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Five 2022 Planning Mistakes

It’s Annual Planning Season, and most marketing teams are ready to go with their 2022 initiatives. Let’s review and talk about the 5 planning mistakes we often see.

1. Your 2022 revenue model is not rooted in the reality of your marketing attribution.

You need sales and marketing to validate what executives are cascading as revenue goals. You also need to give enough time to ramp up new channels and programs to that number. To avoid this planning mistake, use a bottom-up model by basing your lead gen numbers on historical data in your tactics plan, then resource around the new revenue numbers. Don’t get halfway through Q1 and realize you just can’t get to that new revenue goal.

2. Building in Unrealistic Conversion Rates in Your Funnel.

We often hear things like “We’ll make our number by converting 15% more MQLs (marketing qualified leads) to SQLs (Sales Qualified leads) this year”. But this won’t happen without significant processes changes and resourcing. The only way you can increase conversion between marketing and sales typically involves a deeper, strategic shift around attribution data and channel selection. Simply making this goal will not significantly move your revenue numbers, and it’s a planning mistake that catches a lot of people.

3. Assume new channels for work for you right out of the gate.

“This is the year we’re really going to start blogging. Our lead growth will come from SEO. We’ve written nothing and have very little organic traffic today, but our leads will come the moment we start posting content.” This is one of the planning mistakes that creates risk. You need time to develop resources you’ve never done, and your team must learn how the new channel works in your deal flow. Often it takes months for a new channel to start bearing fruit, so don’t hedge your bets. 

4. Counting on new vendors or partners for revenue attribution

“We’ll just turn on that partnership with that agency or sign a new lead share partner. We’ll go from 5 million in sales to 9 million.” here is an incredible amount of fine-tuning and learning you need to do before processes are running smoothly and deal flow picks up. Think more about the desired results, the resources you need in place, and identify any diminishing returns.

5. Not completing annual planning in a timely manner. 

Without an annual plan aligned to a corporate focus, your marketing teams can’t plan their initiatives, which creates a ton of internal confusion. Marketers need to know they’re on track and moving in the right direction. You can always refocus or redefine the goals, but having a set of goals and strategic initiatives ready to go means you won’t waste a quarter.