Dear VP Marketing,

Your board isn’t asking you for regular reports on marketing influence and expenditures because they don’t trust you. They’re asking for the same reason they ask Engineering how much money, time, and effort it will take to develop a new feature. They want to know the results of the investment and be able to make forecasts.

If you were previously reporting on anecdotal information about how tradeshows performed or where marketing was influencing prospects, you’re going to need to change — and change quickly.

Your earlier reporting was looking in the rearview mirror, telling what happened. Now, you need look forward.

Leads over quarter dashboardYou have to tell a story about future performance based on past results. To do this, you’ll need reliable, up-to-date data to paint the picture about leads created this quarter and your forecast for the quarters ahead.

Your board is glad to know they have someone leading the team who will expand the brand, differentiate the products, and create new leads. But they also want to know what they can expect. If they give you a larger budget today, what will that do for the business tomorrow?

VP Marketing, you’re steering the boat. You need to know what’s ahead. The board doesn’t expect you to be infallible, but they do expect you to make forecasts about future pipeline based on your activities, yesterday and today.

You can start with the past and the present. But once you’ve built up that data, you’ll see patterns, and those will let you create a forecast.

For example, if you know this:

  • Avg. Lead to Opportunity velocity: 56 days
  • Avg. Opportunity to Close velocity: 34 days
  • Average conversion rates:
    • New to MQL: 25%
    • MQL to SQL: 45%
    • SQL to Opportunity: 84%
    • Opportunity to Close: 52%
  • Average deal size: $75K
  • Target: Q3 2017: $3MM

You should be able to derive this:

  • Average Lead to Close: 90 days
  • Number of New Leads: 315
  • Number of MQLs: 205
  • Number of SQLs: 92
  • Number of Opportunities: 77
  • Number of deals: 40

I need 820 new leads by the end of Q4 2016 for the same results 3 quarters from now.

And they want to know the percentage of opportunities marketing sourced, as well as the number marketing influenced, so they know how all the marketing activity is influencing the quantity, quality, and velocity of pipeline.

For example, you can report on top opportunity analysis, as in this dashboard:

blog-dearvpmarketingthisiswhyyourboardwantsdashboard3


Or you might be tracking the results of a specific campaign, to see when you get diminishing results:

 

blog-dearvpmarketingthisiswhyyourboardwantsdashboards4

So, VP Marketing, while forecasting might not have been in your wheelhouse a few years ago, it definitely is now. With BrightFunnel’s new dashboards, you can give your team and board the visibility they need to see the value of your efforts and the impact you’ll have in the future. Start reporting today in concise dashboards, and show how marketing operates.

Your board will thank you for it.

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