Why CMOs fail to measure this critical metric "Net New Prospect Meetings"

by Michael Phelan

As I work with CMO's, I always ask the following question, "What do you want to achieve and how will you measure progress" The responses tend to have some element of revenue generation or new prospect acquisition. However related metrics are all over the place, some loosely attributable to the objective but most tend to be vague or overly complex.

Here are some examples:

-At a macro level, they are often some form of MQL "Marketing Qualified Lead" or SQL "Sales Qualified Lead" (various definitions)

-At a micros level, they often include email opens, marketing asset opens such as a white paper downloads, site visitors, social media likes, forwards or comments, event sign up or attendance, some form of prospect engagement or related ABM metric, and the list goes on and on.

Marketing produces exhaustive dashboard to show all this marketing activity and well-meaning attempts to show sales attribution. While this is worthwhile at some level, I think that CMOs have overly muddied the waters by making marketing measurement to complex.

On the opposite side, when I ask sales leaders the exact same question, how should marketing be measured, I get one simple & consistent response: "Prospect Meetings" Sales simply wants an opportunity to engage directly with prospect in a meaningful value-added conversations. They want to listen, probe for challenges, share approaches to solving challenges with relevant customer examples.

If marketing was focused on just one metric: "Net New Prospect Meetings" sales and marketing would be better aligned. I once worked with a smart CEO and that is all he cared about was exactly that. He measured marketing by one metric and it was brilliant. It took all the hyperbola and complexity out of marketing. The discussion simply became: "How many marketing meetings did we set up this week with our targeted prospects" There was no where to hide, the answer was simply some or none. If it was none, he drilled down and demand better results at the end of the following week. He did not initially care about the individual results of each meeting and related pipeline generation (that became a sales related discussion at a later point) All he cared about was, "Was this meeting with a valid prospect on our target list and was this person worth talking to" He cared as much about prospect discovery (is this prospect likely to buy, do we add them to our highest priority list or do we remove them from our list) as pipeline generation. He valued keen & unpublished competitive insights as a valid outcome of the process (which competitors are entrenched, can they unseated or can we operate as a initial bolt-on to gain access)

Some CMOs understand the need for "Net New Prospect Meetings" and pay external vendors to set them up. The problem is that such vendors typically have limited buyer knowledge, experience or credibility These vendors tend to hammer away at scale in order to to secure such meetings (most of these vendor are overseas, CMOs tend to be attracted to the "Cost-per-Meeting" model with fees ranging form $1000 and $2400 per meeting secured) These factory oriented approaches often fail and can alienate a company's prospect base due the generic or non-personalized high-volume nature of the approach. However, there is a smarter way to drive "Net New Prospect Meetings" by creating value-added credible conversations with B2B Prospects. Over the past two years, I have developed a proven a methodology to do exactly this, it is called the "Prospect Research and Discovery Meeting Program" It has several additional benefits beyond securing prospect meetings, these include "Thought Leadership" and "Best Practices" identification for future lead generation programs.

Please reach out to me at michael@gotomarketpros.com for more details on the program.