Why Sales Teams Must Convince Customers of the Value of Revenue Attribution

revenue attribution

A lot of salespeople know the term single source attribution.

Many companies are using first-touch attribution to see where their leads came from. They might be able to find the original or lead source through CRM’s ‘original’ or ‘lead’ field.

Tito Bohrt has come up with attribution models that take into account the marketing and sales department’s contributions to a sale.

Attribution is often seen as a marketing tool and not sales. It’s sometimes dismissed because it’s used to take credit for deals, or even worse, rejected by the community.

Sales teams often overlook the importance of revenue attribution. It’s only a matter of time before marketing starts to overshadow it.

This article argues that attribution is not just a marketing space, but also applies to sales reps. It lays out why they need to be making the case for revenue attribution.


Rather than marketing, we’re talking about revenue attribution.

Until now, single source attribution has mostly been used for marketing. But with the help of technology and data analysis, it can be applied to sales teams as well.

The result of this is that both teams are not as productive, because they’re working in their own little silos.

In order to close a B2B deal, it takes months of a team effort. Quality ads, thought-provoking content, and impactful product demos are all part of the process.

If you only count some of the touches, then you’re not seeing the whole customer journey.

If this is the case, then marketing and sales need to be looking at doing revenue as opposed to just attributing it. That means that you need a tool that captures all of the touchpoints within your customer journey.

Contributing factors to revenue attribution

Revenue attribution is made up of three things.

1. Multi-touch Revenue Attribution

Multi touch Revenue attribution tracks all of the account’s recordable touches, not just sales. Marketing also counts and has many touchpoints with prospects.

Revenue attribution is a way to see everything that users are doing on your site, and it integrates with the tools you use. It’s especially useful for Sales Ops.

Multi touch revenue attribution models help you to track and identify user accounts, which is key for assigning credit in a marketing campaign.

A CRM is designed to track the customer journey and it only allows me to see a limited view of what’s happening.

revenue attribution

2. Account Based Multi-stakeholder 

We know that the typical B2B customer is not just one person, but an organization with many employees.

Each one of these may interact with your activities in different ways and help you make the sale. For instance, the person who needs to purchase it is not necessarily going to pay for it or be responsible for implementing what they bought.

That way, individual and account success can be measured from the beginning.

revenue attribution

3. Numerous and adaptable attribution models

A good revenue attribution solution will be able to test different models for determining the “best” way of allocating sales revenues.

Multi-touch attribution models, unlike single touch, distribute the credit across multiple points of contact with customers. But how this credit is given to each point depends on the model applied.

As an example, a linear multi-touch model will attribute equal credit to all touches. Whereas the W model assigns greater credit for first and last touches than those that occur in between.

When you compare models, it’s easier to see which events led to revenue and when. For instance, a linear model will help identify how your activities helped generate revenue in a given deal. However, if you want the most accurate picture of what worked best on acquiring leads or sealing deals then use U-shaped models.

Increasing the effectiveness of your sales activities using revenue attribution

Revenue attribution has the potential to help sales teams in a number of ways. First, it will provide an end-to-end customer journey overview that is both holistic and fair.

The three ways revenue attribution helps in practice are by giving a competitive advantage.

Inbound efforts

It’s difficult to tailor the conversation if you don’t know what they might have interacted with before coming into it.

If you want to give them a taste of the product, send them an email with links to blog posts and webinars about your products.

This feature is going to be the segue for your conversation, and you can assume a bit of knowledge on their part. You’ll have more opportunity to go into depth about this particular feature and how it interacts with other killer features.

Outbound efforts

Having an overview of all the contacts’ progress through the funnel, including what data they have been exposed to and who has touched them before will help you fine tune your personas and messages.

If you want to send a cold email to an ops person, include the blog post that they read.

Performance

Attribution is all about figuring out what’s working and what isn’t. By using an attribution model, you can see where your activities are failing or succeeding.

Let’s say an account goes cold and your emails and calls are going unanswered. But then it eventually reheats, seemingly out-of the blue. It turns out that through our revenue attribution modeling you can identify this as a retargeting ad bringing back life to the account – if it happens again you want to evaluate what could be causing accounts go cold.

Attribution of revenue to sales operations

But Sales Ops can also benefit from diversity too.

A revenue attribution tool offers Sales Ops a one-stop shop for data and metrics. They can have all the data cleaned and ready before it goes to BI, they can see lead generation from start to finish with multi-touch stakeholders, they will know how their performance is in relation to other departments within the buyer journey as well as improved forecasting that helps them plan better.

revenue attribution

 

Let’s unpack these a little:

  • Unified data across all of the tools in your techstack. With revenue attribution, Sales Ops professionals are able to centralize control over their sales tool stack and have more time for optimizing efforts.
  • It’s important to know how lead generation is affecting revenue. If it isn’t, you’ll want to make changes.
  • Performance. Revenue attribution links sales (and marketing) efforts directly to revenue, and most off-the-shelf tools include a comprehensive analytics package that allows you measure all of your KPIs under one roof.
  • Forecasting and strategic planning. With revenue attribution, you can build a much more accurate picture not only of your sales forecasts but also the channels that lead to those sales. You will also have a clearer picture of how long it takes on average for customers to convert into buyers as well as where they are in their customer journey.

You’re prepared for revenue attribution.

In hyper-digital B2B sales, there is no room for siloed pipelines. It’s important to understand the entire customer journey and what drives revenue. Attribution delivers this solution.

Attribution is a measure of how much an individual has contributed to the overall success or failure of a given sales cycle.

  • A better sales conversation tailored to the customer’s needs
  • In order to be successful, you need a well-defined profile of the person you’re trying to reach.
  • More efficient company-wide revenue generating machinery
  • Making it easier for sales operations to do their jobs

But for this to work, attribution needs to shake off the marketing stigma and embrace all of the touches that happen in a B2B buyer journey. The first step is making sure people understand how revenue attribution works.

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Editors Note:

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Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
Justin McGill is the Founder of LeadFuze - a lead generation platform that discovers new leads for you automatically. Get 25 leads free.