Marketing Attribution Is About More Than Getting The Credit You Deserve
As a marketer, you work every day to drive qualified leads that are great opportunities for your sales team. You test different tactics and channels. You measure your results and optimize accordingly.
If your marketing is working the way you designed it to, you’re delivering marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) to your sales team on a regular basis. But what’s happening to those leads once you’ve handed them off?
If you’re not following up on those leads and the stages they move through your CRM, you’re missing an opportunity to further optimize your marketing. Learn why it’s so important to track the progress of your MQLs and the five post-MQL metrics you should be tracking.
What Is An MQL?
An MQL is a lead that your marketing team deems qualified enough to hand off to sales. But that determination should never be made by gut or instinct. Instead, you need a systematic approach to lead scoring.
With lead scoring, you assign scores based on the behavior of your leads and their demographic data. Leads gain “points” by visiting web pages, filling out forms and consuming your content. They also gain points based on their job titles and the organizations in which they work.
For instance, two visitors to your site might visit the same pages, read the same blogs and fill out the same forms. But if one of them has a job title that indicates they are a decision-maker in the buying process, while the other has a job title that indicates they are an influencer, the decision-maker will get a higher lead score.
Revenue Attribution: Why Tracking Your MQLs Is So Important
As a marketer, you want to get credit when your marketing results in a closed deal. But tracking MQLs isn’t just about credit where credit is due.
You need to track your MQLs after you qualify them, because you need to see which of your marketing channels and tactics are actually leading to revenue. If you focus all of your analysis and measurement on which channels and tactics are just yielding MQLs, you might not be seeing the whole picture.
For instance, you may get a sizable portion of your MQLs from pay-per-click ads in Google Ads. Seeing this, you may be inclined to invest more heavily in your Google ad spend. But are those ad-generated MQLs actually turning into revenue? If you follow up on your MQLs, you’ll know for sure.
On the other hand, you may only get a small percentage of MQLs from organic search. This may lead to you reducing your investment in search engine optimization (SEO). But what if that small bucket of leads from organic is actually leading to more closed business than PPC? If revenue is your endgame (and it is), then you’re putting your budget in the wrong place.
You need to invest your marketing dollars into the channels that drive revenue, not leads.
As far as getting credit for the MQLs who turn into revenue goes, that’s actually really important too. Why? Because if your marketing team isn’t getting credit for revenue they help drive, they may not be getting the budget they need to drive more revenue.
When your marketing is working (leading to revenue), you need to know so you can invest appropriately.
5 CRM Metrics To Track Post-MQL
The way you track your leads will depend on how you’ve set up your CRM. But you do need to follow your MQLs through the rest of their buyer journeys as they are moved to different stages in your CRM. Here are the five metrics to track:
- How many MQLs converted to SQLs? Track how many of the MQLs you handed off to sales converted to SQLs. Look at how many MQLs filled out late buyer journey forms requesting a conversation with your sales team.
- How many MQLs converted to sales opportunities? SQLs convert to sales opportunities once your sales team speaks to a lead and determines they may be a good fit to move forward.
- How many MQLs converted to your work-in-progress pipeline? Once a sales opportunity has given some kind of verbal commitment, your sales team will move them to their work-in-progress pipeline. The leads in this stage are highly likely to buy and have indicated they plan to as long as they can sort out some key details on their end.
- How many MQLs converted into closed/won? Your closed/won field in your CRM is for the leads who have signed on the dotted line and sent your first payment. In other words, they’re what the whole game is about.
- What marketing channel did the closed/won leads come from? This is the most important thing you can track to improve your marketing. Wherever the MQLs who turn into revenue came from is where you should be investing a healthy portion of your marketing budget.
Revenue Is Better Than Leads, Even For Marketers
If you have a firm grasp on how your marketing impacts revenue, then you have the information you need to make dramatic improvements to your strategies, tactics and channels. You can also make a clear business case for the value of marketing, which leads to bigger budgets and better results.
The key to these improvements is having the knowledge you need to make them, and to refocus your thinking that revenue growth is more important than lead acquisition.