify areas of improvement and make data-backed decisions to optimize the pipeline and drive growth.
Businesses can use data analytics and forward-attribution models to understand which marketing and sales efforts drive leads and revenue. This can help businesses focus their efforts on activities that generate results and improve overall ROI. By analyzing the ROI of different marketing and sales activities, businesses can make informed decisions about where to allocate resources to generate the greatest return. This can help businesses optimize their pipeline and drive growth more effectively.
Alignment between marketing and sales is critical for pipeline health. This is because it ensures that both teams work together towards a common goal of generating revenue and driving growth for the business. When marketing and sales teams align, they can identify the ideal customer profile. They can also create targeted messaging that resonates with those prospects. This results in higher-quality leads that convert to paying customers. Additionally, when marketing and sales teams are aligned and focused on those higher-quality leads, they can create a more seamless handoff process between the two teams. This can reduce the time it takes to move leads through the pipeline and ultimately result in a shorter sales cycle.
When all customer-facing teams are aligned, they can create a more consistent customer experience across all touchpoints. This can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, leading to more repeat business and positive word-of-mouth referrals. This also allows these teams to coordinate their efforts and avoid duplicating work. This can lead to a more efficient use of resources and ultimately result in a healthier pipeline with higher ROI. Want to learn more about measuring pipeline health using a revenue-focused framework? Download our latest whitepaper now!