Growing up in Central New Jersey (exit 135, as the locals say), there was a public service announcement (PSA) on New York City television, every night just before the 10pm evening news: “It’s 10pm. Do you know where your children are?” As a kid, it never quite resonated with me. Today, as a parent of two, the question definitely stirs up my paternal instincts.
But it also got me thinking about the paternal role of sorts that I often take on with technology marketers. Now that we’re 10 weeks into the year, basically 20% done, I have to ask: “Are you on target for your plans for the year?”
Was one of your goals for the year to acquire a certain amount of leads, or more specifically marketing qualified leads (MQLs)?
MQLs are leads that meet your basic lead qualification criteria, but which are not yet sales-ready.
If you multiplied your year to date (YTD) leads generated times five, would you be on track with your annual goal for leads generated?
Sales Opportunities Generated
When ordinary leads, basically MQLs, are nurtured to the point of maturity, these leads become sales ready – often referred to in the industry by technology marketers are sales qualified leads (SQLs).
Now this SQL shouldn’t be confused with the IT acronym that’s been around for decades among database managers. Sales qualified leads are very, very different than the structured query language that’s used to build relational database applications.
So the question at hand, if you have a sales opportunity goal for the year, and you multiply your YTD progress by five, does it look like you’re on target?
Most technology marketers get tasked with a goal tied to new clients acquired during the calendar year.
In order for clients to be acquired predictably and at scale, usually interim goals with leads generated and opportunities generated need to be met first.
But if you strictly consider the number of clients acquired so far YTD, and multiply that number times five, would the other stakeholders see you as largely on target to meet your goals for the year?
Monthly Recurring Revenue Acquired
When considering a business model where monthly recurring revenue (MRR) is important, such as SaaS, cloud services, or managed services, technology marketers are usually entrusted with acquiring a certain amount of new monthly recurring revenue, either on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis.
This kind of targeting usually takes into account the revenue mix of the business – where inevitably lower-value clients are mixed in side-by-side with higher-value clients that generate substantially more monthly recurring revenue.
So are you on track to meet your goals for new monthly recurring revenue acquired?
Return on Investment
Finally, technology marketing professionals can’t look at goals for leads, opportunities, clients, and monthly recurring revenue in a vacuum.
Cost of client acquisition (COCA) and return on investment (ROI) are always driving forces.
Consider this: It may seem expensive to sustain a $100,000 client acquisition investment, but what if the average client has a $10,000,000 lifetime value?
By comparing the actual net returns to the actual investment, you can get a feel for the ROI.
But with 10 weeks of the year now over, it’s also a great time to take a pulse on how your ROI is faring with expectations. Unlike the other metrics described earlier in this article, you won’t need to multiply YTD times five, as you’re simply calculating the ratio of the net profits to your net investment.
Many technology marketers may not realize that we’re already 10 weeks into the year. And while 80% of the year still remains to turn things around if you’re not on target with your annual goals, now’s the time to do something about it.
Just like the PSA on New York City television that reminded parents, “It’s 10pm. Do you know where your children are?” my PSA for technology marketers is quite similar, “It’s 10 weeks into the year? Are you on target for your plans for the year?”
Let us know in the Comments box below!
And to make sure that you have a solid plan, download your free copy of the IT Channel Inbound Marketing Planning Guide.
Creative Commons Image Source: flickr kurichan+
Topics:- B2B Digital Marketing Strategy