It’s widely known that when it comes to academics, people learn differently. Some people can just hear or read about information and internalize it, others need to write it down or verbalize it, and others need to see or graphically visualize it before the information really takes root.
Well, the same goes for the business world. Just because you’re out of the classroom doesn’t mean that you’re not constantly taking in information, learning, and then applying it to solve challenges.
In fact, the best marketers are the ones who are able to take in a wide array of information, often from various sources, analyze it, and derive powerful insights that make the customer experience better and, eventually, impact the bottom line.
For some marketers this is done in spreadsheets or other common report formats. For others, it requires creating visualizations.
One of the most important visualizations for B2B marketers is the pipeline funnel -- being able to see how prospects filter through every stage from open leads to the closed-won deal. It’s one thing to see a marketing report spreadsheet with hundreds or thousands of cells and be able to pick out the few numbers that are important to you at the moment (e.g. 10,000 people filled out a form last month, 600 were marketing qualified, and 300 are now sales opportunities); it’s another to see the flow of prospects as they go through the stages.
When visualized, marketers can quickly and easily compare what the funnel looks like based on certain variables. With the two data sets above, it’s much easier to see through the visualizations that there is less drop-off in Initiative B’s funnel. Even though they produced the same amount of sales opportunities, Initiative B did it far more efficiently.
You would come to the same conclusion eventually by looking at the spreadsheet data, but with the visualization, seeing the greater funnel efficiency happens instantly.
The differences in how efficiently leads flow through the funnel based on variables such as lead source could potentially reveal important areas of improvement or funnel stages that need more marketing attention. Once identified through the visualization, one could dig deeper into the data and find root causes.
Essentially, visualizing key marketing data (like the pipeline) allows B2B marketers to look at their metrics from a different perspective -- one that is often necessary for breakthrough insights and ideas.
With that in mind, Bizible recently released two FREE apps on the Salesforce AppExchange that help B2B marketers visualize their pipeline data:
Lead Source Marketing Funnel
The Lead Source Marketing Funnel app allows marketers to quickly (less than 5 minutes) take their existing data in Salesforce, choose which data they want to look at, and turn it into an easily digestible pipeline (marketing and sales) funnel.
Marketers are able to toggle between lead sources to create source-specific funnels, as well as choose the time frame of the funnel.
One of the key features of this app is the ability to quickly see stage conversion rates, which shows where leads are dropping out of the funnel. Because customer journeys vary greatly from company to company, general benchmarks for stage conversion rates aren’t particularly helpful. By filtering the pipeline data by time, marketers can compare their current performance against historical performance (month-to-month changes, for example) to identify spikes, valleys, and other trends.
For B2B marketers, it’s less about trying to beat benchmarks that may or may not be relevant or directly comparable. Rather, it’s about constantly refining your processes and improving on your own performance. The Lead Source Marketing Funnel app is a great tool to help marketers do exactly that.
Campaign Member Marketing Funnel
Similarly, the Campaign Member Marketing Funnel shows how leads flow through the funnel from lead creation to customer, but with this app, marketers are able to sort their pipeline data by campaign instead of by lead source.
It’s a convenient (and free) way to visualize campaign performance based on the entire pipeline, rather than just lead generation.
Give it a shot and see how what your pipeline looks like!