Welcome back for part three in our ongoing series about creating a high performance go to market engine. Reading or reviewing part one and two will ensure you have the proper context to get the most value out of this series.
In part two of our blog series, we covered the need for continuously enhancing our Go-to-Market engine (technology), and the value of leveraging/extending the investment of the Salesforce Platform. This blog (part three) will focus on how you can leverage best practices to ensure you’re tracking the right metrics to making improvements to the engine (technology) and improving pit crew performance (Go-to-Market teams).
Key Considerations in Developing Go-to-Market Metrics
You have more than likely heard the saying “you can’t improve what you can’t measure.” We all agree that makes sense, but having too many metrics can create challenges in honing in on the right ones. Narrowing the list down based on the size of your team and the organizations maturity level in using tools will ensure success. Too many metrics also result in measurement without action due to lack of time or necessary resources.
When building Go-to-Market Metrics, many clients (regardless of industry) start by addressing the following questions:
- How do customers buy our Products/Services? What are their buying behaviors? How do our customers define success?
- How complex is the Go-to-Market Engine (requiring extensive integration and/or custom reports)? What are the right resources to ensure we are measuring the right metrics, and acting on improving metric performance? (Note: in Part One of this blog series, we discussed expanding the pit crew beyond just sales and marketing).
- What competitors or industry benchmarks do we leverage, and what other internal data resources do we have to develop metrics and assess current performance.
Understanding How Customers/Prospects Want To Be Engaged
In 2012, Brent Adamson and Matthew Dixon published the “Challenger Sale” which presented cross-industry research from the Corporate Executive Board highlighting the attributes of consistent high performance Sales Reps. These Sales Reps positioned Insights over product/service features; they were profiled as Challengers. This is a pivot from Solution Selling in that it focuses on “challenging” customers to think differently about business problems. The goal is to position an approach that points to unique differentiators for your company.
While this may seem straightforward, many companies struggle to develop and measure the “value” of their insights – it requires simplifying and enhancing the Go-to-Market Engine, building a strong Pit Crew, and accessing internal/external data and creating a benchmark.
Simplifying our Go-to-Market Engine
Leveraging a single platform such as Salesforce, will create a single source of truth for data needed to develop these metrics. Customizing key fields within Salesforce to build customized reports can also provide critical information (i.e. marketing campaign performance – generating quality MQL’s and SQL’s).
Another way to simplify, is by enabling customer-facing teams outside of Sales and Marketing. This can be done by giving them access to the Salesforce platform so they can input data captured from their customer interactions (i.e. customer service entering feedback from customers seeking to address new business problems). This can ensure critical information is available to develop new insights and provide associated product/service enhancements.
By customizing views based on user roles, you can increase quality of the data you have. An important requirement that should be considered in this process is the value of your sales departments time. By helping them to avoid having to spend too much time entering information, you can ensure that they have the necessary information within Salesforce to leverage these insights based on customer/prospect interest.
Sample Metrics and Harvesting Required Data
Some key metrics that clients use to drive Go-to-Market Performance include:
- Net Promoter Score – i.e. measuring ability to deliver on insights, “customer promise.”
- Win/Loss Data – i.e. determining why we lose/win opportunities, do current insights build necessary impact and does sales know how to position them.
- Aging Reports – i.e. measuring lead to close, comparing to industry metrics; assessing the impact, if any, of sales cycle length to win rate.
- Lead tracking – i.e. which insights create the most interest by determining web traffic based on campaigns, and qualification of lead.
Common practices used to capture most accurate information (fact-based feedback):
- The Win’s/Loss’s conducted outside of your Sales organization. Research has shown that customers/prospects are more candid when they don’t have to engage the Sales Rep during the evaluation.
- Having a unique differentiator and an agreement on the identified differentiators (i.e. a customer would concur this is a unique differentiator and we have delivered the associated value).
- The net promoter score should be applied correctly by having one question relating to whether the customer would recommend your company. If the score is low, the identified owner can follow-up with a call to get more information behind the low score and find out what can be done to improve it.
- Averaging aging reports will allow for the removing of too short and too long of lead times.
- Lastly, lead tracking will require a defined process between both Sales and Marketing in regards to what constitutes a “qualified” lead associated with a campaign.
The next blog in this series will focus on Go-to-Market Readiness. It will take a look at a checklist that captures the information presented to provide insights on the state of your Go-to-Market Engine.
John is a Client Advisor at Statera. He has leveraged his 20+ years of Go-to-Market & Sales Operations experience to help clients solve the Sales Enablement challenges that are impacting cost of sales and win rates. He specializes in helping his clients build business cases and roadmaps for success to ensure that processes, people and technology are aligned to drive high performance.