As a marketer the question you probably hate the most from executive management is "What is our MQL-to-Opportunity conversion rate?"
Why is this question so frustrating? It's a simple question and you should be able to answer it, but it's actually extremely complex. Why? Let's dig in.
Let's start with an example... You have 5 MQLs from the same Account. You are able to qualify and create an opportunity with one of the MQLs. What is your conversion rate? 1/5 = 20%? Or 1/1 = 100%?
In B2B we sell to Accounts NOT Leads, so MQL-to-Opportunity conversion is the wrong metric. We really should be measuring MQA-to-Opportunity conversion rates where MQA means "Marketing Qualified Account."
Our MQA-to-Opportunity conversion rate is 100%.
Another example... Your SDR cold calls a prospect and opens an opportunity. The next day the same prospect visits your website and becomes an "MQL."
Should this MQL count?
No. Since the opportunity was already created, this "MQL" should not be counted when measuring top-of-funnel conversion rates.
However, marketing should attribute this activity to helping accelerate the opportunity, just not sourcing the opportunity.
Example" You have a prospect that becomes an MQL on October 15th, 2017. You set an "MQL Date" field to 10/15/2017 and pass the prospect to sales. Sales is unsuccessful in booking a meeting. On February 1st, 2018 the same prospect comes back to your website.
What do you do?
See how this is getting complex quickly?
Example" An account is an existing customer, but a net new prospect at the Account engages and qualifies to become an MQL – do you count it?
No, since there is no potential for a new opportunity. But what if the net new prospect is part of a different buying committee that represents a net new opportunity? Then yes, it should count, but how do you actually track and measure all this?
If you're using Salesforce and not automating lead-to-account matching and/or converting all leads into contacts/accounts, you're probably counting "MQLs" that are at existing pipeline accounts or customer accounts and not even realizing it. These "MQL" should really be filtered out of your reporting.
In the end it means your overstating your MQLs and understating your conversion rates.
Example" you have 10 MQLs at an Account. That same Account has 5 Opportunities.
How do you know which MQLs, if any, influenced the 5 Opportunities?
Example" a prospect does the following:
On 2/16/2018 an opportunity is created for $90,000.
Here's how you'd break out attribution based on various models:
And based on the timing of the activities, here's where you'd attribute marketing sourced pipeline:
There's no right or wrong attribution model. However, if you're only using one model you probably have a drastically distorted view of how your marketing is actually performing.
In order to get an accurate conversion rate only end-user prospects should be counted. This means technology partners, resellers, analysts, vendors, competitors, and internal employees need to be filtered out of all reporting.
Similar to Account Types, what if you have a well defined Total Addressable Market (TAM) and sales won't even engage with prospects outside of your TAM.
Do you count those prospects in your top-of-funnel conversion metrics? No, they need to be filtered out.
What if you want to drill into your data by campaign, campaign type, industry, region, specific date ranges, or other ways? Can this easily be done?
Typically your CMO or CEO comes to you and says, "Give me marketing performance and conversion rates for the last 2 years."
If you're using Saleforce and any of the popular marketing automation solutions (Marketo, HubSpot, Pardot, Eloqua, etc), I have good news.
We've solved all 11 challenges (and more) with Align.ly Attribution.
To request a 14-day trial, go here: https://www.align.ly/products/attribution
We will follow-up with you shortly to schedule a day/time that works for you and your team.Request a Demo