If you’ve been following this series of blog posts, you’ll likely have got the message by now: Sales and Marketing alignment doesn’t have to be tough.

Over the last few posts we’ve looked at three simple steps to bringing these twin planets into harmonious, productive alignment—from agreeing what your ideal buyer looks like and creating a common definition of a sales-ready lead, to linking up the marketing automation and CRM systems that support both teams.

Once you’ve taken these steps you should have a new, healthier relationship between Sales and Marketing, with both functions working side by side effectively to drive revenue.

But how can you be sure? If you’re going to truly perfect Sales and Marketing alignment, you need know just how healthy—and productive—their new relationship is.

And that means metrics. Specifically, metrics you can track in a consistent and indisputable way. And that’s step number four:

Track the sales and marketing metrics that matter

Naturally, the metrics most relevant to you will depend, to some extent, on the individual characteristics of your organisation—from whether you’re engaged in transaction or solution selling, to whether you measure you sale cycle in weeks, months, or years.

But whoever you are, and whatever you do, the following 8 metrics should have a place on your dashboard:

1. % of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) that become Sales Accepted Leads

Our first metric lets you peer deep into the heart of the Sales and Marketing relationship. If this percentage is consistently underwhelming, you need to go back to the whiteboard—repeat steps one and two till everyone’s truly on the same page.

2. MQL to Opportunity Ratio

Strong Sales and Marketing relationships develop when each fully understands the value the other’s able to deliver. This metric will let you effectively track and demonstrate Marketing’s contribution to the pipeline.

3. MQL to Revenue Ratio

Like the previous metric, this one reveals how well Marketing is earning its keep—this time by demonstrating its contribution to top-line Sales.

4. # of leads that are recycled back into marketing automation

If this number creeps too high, it’s time to refine your definition of a sales-ready lead.

5. Length of the buying cycle

For Sales and Marketing, shortening the buying cycle is a common goal. By tracking the length, you can get both teams pulling together, and drag buying times ever further in the right direction.

6. Campaign performance 

How do you make the best possible use of your limited marketing budget? Set up a multi-touch, email nurture programme? Run an ongoing social media campaign?  Fire off a DM? Track which campaign type produces the best leads, and you’ll be able to drive more revenue, with fewer resources.

7. Content performance 

It’s hugely useful to know what type of content really moves leads through the funnel—be it eBooks and infographics, or videos and webinars. Track each type, and major on those that are meeting with the most success.

8. Sticking points

In an ideal world, all prospects would flow through your funnel as smoothly and simply as water flows through a …um, funnel. But the reality, sadly, is often rather different. Keep track of the points at which your prospects tend to get stuck, and you’ll be much better placed to keep those leads flowing freely.

To get the most from these metrics, everyone needs to be able to see the key data, and ideally, to see it displayed in the same ways. If your organisation has a dashboard-based system, great—build yourself a dashboard centred entirely around Sales and Marketing’s shared KPIs

We’ll soon be posting our final step. If you want to know what it is right now, just grab a copy of our ebook, Sales & Marketing Alignment Made Easy.