Review of Marketo Revenue Cycle Analytics

Many clients ask us whether they should purchase the advanced features of Marketo.  These features, in the right hands, can offer tremendous value to a Marketing department, transforming them from a cost center to a profit center.

For most clients?  These features require more time investment than they expect and can be ignored as more pressing challenges arise.

The main problem we’ve found is in understanding this time investment and the prerequisites of Marketo that you should master before adopting the advanced functionality.

Here then are the key parts of the RCA module and what you should know about them.

Revenue Cycle Analytics Explained

Revenue Cycle Modeler

Feature: drag and drop interface to design your processes from Anonymous to Won.  Assign SLAs and access data from Salesforce Opportunities.

Benefit: Establish SLAs and process to begin identifying funnel leakage.

Who this is for: Marketers who want closed-loop reporting and higher conversion rates from lead to closed.

Prerequisites:

  • Working relationship with Sales to agree on the appropriate stages and SLAs
  • Ability to test and validate model

Blind spot: an active model is not necessarily a properly functioning model, yet many marketers fail to validate their leads are moving into the appropriate stages.

Opportunity Influence Analyzer

Feature: demonstrate the programs, events, and activities that influenced leads prior to opportunity creation.

Benefit: demonstrate marketing’s contribution to the pipeline through anecdotal evidence.  This can defend against Sales taking credit for a big deal when marketing clearly acquired the lead.

Who this is for: customers who struggle to demonstrate marketing’s impact.  This is especially useful when Marketing helps Sales by nurturing Sales-acquired leads until they are ready to buy.

Prerequisites:

  • Opportunities in Salesforce
  • Proper Contacts associated with Opportunities
  • Marketo Programs
  • Acquisition Program data
  • Marketo Interesting Moments
  • Clean database without duplicates
Blind spot: this report is most valuable when deals are recently won, but the data should be clean beforehand with proper Contact and Program association.

Program Analyzer

Feature: analyze marketing programs across numerous slices to determine their effectiveness.

Benefit: visually compare effectiveness of channels, programs, and content in dozens of ways, quickly.

Who this is for: the marketer looking to maximize return on program spend by looking at multiple variables.

Prerequisites:

  • Marketo Programs
  • Marketo Program Tags in place for the variables you wish to track
  • Marketo Program Costs entered consistently
  • Opportunity tracking in Salesforce
Blind spot: this report provides an immense amount of data, but many marketers fail to understand the meaning of different metrics such as Multi-touch Attribution.  Others don’t add all cost data, rendering this report useless.

Success Path Analyzer

Feature: Monitor how long leads stay in every stage from Anonymous to Won, and the variance against Service Level Agreements.

Benefit: With the Success Path Analyzer, the process from known lead to won deal is no longer a black box.  You can identify where leads get stuck in the funnel and produce programs to specifically address these positions.

Who this is for: Closely aligned sales/marketing teams looking to increase velocity of deals and selectively target leads to move them through the funnel.

Prerequisites:

  • Properly functioniong Revenue Cycle Model
  • Testing to validate leads are in the proper stage
  • Strong Sales/Marketing alignment: this report is useless without SLAs, and SLAs are useless without trust between departments
  • Process to address leads failing the SLA
Blind spot: many marketers get stuck in the technical implementation of the Revenue Cycle Model, having never actually defined this before.  We recommend whiteboarding your model to get to the core of every stage, and then implement it with tests to validate leads are in the proper stages at all times.

Ad Hoc Reports & Analysis

Feature: Custom dashboards in Marketo
Benefit: What gets measured gets done.  Arrange your KPIs so you always know where you stand
Who this is for: Marketers with high data quality and a lower understanding of Salesforce.

Prerequisites:

  • KPIs for each of your goals
  • Consistently track the metrics you want to report on: revenue stage, program channel, lead owners, etc.
  • Confidence in your data
Blind spot: many marketers can get lost in the Revenue Cycle Explorer, trying to produce reports that are better created in Salesforce or other Marketo Reports.  RCE can be quite valuable, but it has a learning curve and you’ll need to invest the time to understand how best to use it.
We recommend marketers whiteboard their KPIs first, then look for ways to implement these, whether through Salesforce reporting, the RCE dashboards, or other means.

In general we find the Revenue Cycle Analytics, while useful, requires a strong relationship between Sales and Marketing and a tolerance for “failing fast” as these numbers can look ugly when you first see them.  With the proper foundation, however, understanding marketing as an investment can give you a competitive edge in your market.