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Terminus Blog

January 14, 2021

Focusing on the Most Valuable Metrics

Category: FlipMyFunnel Post

For most marketers, there are a few questions that always come up in meetings with the C-suite that make you roll your eyes so hard you worry they’ll get stuck… 

Site visitors? Demos? They’re important, but secondary.

We need to stay focused on the metrics that actually matter.

In this Takeover episode, host Casey Cheshire, speaks with Alon Waks, CMO, Advisor and Consultant at Flywheel Consulting, about what those metrics are. 

KPIs that are actually key

So, let’s go back to that frustrating boardroom. 

Oftentimes, people will bust out a dashboard with 20 KPIs being tracked…but can 20 metrics really all be key? 

Of course not.

But you’ll still hear something like: “Our blog visitors are down 10%, what are we going to do about that?” 

Well, do we need to do anything? 

What if your blog visits are down 10%, but you’re now inviting 80% of the right visitors compared to 20% before? That’s obviously a more important metric.

“Isn’t it better to go for people who have had some engagement — some awareness?”

You can divide this in many ways, but the simplest way to look at putting the K back into KPI is looking at ROI. 

Visitors, for example, mean nothing if you aren’t getting a return on investment. 

So, divide spending into variable elements (money spent on advertising, programs, tools, digital marketing, etc.) and fixed elements (headcount costs like toilet paper and travel — back when you could travel). 

Variable costs are where your plans live. You want to know that spending ties to a revenue number. You need to be able to show that $100 dollars spent in one area translates to $300 coming back. 

Revenue is the metric that matters.  

MQAs not MQLs

Another superfluous letter marketers love but Alon hates is the L in MQLs.

In his mind, we need to get rid of it altogether. 

Instead of focusing on leads, we need to be qualifying accounts. 

“Salespeople should have a very good, very qualified account in their hands so that the win rate is high. And then the trust between sales and marketing is very good.”

The rivalry between sales and marketing is a longstanding joke in both departments. 

And one of the best ways to improve that is to think in accounts instead of leads. 

If you think about it, you can send over 5 qualified leads to sales, but if they are only relevant to one opportunity, then they are weaker than bundling them together and they can waste the time of sales. 

By grouping them together as the fundamental unit, then you get marketing and sales speaking the same language, you help out both departments, and this keeps you from the dreaded “spraying and praying.”

There, of course, is a place for cold calls and emails, but focusing on individual accounts and tackling them in-depth allows for a personalized touch that doesn’t just burn through leads or fatigue the accounts. 

And fatiguing the accounts can be extremely dangerous. 

Can that be automated?

A final vestigial element of marketing that Alon thinks should be excised is having your SDRs send cold, non-personalized emails in the first place. 

“I have a strict rule that if anybody in SDR sales is sending an email that I could send better in HubSpot, Pardot, Eloqua, or Marketo, they shouldn’t be sending an email.”

As we’ve already mentioned, focusing on accounts allows for personalization — in particular, one-to-one personalization (which, despite the rumors, cannot be done at scale) — and spraying and praying is less effective. 

But, there is a place for less personalized outreach. Only, it’s better handled by automation. 

The simple reason is that automation can’t do personal. At least, not yet anyway. 

So, when you are allocating your resources, you need to make sure that humans are spending as much of their time on the personal stuff as possible, while leaving all the cold, robotic stuff to, well, robots. 

Everybody wants those emails in their name, but your marketing automation platform can send an amazing cadence, still in your name, that has better analytics and serves you better. 

That frees you up to heavily personalize and really dive deep into the accounts, not the leads, that matter.

This is a #FlipMyFunnel podcast. Check us out on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or here.

Written by Sangram Vajre

Sangram Vajre is the co-founder and chief evangelist of Terminus, the leader of the account-based marketing (ABM) movement transforming B2B marketing. Before co-founding Terminus, Sangram led the marketing team at Pardot through its acquisition by ExactTarget and then to Salesforce. Sangram is the author of Account-Based Marketing for Dummies and is the mastermind behind #FlipMyFunnel. Follow Sangram on Twitter at @sangramvajre.

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