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Metrics and technology unite!

Linking marketing activities to sales performance has become increasingly important for B2B marketers. A new study shows that doing so is more effective with a bit of support from marketing automation tools.

Generally speaking, B2B marketers tend to track such traditional marketing metrics as leads generated, or they also track ROI-focused measure like leads conversion rates. According to the 2012 Lenskold Group / The Pedowitz Group Lead Gen Marketing Effectiveness Study, companies that use marketing automation with either measurement type will improve their marketing outcomes. But those using ROI measures outperform their traditionally focused counterparts.

The study, based on an online survey of 373 B2B marketers at companies with revenues of between $5 million and $50 million, found that marketing automation improves lead generation efforts overall. Adding marketing automation helped increase the quantity of leads generated for 61% of respondent, the quality of leads passed to sales for 60% of them, and the lead-to-closed-sale conversion for 40%. Even revenue per sale increased, for 28% of respondents.

However, companies that use ROI metrics to track marketing performance in combination with marketing automation improve their marketing outcomes significantly over those that use traditional metrics. The study showed gaps of 25% or more between the two groups in percentage of leads accepted to sales, quality of leads, conversions, and revenue per sale. The gap was a full 50% in terms of total marketing revenue contribution. Sixty-nine percent of respondents that track ROI-focused metrics—versus only 19% of marketers who use traditional metrics—saw total marketing revenue contribution improve as a result of implementing marketing automation.

“Companies using ROI metrics see a definite increase in revenue attributable to automation,” says Debbie Qaqish, chief revenue marketing officer of Pedowitz Group. “I mean, its a huge gap.”

The study also found that two thirds of companies using marketing automation expect growth in the coming year, compared to only half of those without it.

“Ask marketers, five years ago if they had revenue accountability and you got a blank stare,” Qaqish says. “Now the whole world is connecting to revenue accountability.”

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