Proven tips for marketing productivity

Sales productivity is a hot topic across all industries, with salespeople’s selling time versus non-selling time critical towards a company’s revenue. Marketing productivity, on the other hand, hasn’t gotten the same attention. Marketing automation gets a lot of buzz—automation, for example, can create intelligent lists to segment your mailing lists in a few seconds instead of using antiquated mail merge.

Automation is only one opportunity, however, to maximize marketing results while minimizing resources expended towards achieving those results. And the results, while they might not have the immediacy of a deal closed by a salesperson, are critical to your company’s results. Below are a few more methods beyond automation that marketers can take for optimized productivity.

Using Quotas

Marketers are data-driven, but while we analyze the numbers and aim to improve them, we’re not necessarily held to quotas, numbers we must hit every month or quarter, while salespeople are. These different standards can cause a certain amount of friction between sales and marketing, and setting quotas can not only improve alignment, but increase efficiency as well.

Setting goals for opportunities (instead of just leads) will allow marketers to better focus their resources on targeting people who are likely to convert instead of casting a wide net. Quotas will also force marketers to examine spending and resources spent on awareness campaigns like social media posts. Sometimes this will mean reducing time spent on certain activities, but that will give you more time to spend time and resources on activities that prove marketing’s value to the company, including the salespeople that depend on marketers.

Regularly Audit

There is nothing fun about an audit. But as a marketer, it’s necessary to evaluate where you are and where you’re headed, and it’s something you need to do on an ongoing basis (i.e., more than once a year) or else you risk going off track. Consider internal and external influences like the state of your competitors and customers on your planning, as well as conducting a content audit.

Get Salespeople to Use Content

A whopping 70 percent of marketing-created content goes unused by salespeople. Now, that doesn’t mean that only 30 percent of the content you create is useful. Sometimes content makes sense for leads earlier in the sales cycle, but doesn’t make sense when salespeople are in conversations.

The bigger problem is the percentage of marketing’s content associated with closed deals: 26 percent versus 61 percent of sales-created content. If you’re creating sales-specific collateral, those statistics could point to a lot of wasted time unless you do the following:

Track sales metrics. Improving your percentage of used content is going to be tough if you don’t know how it’s getting used in the first place.

Check in with salespeople. Whether it’s monthly meetings or on an as-needed basis, find out what prospects want from those who spend the most time with them.

Make it as easy as possible to find and present content you create. Remove any barriers from salespeople using marketing-created content including search features, intuitive organization, and presentation tools.

Try Agile Marketing

Agile marketing isn’t for everyone, but it’s an approach that can tactically bring together the steps above. Broadly, agile marketing is focusing on key projects as a team and being able to achieve them quickly and efficiently. Agile marketing has four features:

Sprints. These are short periods (2-6 weeks) that your team has to complete a project. If a project needs longer than that, it gets broken up into multiple sprints.

Stand-up meetings. Stand-ups are daily check-ins that can last up to 15 minutes where team members tell the rest of the team what they did the day before, what they’re planning to do and, critically, any blocks they’ve encountered.

Project tracking. Whether a spreadsheet or software like Teamwork, just use some sort of way to track progress on your projects.

Collaboration. Projects live and die by how much of a team your team is. Projects will have leaders, but everyone should be ready to assist when needed.

Marketing productivity may not be as top-of-mind as sales productivity, but continually working at it will make marketers feel less overwhelmed, allow marketers to reach their audience, and start moving them down the sales cycle. The growing relationship between sales and marketing will also mean that improving productivity in your marketing department will make for more productive salespeople.

Want to learn more about how marketers can impact sales productivity? Click below for our eBook to help diagnose inefficiencies in your sales process, and what marketers can do to help.

Image credit: Content, Article by Joe the Goat Farmer | Creative Commons