Closed loop marketing ties together marketing and sales in a continuous engagement process.

Chief Revenue Officer

The CRO is Responsible for Predictable and Sustainable Revenue Growth

This post is updated. It was originally published in July 2016

Today, companies recognize the need for a company-wide revenue focus and a more integrated approach across marketing and sales. The CRO oversees the traditional responsibilities of the VP of Sales and the Chief Marketing Officer and is a member of the senior team overseeing go-to-market strategy and execution. The CRO is  responsible for aligning company resources, defining differentiated go-to-market strategies and delivering on the company’s revenue performance goals.

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Good Better Best Sales


Face it. Most of the sales methodologies from the 80’s are tired. They do not address what growth companies need today. Growth companies need to shift from using a sales methodology to using a revenue methodology.

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Financial Advisor Marketing

Financial Advisors are an amazingly difficult prospect to engage. They are incredibly busy and already have a wealth of resources already available to them – do they even need to engage with wholesalers? The best way to convert financial advisors to customers is to build your marketing automation program around them.

Lead generation starts with effective segmentation

Before focusing on key strategies, Sales and Marketing must have defined a set of engagement personas and customer segments. Marketing has had personas for a decade but only since the advent of marketing automation software have engagement personas become empowered and brought to life.

Defining financial advisor segments for lead generation

Creating clarity with Sales is a two step process:

  1. Lead scoring – a measure of how active a financial advisor on your digital properties
  2. Lead grading – a measure of how profitable the financial advisor is likely to be


Advisor Marketing Focus


It may take several iterations to get lead scoring and grading optimized, however, the process should be fruitful for Sales and Marketing. The process crystallizes Marketing and Sales perspectives around which advisors are most profitable and which digital behaviors are believed to be most relevant to a sale. Some marketing automation vendors have one score that represents profitability and interest. However, being able to separate advisor behaviors from profitability factors simplifies discussions by clarifying customer segments by profitability as seen in the above graphic. As an example, Pardot applies a numerical value for an advisor’s lead score and a letter grade (A-F) for an advisor’s expected profitability.

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The easiest metrics to measure are not always the most meaningful

When evaluating asset management marketing programs, indicators such as response / registration rate, open / click-through rate may be among the metrics you look for.

In an example of a narrower view, search marketing providers are measuring clicks, page visitation and navigation, length of visit, and the value of a “lead” based on what you paid for it.

Metrics are useful when they’re used for the tasks they’re best suited for, such as:

  • Testing which message/content combinations are working best,
  • Reviewing the types of content that prospects find most appealing,
  • Understanding where a prospect started in buyer journey and how they progressed through each stage to become a new advisor client (organic search, PPC, display ads, site sponsorship, social media, etc.)

These data are important but meaningless in the context of stand-alone metrics, without additional context for what happens next. They are irrelevant if you’re not engaging your ideal accounts or prospective buyers. You may consider them as leading indicators.

How do you re-think metrics, differentiate the best metrics that matter?

Differentiating between individual metrics and the KPIs that Matter.

Consider a revenue-first approach to re-think the metrics that matter, that is, metrics that are predictors of qualified account or sales opportunities and ultimately revenue delivered.

  • Start by defining KPIs or Key Performance indicators, that is, measurable values that show the progress of your business goals for your Asset Management Marketing and Sales
  • Gain a clear understanding of the importance of the KPIs, their hierarchy and how to align efforts to maximize performance in each.

advisor engagement metricsSee illustrative metrics, listed hierarchically from most important to least important

  1. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
  2. Supporting Metrics
  3. Supporting Metrics


Sales Activity Attributable to Marketing.

One of the key challenges is calculating sales activity attributable to marketing.  The Supporting Metrics, e.g., cost-per-sale, cost-per-qualified-lead are often much easier to track and report on than the core KPIs – e.g., sales activity attributable to marketing.

While new software tools are helping to bridge the gap, there’s still a bit of “black magic” to the matter. Let’s consider a this scenario for sales attributable to marketing:

You’ve targeted a prospect through multiple media. What activity do you “credit” for the inquiry if they’ve responded to a direct message via LinkedIn or an e-mail campaign, enter a landing page through paid search, or click on a link in social media—? After all, it may have been the display ad or landing page that did the bulk of the selling, even if the response/registration initialy came through via e-mail. Last click attribution can be quite misleading at times. This suggests the need to measure return-on-marketing spend by (i) individual activity AND (iI) in the aggregate.

In the end, attribution will be an important thing to solve for in establishing a revenue first hierarchy predictors of qualified account or sales opportunities and ultimately revenue delivered.

Download a copy of the Buyer Engagement eBook: “Exposed: The False Promises of Revenue Marketing”