Marketing dashboard…great idea…hard to do

I love this graphic of a marketing dashboard on Brian Carroll’s blog. It so clearly and cleanly communicates the many parts of the marketing mix, including cold calling and inbound inquiries.

The idea that a technology company would be able to gather the data needed consistently and reliably is another matter. It could certainly be done, but at a cost.

The cost would be due to the fact that all of the data needed would be in different and separate buckets. Perhaps more importantly, most technology sales organizations don’t have a clue as to what lead source resulted in what sale.

Of the many reasons they don’t know, the most important is that they don’t care. I’m not saying this to be flip. The reality is that as long as the spend and the revenue are more or less on target, it doesn’t matter in the long run.

It would or could matter if you were building a business for the long term. Technology companies by their very nature are short term. Smart technology companies know that they will either be dead, bought, sold, merged, dismantled or obsoleted within a matter of quarters, not years – mostly.

If one wanted to determine the original lead source, you would have to talk to the customer as soon after the sale closes as possible. You might have to talk to all of the people involved with the sale and review all applicable CRM records. Complex sales coupled with sales cycles measured in quarters or years means you are going to have to be a real detective to solve the case.

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