Sharpen the ROI contributions from both the marketing and sales functions
As a marketer, you understand exactly how valuable your team’s contributions are to the performance of the company, but you also understand the challenges involved in conveying that value to the various stakeholders involved in the organization. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a strategy that could assist you with presenting clear and unambiguous data that shows the efficacy of your hard work?
It just so happens that’s exactly one of the benefits that a closed-loop reporting strategy provides. When data from the results of the sales and marketing functions inform one another across the entire length of the sales funnel, you are presented with clear, intelligible numbers that show your superiors exactly what a harmonious relationship between the two units can do for the company. These aren’t qualitative assumptions that are subject to interpretation.
For instance, you can give a presentation to company leadership filled with hard data such as: “Through collaboration with the sales department, we concluded that social media promotion efforts were yielding unqualified leads that were difficult to identify early in the buying process. Of the $5,000 spent on this initiative in one quarter, we converted two customers. We have since diverted 75 per cent of this budget to referral partnerships, which have increased from 15 conversions per quarter to 25.”
Close deals more quickly with customers who fit your company
As we’ve learned, closed-loop reporting is all about using specific data throughout the sales process to improve the quality of the leads that are sent to sales. It allows representatives from each unit to have a complete, unobstructed view of the entire sales funnel, where they previously could only discern the data at their own end and had to rely on the judgments of others at the opposite end of the funnel. Eliminating the disconnect in the data between the sales and marketing functions is a way of addressing the problem of longer sales cycles and unqualified leads in a wholesale manner, rather than cherry-picking certain problems and ignoring the root causes.
You can view the relationship between lead qualification and the length of the sales cycle as a chicken and egg scenario: Unqualified leads naturally take more time and effort to close, which lengthens the sales cycle. However, if the marketing department doesn’t have input from the sales department on what constitutes an SQL, then the sales cycle has already been extended by the very search for these unqualified leads. When marketers know exactly who they’re looking for, it reduces the amount of time they have to spend deciding whether a lead is qualified on the front end. They can then deliver these primed prospects to the sales team, who can then close deals more quickly because it’s already clear that the customers are a good fit. With closed-loop reporting you can take advantage of a naturally shorter sales cycle in both functions.
Acquire better data concerning your specific prospects
The previous section ties in closely with the principles of knowing your ideal audience inside and out. It’s a classic part of any successful sales and marketing strategy, and leaders are always searching for ways to use data in innovative ways in pursuit of this goal. Since most marketing and sales leaders understand the basic importance of targeting specific buyer personas, they’ve likely taken the time early in the strategic development process to incorporate these principles into the outlined processes. However, just because you’ve identified and studied your ideal buyer personas at some point doesn’t mean you can be complacent.
Benefits of Closed-Loop Reporting
- Increased conversion rates
- Lower marketing costs
- Improved customer experience
- Better lead management practices
- Improved ROI analysis