In the last blog on revenue generation marketing, I took some time to discuss how our operational implementation was working at Cisco. As part of that, I shared the four main best practices we discovered during our revenue generation marketing journey. Of course, if you missed that post, please give it a read. To sum it up, however, I believe your operations team simply has to focus on:

  • Setting a goal
  • Keeping the goal simple
  • Setting key success indicators for individuals
  • Reporting

That is the high-level look at operational implementation that we saw here at Cisco. But in this final blog on our revenue generation marketing journey, I want to dig a little deeper and talk about implementing those best practices within your customer relationship management (CRM) software and combining that with marketing automation.

When you bring marketing automation together with CRM, you are essentially closing the loop from the top of your sales funnel to the bottom of it. When we talked about marketing automation a couple of blogs ago, I spoke about aligning sales and marketing. This approach provides for campaign management in order to map where a customer is in the buying process. For us, this provides us a “partner journey” to track through the entire sales cycle.

Since marketing automation is inherently focused on demand generation that point is where we start tracking engagement in the sales process. To follow the journey all the way to the bottom of the sales funnel, and close the loop on moving from demand generation to an actual booking, you have to marry the marketing automation with the CRM you are using to track customers.

That approach cannot just be a funnel that ends up with customers in your CRM, giving no feedback to marketing, however. As I’ve mentioned for several blogs now, in order for revenue generation marketing to work, we all have to acknowledge that we are in this together. As such, there has to also be accountability for return on investment (ROI) feedback to come from CRM back up to marketing automation so that we know what’s working.

The sales team views what’s in your CRM as the single source of truth. Just like every other step in revenue generation marketing, there has to be reporting on ROI. The “truth” in your CRM has to feed back up to the top of the funnel so that marketing automation can be adjusted to provide the best journey for your customers.

At the end of the day, your approach to lead management can no longer be demand generation versus CRM. It has to be both. The marketing automation creating your demand has to work seamlessly with your business automation and CRM in order for you to effectively track how marketing is feeding the revenue generation pipeline.

Marketing is always going to care about how many leads we are putting in the top of that sales funnel, but they have to be properly qualified leads that can be tracked through the entire process. The sales force is always going to care about how many actual bookings they are getting out of the bottom of that same funnel. As part of the revenue generation marketing journey you have to close the loop from the top of the funnel to the bottom in order to provide a measurable journey to success!

I do hope you’ve enjoyed hearing my thoughts on revenue generation marketing. I know I’ve enjoyed putting this series together, and I hope it was useful to you. I would love to hear your perspectives in the comments section or via twitter @sherriliebo.


Sherri Liebo

Vice President

Global Partner Marketing