June 8

Process Mapping is an essential step to measuring Lead generation ROI

Marketing Strategy

3  comments

It’s been well documented that quality of collaboration between sales and marketing directly impacts ROI. 

The challenge that many organizations face is that their sales process is a black box.  No one except the sales team knows what is going on inside the black box until a proposal or sale happens.  Worse still, 80% of the leads that go into the sales black box are rarely seen again. 

I’ve encountered many companies where sales and marketing do not jointly agree upon or understand their sales process.  At the same time many do not understand their potential customers buying process. 

This makes it particularly challenging for marketers who are trying to measure their revenue contribution and lead generation ROI. 

Process mapping is a well-known technique for creating a common vision and shared language for improving business results.   However, this technique hasn’t been widely adopted by sales and marketing departments.

I read this excellent article, on i Six Sigma, by Michael J. Webb, President, Sales Performance Consultants.  Webb’s article tells how to avoid the common pitfalls of sales/buyer process mapping. 

"Leaders in both large and small sales organizations often make mistakes that undermine the potential of process mapping. A common result, for example, is that salespeople ignore the process and operate outside the system," writes Webb. 

Read "How to Avoid the Four Most Common Mistakes of Sales Process Mapping."

Kristin Zhivago’s book, Rivers of Revenue, has an excellent worksheet on how to map out the customers buying process for what she calls an intense scrutiny product (complex sale).

Webb’s four common mistakes that hinder success:

  1. Map all the details, losing track of the big picture.
  2. Focus on the seller, instead of the customer.
  3. Map the process without showing how the results will be measured.
  4. Buy somebody else’s "ideal" sales process.

Webb’s principles That Yield Powerful Results:

  1. Keep your goals in the foreground of your process map.
  2. Map tools, skills, and performance metrics along with the process.
  3. Engage your people in process mapping to define problems and solutions.  This must be cross functional. 
  4. Determine how to create value for the customer throughout the process.

About the author 

Brian Carroll

Brian Carroll is the CEO and founder of markempa, helping companies to convert more customers with empathy-based marketing. He is the author of the bestseller, Lead Generation for the Complex Sale and founded B2B Lead Roundtable LinkedIn Group with 20,301+ members.

  1. Another reason for mapping marketing and sales processes is that repeatable processes can often be automated for optimal productivity. Combining processes and technology to produce significantly more qualified and timely selling opportunities helps close the gap between marketing and sales.

    A white paper titled: “Finding and focusing on customers with an immdiate need for a solution you have”, describes this systematic marketing approach and can be read at http://www.Ascend2.com/pdf/whitepaper.pdf

  2. Brian. Love the site! I have a strong service and support background and have found myself thrust into a role of managing end-to-end sales programs for a client. Can you point me to a resource that would enlighten me as to current trending regarding key performance indicators? How many contacts to a lead, how many leads to a sale, time frames, etc. Help!

  3. There are a couple of places you can check out.

    http://www.siriusdecisions.com/ is a firm that focuses exclusively Chief Executive Officer, Chief Sales Officer and Chief Marketing Offices and provides benchmarking data. They have benchmarked 200 companies at a very detailed level.

    Another place is IDC. http://www.idc.com IDC published a study on tech marketing benchmarks for budgets. IDC surveyed over 100 of the largest tech vendors and compiled a database that represents approximately $400 billion in total revenue and over $11 billion in marketing spend.

    Marketing Budget Planner 2005: Benchmarks and Key Performance Indicators
    http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=31755

    Also, I just posted an article about MarketingSherpa’s IT Marketing and Benchmarks survey
    https://www.markempa.com/it_survey/

    I hope this was helpful.

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