Marketing is usually the department raving over the prodigious effectiveness of B2B marketing attribution. Its multi-touch capabilities that track campaigns and buyers journeys from beginning to end are all the rage in the B2B marketing space.
But pop over to the next department and see what the sales team thinks of B2B marketing attribution. How does attribution change how the sales team sells? How does it affect their lead insights, their pipeline velocity, their selling approach, and how their time is spent? What does “marketing and sales alignment” look like from the sales team’s point of view?
I would posit this is one of the biggest kept secrets in the B2B marketing space today -- B2B sales teams are some of marketing attribution’s biggest fans.
And we’ll let the sales team tell their own story. Joyce Juntunen, Bizible’s Head of Sales, and Danny Kisch, Bizible’s Sales Development Manager, have lent their expertise. Read on, and see how B2B marketing attribution impacts the productivity of their 19-person sales team.
 Attribution shows insights into a lead’s complete history
Lead insights are key to a salesperson’s outreach. Without a clear picture of how a lead has come through the pipeline, it’s difficult to properly tailor conversations. B2B marketing attribution can provide true first-touch attribution data on a lead’s initial exposure to a company’s offering, which provides a clear beginning to their buying journey.
Attribution also tracks key touchpoints along a lead’s progression through the marketing and sales funnel, so every lead’s story is tracked to the smallest detail. Sales teams know which pieces of content the lead has viewed or downloaded as well as which social posts or display ads they clicked.
“When you look at the lead form that a prospect fills out, it really only tells part of the story,” Joyce said. “When we see repeated visits, it's really helpful to understand how long a prospect has been gathering info about us and what types of messaging is appealing to them from the very first visit. We definitely have more to talk about.”
“Today, we’re more aware of the context in which prospects find and interact with our brand,” Danny said. “To borrow a dance metaphor – rather than awkwardly engaging with leads a la your last middle school social, we’re able to orchestrate a classic tango where our leads guide the tone and content of the conversation based on their specific attribution data.”
 Attribution informs on lead quality
The marketing department generates leads, but they don’t often know if they’re qualified. When the sales team gets landed with those leads, they often have difficulty connecting with, converting, and closing those contacts. This disconnect is one of the biggest contributors to marketing and sales conflict and misalignment.
“In working with previous organizations with little attribution data," Joyce said, "Marketing was tasked with bringing in leads. We tried to close them. Sales often won't contact leads they know won't close. Marketing teams don't always know how to find leads that do close. It's a huge set-up for failure on both sides with a lot of wasted time, money and energy.”
Danny chimed in on why lead quality is pivotal to successful sales engagements. “When it comes to our sales approach,” he said, “The sooner we understand the quality of any given lead, and the sooner we’re able to nurture them based on their unique needs. While home runs are always exciting, singles and doubles win games too.”
 Attribution displays marketing touchpoints by organization
Marketing touchpoints are interactions that prospects, leads, or opportunities have with a company’s marketing activities (views, clicks, downloads, calls, etc). These touchpoints are tracked, compiled, and pushed into the CRM under a contact’s profile. By tracking each and every touchpoint, from every social click to every content download, a sales team knows precisely how the lead has progressed through the funnel at any given time.
“As the recipient of many a cold call,” said Danny, “One of my biggest pet peeves is when a company’s internal processes and teams aren’t aligned – i.e. if I’m already a customer, your entire sales team should be aware. Once a company can track all touchpoints across any given organization, it is equipped to have conversations at the right place and the right time.”
Joyce added her stamp of approval, noting that, “This definitely enables us to understand who is involved with the decision making process, how interested an organization is and what messaging they are responding to.”
 Attribution streamlines the leads handoff between marketing and sales
A multi-touch B2B attribution program compiles all of its data in one system -- the CRM. Rather than being exclusively used by the sales team, the CRM has become marketing’s modus operandi as well. Everyone’s working within the same system.
“When it comes to aligning our sales and marketing departments," said Danny, "Attribution creates an unmatched level of consistency across all of our data. With revenue data being tracked to marketing campaigns in Salesforce, our Sales Development Team is able to quickly assess a lead’s ‘story’ and conduct more impactful outreach attempts.”
On working with past organizations with little data on attribution, Joyce recalled, “Meetings with marketing were, quite frankly, a battle every time. Now, our meetings are far more productive, since we have access to attribution data. It’s obvious how much my team is contributing to revenue, and we can all identify the best lead sources to focus on."
 Attribution enables collaborative forecasting between sales and marketing
Sales has difficulty with accurate forecasts if the marketing team isn’t on board. Attribution connects the dots and shows successes that should be repeated and weaknesses that should be cut from the budget or optimized for better results. Collectively, marketing and sales can forecast future goals.
“For 2016,” Joyce said, “Our Director of Marketing was able to commit very specific numbers for the year, based on our past performance and our current marketing spend. I, in turn, am able to see exactly what our prospecting team needs to do to make our numbers. No more guessing!”
“When I sync with my Directors of Sales and Marketing every month," said Danny, "I have a concrete understanding of where to allocate our team resources. Rather than flying solo into the unknown, we have a reliable co-pilot in our Marketing Department.”
 Attribution is a catalyst for account-based selling
Certain attribution programs are equipped with account-based tracking, where the program compiles all touchpoints across all users from a certain company. The sales team is able to gauge their success at reaching influential decision-makers at that organization.
On this topic, Joyce remarks, “Attribution is really the cornerstone of the sales approach to ABM. We are constantly coming up with new ideas to test, and we’re using multiple channels along with our outbound approach to engage key personas across an organization.”
Danny explains how his team uses attribution in account-based marketing, saying, “As we’ve built out our account-based sales approach, we’ve been able to target specific personas, building on the foundation that our marketing team has laid for us."
"Rather than take a shotgun approach to our outreach, we’ve become surgeons in our ability to create meaningful conversations with our prospects.”
 Attribution increases pipeline velocity
Because the buyer’s journey is tracked from beginning to end, attribution allows the sales team to optimize their nurturing sequences, know how best to approach a contact, and how to time their future outreach. All of these advantages generate a faster, more efficient pipeline.
“For our Sales Development Representatives,” Danny said, “Understanding attribution data has become a cornerstone for our training process. We’re better able to time our outreach and provide relevant and compelling content for our various buyer personas.”
Joyce emphasized that, “We are constantly measuring and iterating our sales process. Data is the key. Without it, we are just guessing.”
 Attribution provides ROI for events and conferences
Sales teams staff the event booth, generate leads, and form connections at events. Marketing attribution for events shows whether or not those efforts turned into customers. Transparent attribution data proves value of the sales team’s efforts and the budget spend it takes to send them to events.
On events, Danny noted that, “Conferences and events have always been a marketing mainstay – it’s about time that we understood their impact on sales. Attribution has transformed our understanding of our customers’ buying path and has given us the ability to build impactful relationships in person.”
“This info has been critical to decisions we make around which events we should attend and sponsor, and how many people we should send," Joyce added. "In addition, we look at our other sales-related activities at events like dinners, meet-ups and whether or not to do them again.”
 Attribution helps sales stay aligned with their marketing team
Both teams are working within the same system, aligning their processes, and coordinating their strategies and budgets. It’s all because of attribution. The data provided by a marketing attribution solution has proven to be an invaluable component in marketing and sales alignment.
Joyce concluded by saying, “Our sales and marketing teams view each other as partners and assets. Clean data tells the story and our mutli-touch attribution model gives credit where it's due.”
“Collaboration is key!” Danny adds, “With our marketing team and sales team both aligned to revenue, we’re able to focus on building rich and meaningful relationships with our prospects.”