Ask the Expert: Meagen Eisenberg on Using Data to Improve Sales and Marketing Alignment
Meagen Eisenberg is a leading B2B marketing expert with nearly 20 years of experience working for high-tech businesses from startups to Fortune 500 companies. Meagen is the Chief Marketing Officer at MongoDB, a fast-growing modern open-source database that allows businesses to deploy apps for giant ideas. She also serves as an advisor to other technology companies, including Insightpool, Mintigo, Speakeasy, YesPath, and Accompany.
We were lucky enough to sit down with Meagen for a one-on-one. In this interview, Meagen provides tips for using data to drive your full funnel marketing strategy.
Read on to learn Meagen’s best practices for analyzing data, and discover how sales and marketing teams can use data to improve collaboration.
Q&A with Meagen Eisenberg, Chief Marketing Officer at MongoDB
LinkedIn: How do you define the difference between metrics and analytics?
Meagen Eisenberg: Metrics are really a moment in time. And analytics is the process of pulling insights from that data. A good car analogy for this one is that metrics are to the business what things like RPM, fuel level and speed are to a car. Analytics is about giving context to these metrics. So, for example at that RPM, with those fuel levels and at that speed, what time will we arrive at our destination?
LinkedIn: What is your desert island metric? The one metric your business can’t live without?
Meagen Eisenberg: Ultimately it would be revenue, but specific to marketing, I’d say the marketing-sourced pipeline that shows where leads are coming from.
However, marketing attribution is challenging and requires a sophisticated marketing operation. This is where the marketing and sales teams need to work together to make sure the process of how leads are loaded, assigned and triaged is a seamless process that leads to opportunity creation.
LinkedIn: How do you think MongoDB is at marketing attribution?
Meagen Eisenberg: We’re strong on attributing marketing influence – the marketing activities that lead to closed deals. But it’s not easy and not without some organization and business rules.
To effectively measure attribution, it’s all about people, process and technology.
Marketing and sales needs to have several discussions and come to an agreement on the definition of source and influence. Then you have to roll out firm business rules and processes that are supported by your CRM workflow and sales enablement.
LinkedIn: Given your experience at both MongoDB and DocuSign, what advice can you give on data driven marketing?
Meagen Eisenberg: I recommend that marketers model after the SirusDecisions’ waterfall. Build the company funnel metrics together, train sales and marketing and start measuring and improving your conversion rates.
With the funnel metrics in place you can see where the bottlenecks are and experiment with variables to raise your conversion rate. Are we leveraging the right content at the right time? Do we have the right scripts? Is our scoring model working? How are lead assignments set up?
When marketing is constantly optimizing conversion rates it improves their relationship with sales – that it’s not just about throwing a bunch of leads over the fence. And I would vouch to say that the success of the marketing team really lies in the relationship that they have with sales.
LinkedIn: How often are you checking your data and adjusting your marketing accordingly?
Meagen Eisenberg: I look at our data daily to keep a pulse on the overall business growth and look for outliers – an odd sourcing on leads or a number spike. That drives my team to really dig in and do some analysis to get to the root. If you get comfortable with your data on a daily basis, you can become very efficient at noticing areas worth investigating and improving.
LinkedIn: What tools do you recommend for keeping a pulse on marketing’s contribution to business growth?
Meagen Eisenberg: Start by implementing Salesforce CRM as your foundation. It will take time and resources to build out your reporting structure, but it’s worth the investment. From there, get Google Analytics up and running for general website and paid search data and use tools like Sprinklr for managing social media ROI.
There are also companies, like Hive9, that can give you real-time insights from several different platforms. This is great because some of the reporting you do may only be on a quarterly basis, but here you can compare campaign data performance every 24 hours.
LinkedIn: Do you have an example of when you leveraged both metrics and analytics to change your marketing for the better?
Meagen Eisenberg: One week our leads jumped from 2,000 a week to 20,000 a week. After some digging we found out that our LMS for our university courses was not integrated directly into our leads database and this was the once a quarter dump from the LMS.
It was not the best experience for our university students or our sales team. Suddenly, in just one week, sales had 20,000 folks to follow up with. And more importantly, some people signed up a month ago, so the necessary follow up was delayed or did not happen. Until we saw the jump in leads, we would not have had the opportunity to smooth out follow up and experience.
To resolve the issue and better our marketing we built an integration between the LMS and Eloqua. Now, in real time, every time someone signs up, it’s sent directly to Eloqua and tagged in a way that’s much more efficient for both marketing and sales.
It’s a really good example of looking at our metrics and taking the time to analyze why we’re seeing what we’re seeing. It ultimately led to a much better conversion rate for our university folks and a smoother experience for the sales team.
To learn more about using metrics and analytics to improve your full funnel marketing results, read The Sophisticated Marketer’s Crash Course in Metrics & Analytics.