All three of these things also coincide with one simple but often terrifying fact for modern marketers: Q1 is over!
We’re now 25 percent of the way through 2014, which means if you’re not on track to hit your goals (around qualified leads, pipeline contribution, net-new sales, revenue, whatever), it’s time to make adjustments.
World-class B2B marketing organizations have not only focused scorecards that measure their performance and impact throughout the quarter, but also scheduled deep-dives on results and adjustments necessary to continue deep external impact moving forward.
Whether you have these systems already or not, below is a proven framework for conducting a quarterly review of your team and company’s marketing efforts and impact.
Feel free to customize this for your own purposes, but the sequence was built on purpose.
- Q1 Postmortem
- What were our original goals, and how did we do?
- How would we evaluate not just our results, but our execution? Could we have worked smarter? More efficiently?
- Which channels were most effective at driving not just qualified leads but sales pipeline and closed business?
- Did we have the right resources & tools to achieve and exceed our goals?
- What did our competition do to market their products & services? What have we or could we have learned from them?
- Partner Feedback
- What does sales have to say about your performance this quarter?
- What did they like, and what would they like to see improve?
- What other departments need to give feedback on marketing’s performance? Customer service? Retention/renewals? Finance?
- Business & Sales Progress
- How did the business overall perform in Q1 relative to its goals?
- How did sales perform in Q1 relative to its goals?
- What implications do these results have on Q2 focus areas and beyond?
- Based on business, marketing & sales performance in Q1, what adjustments need to be made to marketing’s goals & focus areas for Q2?
- What new focus areas does marketing need to incorporate to more efficiently support the business and exceed expectations?
- Q2 Goal Setting & Planning
- What specific, measurable goals will drive marketing’s focus in Q2?
- How will these goals map directly to business and business unit (i.e. sales) goals in Q2 and beyond?
- Once developed, do sales and/or other key business units agree with the focus areas?
- Do you have the right resources, people, tools and budget to execute?
- Q2 Review Cadence
- What are the weekly & monthly milestones that will serve as leading indicators of your performance?
- Which reporting tools are required to provide quantifiable evidence of results & impact, such that specific adjustments (if necessary) can be made?
- What feedback mechanisms do you have in place to make real-time adjustments as necessary based on input from sales, finance, competitors and other factors?