Chasing Nickels: The Marketing Automation and Revenue Reporting Disconnect

Have you ever worked in a company where the marketing automation system/CRM is not connected to the accounting/revenue reporting system? How’s that going for you? Unfortunately, I have…many times.

When accurate revenue numbers are not tied into closed-loop marketing reporting, you focus on a totally different set of KPIs. Reporting and focus tend to be more activity driven than it is based on revenue and profitability. It makes a huge impact on strategy and tactics. Because you’re not really seeing the direct impact to revenue, all a marketer can do is maximize “Activities” and hope the increase will proportionally influence bottom-line reporting. Activity-based targets is a great first step, but revenue-based goals should be the objective.

 

Reporting and focus tend to be more activity driven than it is based on revenue and profitability

 

If I don’t know how much money is coming in and what caused the money to come in, all I can do is increase engagements via visits, opens, clicks, form-fills, etc. and pray the revenue increases the next month. Am I getting the right engagements? Without a direct tie-in to revenue, I really have no idea. It’s like running as fast as you can, but have no idea what direction to run. Sure, the accounting department can run a monthly report, but it will not include the “reasons” that revenue came in. What sparked the engagement that caused the sale? What call to action closed the deal?

A marketer can tell you what campaign brought in the most sales units (quantity), but which campaign brought in the most profits (quality)? I am not familiar with any accounting systems that have the ability to track insights on marketing attribution. A marketing automation tool is a very powerful weapon with nearly-limitless tracking capabilities when pointed toward the right direction, but REVENUE IS THE DIRECTION. That’s what we’re here for, to make money. You can have the most powerful boat ever created, but will be rendered useless without a rudder.

 

A marketing automation tool is a very powerful weapon with nearly-limitless tracking capabilities when pointed toward the right direction, but REVENUE IS THE DIRECTION

 

I’ve sat in many sales and marketing meetings where the focus is on number of calls. Who cares? What if 1,000 calls brought in $1000 but another set of 20 calls brought in $20,000? You know how a nickel is bigger than a dime but the dime is actually worth more? I want more dimes, no matter how much bigger the nickel is. I am more interested in the 20 calls than I am in the 1000. If anything, I will find a way to divert the resources devoted to the 1000 calls and redirect it toward the $20,000 calls. In order to do that, I would need to know that the 20 calls equated to $20,000. Without that, I’m just chasing nickels.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *