March 13, 2019
The Essential Account Based Marketing Checklist for B2B Marketers
While most B2B, lead generation, or recurring billing advertisers understand the importance of optimizing to a metric beyond PPC conversions, you may be reluctant to share that data with your marketing agency. You should always treat confidential customer data seriously, but you also need to be mindful that your PPC agency can’t optimize toward data it can’t access. Conversely, once you expand the amount of data you share with your agency, you should also expand your expectations for their work. If you’re not convinced, here are some good reasons to share CRM data with your PPC agency.
As we’ve detailed in previous posts, there is value in optimizing toward a metric beyond conversions for most lead generation advertisers. If you are an enterprise software provider, you are likely evaluating Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs), closed deals, and Annualized Recurring Revenue (ARR). That data resides in your CRM, and if your PPC agency doesn’t have access to it, they won’t be able to identify new keywords to add, bid adjustments to make, or budgets to shift to improve the SQL or ARR numbers.
Your CMO or CEO is likely holding you accountable for a lower funnel metric than just leads. Why not hold your agency to the same expectations? It is always frustrating when an advertiser asks to “improve lead quality” without granting access to lead quality data. When you provide your agency insight into which PPC efforts are yielding the strongest down-funnel results, you can then expect them to work to improve your ultimate business goals.
Your PPC agency should not just be an outsourced advertising vendor, but also a marketing analytics partner. By giving your PPC agency access to CRM data, you have extra team members who are responsible for finding efficiencies in overall marketing efforts. If the conversion to SQL rate is 18% on Monday through Friday, but 8% on weekends, that could be instructive for how advertising efforts are structured and analyzed in other channels.
The process of sharing CRM data often raises questions that help your agency accelerate their understanding of your holistic marketing and sales efforts. Many times, questions like what counts as a disqualified lead, or how the sales team is following up on inbound leads, give your agency insight into how they can adapt their approach to further benefit your team.
Upon seeing a sharp drop in SQLs, we once learned that an advertiser was requiring the sales team to stop working new leads in the final week of a quarter, as they shifted focus to closing leads already in the pipeline. We questioned this strategy, but it was a firm rule for this advertiser. Understanding this rule allowed us to shift spend away from that final week, and toward the first weeks of a new quarter, when the sales team needed to rebuild its pipeline.
If confidentiality is the primary concern about sharing CRM data, a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) can be a simple fix. No agency should object to signing an NDA around customer, sales, or revenue data.
Once you do share this data, let your agency know your desired outcome. Are you expecting an improvement in SQL and cost per SQL figures? Does your SEO team want insight about which campaigns are most likely to drive new customers? Also, make sure to give your agency an opportunity to share any findings from the data, or any recommendations based on these findings.
Sharing internal CRM data with your PPC agency creates a ton of opportunity. As you increase the amount of data you share, you should also increase your expectations from your agency. Together, you can improve the overall partnership and expand opportunities inside and outside your current PPC efforts!