Yogi Berra said it best when he commented “I wish I had an answer to that, because I'm tired of answering that question.” His statement reminds me that marketing managers seldom give a good answer to the ROI question. I guess they wish people would stop asking and maybe things will just get better by themselves. Not gonna happen.
Sooner or later Marketing will have to stand up and tell management what the ROI is for the demand generation budget. Are you sure you want to hear something similar to what Casey Stengel said when counseling a young ball player? "Son, we'd like to keep you around this season, but we're going to try and win a pennant."
Why It Matters
If you don’t solve the revenue ROI question for demand generation, management will find someone who can!
How can management keep a marketing team on board if they can’t create demand in a predictable way? A way that creates revenue in a predictable fashion so that they can be number one in their marketplace?
Marketing managers used to say they couldn’t prove the ROI on marketing because:
- They didn’t have a CRM system. - This doesn’t pertain any more. 90% of all companies have a CRM system; the ones that don’t can’t use cost as an excuse. It’s cheap; pocket change. This excuse no longer applies.
- Salespeople don’t report on the disposition of leads. - This is a matter of sales management policy. Make reporting on lead disposition a matter of policy. It’s a must-have rule; one not to be broken. (Those who don’t report are usually the top salesperson in the organization, or those not making quota.)
- Salespeople don’t follow-up leads. - Gee, this is similar to number two. It’s a matter of sales management policy. Make lead follow-up a matter of policy; a rule. Rules are not to be broken.
- Marketing has no control over follow-up. - Marketing is now equipped with CRM and marketing automation tools, making follow-up a part of their job and an easily automated chore. No excuses any more.
- They don’t work for me! - It doesn’t make any difference if the salespeople work for you or not. As the marketing manager, create a lead nurturing follow-up system. Create reports that show who is following up and who isn’t. If nothing else works, embarrass them.
- They do work for me but they won’t follow-up! - If the salespeople work for you and you can’t get them to follow up leads, time to fire yourself for being a poor leader.
If your company wants to ‘win the pennant,’ make sure you have the right people and processes in place. Sales managers - do your part and enforce the follow-up rules. Marketing managers - do your part and perform follow-up of your own using one of the cheap and ready marketing automation tools.