Moving from MQLs to Pipeline and Revenue

Nobody cares about the data when things are going well. But when you stop hitting your goals, everyone cares about the data. 

B2B marketers need to know what their marketing dollars are doing right now. More than ever before.

On DGU this week, get an inside look at how we got a seat at the revenue table at Metadata.

Check out the full episode to hear how they made the jump or keep reading for the top takeaways.

Three top takeaways: 

Takeaway 1: Learn how your conversion metrics lead to revenue

You need directional data to do this. Not perfect data because there’s no such thing.

List every important event, lead stage, and opportunity stage when you’re building your funnel. You can start small and use a Google Sheet too. That’s what we did.

We track metrics like MQLs, opportunities, and pipeline — all the way through to closed-won revenue. Plus inputs like average deal size, planned quarterly churn, and conversion rates between every stage.

B2B companies will define metrics differently, so don’t copy whatever works for someone else. The key is defining each metric and agreeing on the definitions with Sales and the Leadership team.

Takeaway 2: Track leading indicators so you can see how you’re pacing

You can’t tell your Leadership team, “Trust me. You’ll start to see pipeline and revenue generated from our marketing. Just wait, it’s coming.”

We track leading indicators like demos requested, meetings booked, and meetings held to see how we’re pacing. Every single day.

This helps our Marketing team make better decisions and reprioritize how we’re spending our time and where to focus if we’re behind.

Pipeline and revenue are lagging indicators, plus sales cycle length varies at every company. So you won’t know which metrics to optimize for if you’re waiting for pipeline and revenue to show up in your Salesforce dashboards.

Takeaway 3: Making the jump from MQLs to pipeline doesn’t happen overnight

Owning a pipeline and revenue target is a big commit. Your marketing leader needs to be 100% onboard with making the jump too.

It took us about two-ish quarters to move from MQLs to pipeline. But we could move this fast because we always set our goals with downstream impact in mind.

Here’s what we recommend if you haven’t set your goals like this:

Start with Marketing Ops and Rev Ops to figure out what you’re tracking right now vs. what needs to be set up so you can start collecting data.

Turn this into a quick project plan with big milestones and dates, then present it to your marketing leader. The Marketing leader needs to have the same conversation with the Leadership team.

Moving from MQLs to pipeline and revenue is a much easier conversation when you already have a solid plan in place to get there.

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