Avoiding The “Silver Bullet Syndrome”
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Avoiding The “Silver Bullet Syndrome”

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A DemandGen Report custom white paper for The Annuitas Group

A DemandGen Report custom white paper for The Annuitas Group

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Avoiding The “Silver Bullet Syndrome” Avoiding The “Silver Bullet Syndrome” Document Transcript

  • Presented By Avoiding The “Silver Bullet Syndrome” of Marketing Automation Software Five Key Areas Every Company Should Address First to Insure Success Although current adoption rates are less than 10%, mar- was that at the end of a lengthy deployment, they were keting automation technology is on the cusp of explosive still left with many of the same sales problems they had growth. Leading analyst firm SiriusDecisions predicts that prior to implementation. 50% of BtoB marketers will adopt marketing automation Illustrating this point, the 2009 Sales Performance report systems by 2015. from CSO Insights found that the number of firms who As the category stands poised for dramatic expansion have formally implemented a CRM system had increased in the coming years, analysts also caution the next wave from 53% in 2003 to 71% in 2009. However, the report of adopters to avoid the mistakes of companies who also found that almost one in four of the firms surveyed rolled out other enterprise software platforms such as had internal adoption rates of 50% or less for the systems. Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Why do so many companies fall into this trap of invest- Resource Planning (ERP) and Warehouse Management ing in software and then struggle to successfully use the Systems (WMS). tools and apply the data? While not intentional, it’s often Unfortunately, many of the companies that deployed these assumed that technology is the magic cure for solving systems bought into the “silver bullet syndrome” believing issues whether it’s marketing, sales or inventory. Promises that technology would magically eliminate their problems. such as greater efficiency, economy of scale and increased Take, for instance, adopters of CRM systems. The promise productivity are so compelling they cause companies to of shorter sales cycles, more accurate forecasts and higher fast forward past the critical phase of auditing the real close rates was extremely appealing. However, the reality problems in their business processes. Sponsored by
  • This “silver bullet” pipe dream often causes companies to “While technology enables lead nurturing to overlook the underlying problems within their organiza- convert [prospects] to customers at a lower tion — the lack of process behind the technology. For early cost, it is not the complete answer. Those adopters of marketing automation technology, addressing their marketing and sales process will be critical to ensure marketers I’ve talked to who have successfully success and avoid the pitfalls that other technology adopters implemented automation treated lead have historically made. nurturing management as a business-process initiative, not a technology initiative.” The Demands Of The New Buyer Richard Fouts, Research Director, IT Markets and Channels, Gartner The need for pairing lead management process with mar- keting automation has become even more pronounced in –BtoB Online the last five years as BtoB buyers have dramatically changed their buying behaviors. Where sales organizations were historically able to control the engagement process with made it even easier for buyers to directly access competitive prospective buyers by keeping a tight hold on customer information on suppliers, as well as openly shared vendor lists and competitive pricing data, buyers now have almost experiences with peers. endless access to this information. As a result, “talking to” This has caused a fundamental shift in the buying process. the buyer is now not enough. Marketers must transition to For marketing and sales professionals, this means a transfor- “speaking with” the buyer. In other words, marketers must mation in not only how they communicate to their audi- manage the “buyer dialogue.” ence, but also in how they plan their demand generation Armed with this new intelligence, buyers are now dictating campaigns, and more importantly, how they manage the in- the pace and rules of engagement. For example, a recent quiries that come from those campaigns. Utilizing marketing DemandGen Report survey found that only 10% of recent automation to blast the entire database typically results in BtoB buyers were initially engaged through a cold call from low response rates and risks alienating your own contacts. a salesperson. Comparatively, more than 80% indicated that Furthermore, routing every “lead” that raises their hand in they either contacted the vendor directly or requested to be response to an offer directly to sales before qualification re- contacted after conducting their own research. sults in frustration and wasted time for all involved. Instead, In the Web 2.0 world, buyers now conduct more anony- marketers must develop lead management processes that mous research, as well as connect with peers and industry allow them to respond to the buyer by providing appropri- experts for information on the best products, best prices ate content based on where the buyer is in the cycle. Defin- and best terms for a solution…all before they engage with ing the process for this “buyer dialogue” is imperative, and the sales person at the vendor. Web 2.0 technologies — must be the first step if successful marketing automation blogs, Twitter, online communities, user reviews — have deployment is going to occur. 2 • A DemandGen Repor t
  • Improving Efficiency Through Process Based Lead Management MARKETING FOCUS SALES FOCUS Problem ID Exploration Competitive Assessment ROI Justification Vendor Selection Lead-nurturing Programs Plug the Leak Lead information capture, scoring, routing, and monitoring close the gap. Putting Process First “Every organization will have a different process for routing leads within the lead lifecycle approach. Unfortunately, the In another recent survey conducted by DemandGen Report, research suggests very few organizations actually take the more than 50 early adopters of marketing automation indi- time to map out the full lead lifecycle process to identify cated any breakdowns with their rollouts were not due to inefficiencies and best practices within existing processes,” technology failures, but rather a lack of preparation from a the Aberdeen report stated. process standpoint. When asked: “If you were to head up the rollout of a marketing automation system at another organiza- The development of a lead management process is not just tion, what would you do differently?” 79.2% said they would a marketing exercise. It requires the involvement of sales, as “better prepare their organization by building proper process- well as groups like IT, operations and finance. “Any resource es and content offers to feed the automation system.” or group that has a part in the demand generation process (inquiry to close) should ideally be part of the lead manage- The recently published report from Aberdeen Group titled ment journey,” suggests Carlos Hidalgo, President of The “Lead Lifecycle Management: Building a Pipeline that Never Annuitas Group. Leaks,” stressed that companies who take a holistic view of demand generation and lead management produce sub- Avoiding Breakdowns stantially better results than those that put technology first. Skipping the critical process evaluation phase has caused In fact, the Aberdeen report found companies classified as many marketing automation rollouts to stall at the starting “Best in Class” in lead management were 2 times as likely gate. In some cases, companies realized that they didn’t as all other organizations to have processes in place to route have enough content to feed their new high-powered en- prospect and customers to different stages in the buying gine. In others, breakdowns were revealed in the collabora- cycle or sales cycle. 3 • A DemandGen Repor t
  • tion between marketing and sales on a common definition qualified lead, and then how it will be moved through of a qualified lead. Still in others, there were issues with the sales cycle after qualification. For example, if a lead is regard to the handling of a lead once it is qualified. The determined to be qualified but the salesperson learns the point is no matter how good the technology, these process company does not yet have budget in place, there should issues will eventually surface and hamper marketing be defined processes to hand that lead back to marketing automation’s effectiveness. Marketing and sales must work so the prospect can be entered into a nurturing campaign together to fix these process gaps. until they are ready for sales engagement. Quantifying this disconnect in the revenue generation process, the Aberdeen “Lead Lifecycle” report found over Five Lead Management 80% of BtoB organizations admitted that a lack of synergy Areas to Address to between the sales and marketing functions ultimately leads Insure Success to lost revenue opportunities. Two common breakdowns that have emerged when companies fail to align their sales and marketing processes and goals include: DATABASE MANAGEMENT A lack of organization of leads/opportunities: Without common definitions and business rules for the process of qualifying and routing leads through the MEASUREMENT & LEAD PLANNING sales funnel, leads that are not immediately ready to BENCHMARKING Lead buy are often abandoned. As a result, qualified Management Process but “not-yet-ready-to-buy” prospects often leak out of the funnel. Duplication of efforts & records: In companies LEAD MAPPING LEAD QUALITY where sales and marketing are working in silos, leads are entered simultaneously into both sales and market- ing contact databases. This duplication results in data confusion and reporting redundancy as the same con- As stated by industry analysts and demonstrated by the tact is often entered and tracked under multiple records. case studies of leading companies in financial services, high In addition, the likelihood of a prospective buyer receiv- tech and other vertical industries, lead management should ing repetitive or disjointed messages increases, reducing be a business-process initiative more than a technology open rates and the overall effectiveness of campaigns. initiative. In order to make the transformation and realize Successful companies who address their lead management the true power of marketing automation, companies must process develop service level agreements (SLAs) for the first address these five areas of their business: definition of a lead, how it becomes a marketing or sales
  • 1. Digging into the Data In addition, by digging into the data and analyzing com- Database management may not be the most glamorous mon traits among customers, profiles should be created to part of the revenue generation process, but it is an under- define the ideal customer and prospect. These profiles will pinning that has ripple effects across all areas of sales and serve as a basis for refining the demand generation and marketing. In fact, the database can often be the most lead management process. significant area in an internal audit to identify gaps in the 2. Lead Planning sales & marketing process. Success can’t be measured unless an objective is estab- Analysis of both the marketing database and the CRM lished, yet too many marketing and sales organizations system and can reveal weaknesses and inconsistencies with operate without a lead generation objective for marketing. lead capture. These weaknesses can lead to duplication of Effective lead management starts with marketing under- data, or data becoming obsolete. A data hygiene process standing how many qualified leads need to be sent to sales should be implemented whereby duplicates are consoli- so that revenue goals can be obtained. Together, marketing dated, old records are removed, and incomplete data is and sales should identify each step in the inquiry-to-sales enhanced with current data. This process should happen cycle. Then, working backwards from the revenue target, once a year at minimum. determine how many leads are needed in each phase of PROCESS PROOF POINTS: USA FINANCIAL INVESTS IN LEAD QUALIFICATION USA Financial, a leading provider of marketing services for financial advi- Overall, The Annuitas Group addressed every area of USA Financial’s sors, had a problem most marketers would die for – too many leads. The lead management process including database segmentation, lead quali- problem, however, was that even though they were delivering hundreds fication, lead scoring and lead nurturing. of leads every month to sales, they had zero insight into the effective- Specific to lead qualification, The Annuitas Group developed a set of ques- ness of the campaigns. After an evaluation of their lead management tions for new prospects and captured the information asked — revenue, process it became clear that the focus needed to turn from quantity to type of advisor and type of insurance being written — to help determine quality of leads. if a lead was qualified. Only those leads that qualified as sales-ready were The Annuitas Group was brought in to conduct a comprehensive audit routed directly to the sales team. Those not qualified were either sent to a of the company’s existing sales and marketing processes, and to assess nurture campaign or disqualified. This closed loop system enabled sales to how they could better leverage their recent Silverpop Engage B2B imple- be more efficient and also feed reporting data back to the Engage B2B sys- mentation. Upon completion, The Annuitas Group identified several tem. For marketing, their credibility with sales increased dramatically and opportunities for improving the company’s lead management processes. they were also able to demonstrate the ROI of their marketing programs. One example that became obvious was that the sales team spent a large As a result of this process-based approach to lead management, the amount of time determining whether or not leads were qualified. In ad- volume of qualified leads sent to sales increased by triple digits, the dition, The Annuitas Group also identified that the majority of these sales pipeline increased by more than 50%, and sales conversion rates leads were not converting into qualified opportunities, leading to a lack doubled. In addition, the intelligence gathered from the metrics and of confidence and a disconnect between sales and marketing. reports is used to optimize future campaigns. “Not only was this overwhelming to our sales reps, but it was very frus- “Sales focuses on closing deals, and marketing zeroes in on delivering trating as well,” said Raeanne Thompson, VP of marketing services at sales the highest-quality leads,” Thompson said. “Because the sales team USA Financial. “Our reps were essentially searching for a needle in a appreciates the value of the leads we are now delivering, the relationship haystack and felt like they were spinning their wheels.” between marketing and sales has become much more collaborative.” 5 • A DemandGen Repor t
  • the cycle. For example, 10 sales means we need 25 propos- of Research at SiriusDecisions, recently categorized the als. 25 proposals means we need 50 demos. 50 demos growing focus on lead nurturing and qualification as “the means we need 100 qualified leads. And so on. second sea change” as the role of marketing continues to evolve. “We have witnessed the charter of marketing — Once this model is put in place, it should be monitored and thus its relationship with sales — change twice in a on a regular (monthly, quarterly, etc.) basis. Over time, decade,” Jaros said. marketing and sales will be able to see where their demand generation gaps are, and will be able to make adjustments While the first wave of change had marketing expanding to fill those gaps. its role in demand creation, Jaros said this has resulted in an over-emphasis on generating leads at the top of the 3. Focusing On Lead Quality vs. Lead Quantity waterfall, and not enough work on lead nurturing and lead Many marketers get caught up in the volume of leads acceleration in the later stages of the waterfall. “The over- generated rather than focusing on passing qualified op- hype on the ‘create’ task has devalued the other tasks that portunities to sales that are likely to close. Tony Jaros, VP sales and marketing should be working on together.” PROCESS PROOF POINTS: HERMAN MILLER RE-ENGINEERS LEAD MANAGEMENT The recognized leader in contract office furniture, Herman Miller has The ability to track and measure lead flow has been a big benefit for built a reputation for innovation and operational excellence. They Herman Miller. “We now have something to benchmark against,” she maintain a global presence with operations, sales offices, dealers and added. “We have the ability to evaluate which events are adding more customers in more than 110 countries and seven continents. However, value than others. We can analyze wins and losses and the dollars even they were not resistant to the economic downturn and decline in associated with those prospects, and track those deals back to the sales over the past two years. As a result, they were forced to reevalu- source by establishing a unique ID for each lead.” ate their lead management processes. Prior to working with The Annuitas Group, Herman Miller had no pros- “The Annuitas Group conducted an audit of our existing systems and pect database outside of its opportunity management system. Bill- processes, identified gaps and made recommendations on where we inghurst said the company has quickly grown its marketing database had the opportunity to improve our process,” said Becky Billinghurst, to more than 14,000 records, which are “legitimate prospects.” Of Senior Manager of Customer Information, Herman Miller. “They were those 14,000 plus leads, 2,000 have already been qualified, represent- hands-on in investigating our lead capture process, meeting with mul- ing revenue potential in the seven-figure range. “Our sales force now tiple departments including sales, e-marketing, customer care and IT, receives leads that are better qualified with specific sales data,” Bill- and even attending our industry trade shows.” inghurst said. “We’ve realized significant increases in sales follow-up on qualified leads, and we’ve increased our ability to rank marketing Following the initial audit, the Annuitas Group helped Herman Miller activities based on ROI.” build a marketing contact/lead database which was integrated with the in-house opportunity management system used by the sales team. Based on the success of its early work with The Annuitas Group, Bill- “They spent a lot of time understanding what technology we had to inghurst said the company is now working on Phase II of the project, work with and then created a process and flow so that qualified leads including more advanced lead generation and lead nurturing, as well all filtered in to one place. There is no black hole anymore for leads. as the possibility of implementing a marketing automation solution. We now know exactly what is happening to them and where they wind up,” Billinghurst said. 6 • A DemandGen Repor t
  • 4. Mapping the Lead Route processes with marketing automation systems, companies will be able to identify specific campaigns that accelerated Once processes for data, lead planning and lead qualifica- prospects through the buying cycle and resulted in closed tion are in place, companies should then start to map out deals. Conversely, they’ll be able to identify which market- the internal route a lead will take from initial engagement ing activities are not working to increase sales revenue. through becoming a new customer. But marketing data is only part of the equation. “Companies The development of a lead routing process is usually the most need to consider how to tie together all of their metrics across overlooked component in the lead management process. the organization to produce better business intelligence,” said Determining how a qualified lead will be routed to sales, how Carlos Hidalgo, President of The Annuitas Group. “Market- a non-qualified lead will be routed to a nurturing campaign, ing automation, CRM, customer support and finance systems and how sales will route not-ready-to-buy leads back to mar- all produce their own metrics and reports. What’s lacking is keting ensures that leads won’t leak out of the funnel. someone who brings all the metrics together and provides a As with other parts of the lead management process, these full 360-degree view of the customer.” lead routes should be developed by marketing and sales jointly. As a matter of fact, this area more than any other, Conclusion: will have a significant impact on how marketing and sales The Paybacks of Process work together. “Taking the time to understand the impact Marketing automation is clearly a game-changing technol- of the process and work across all parts of the organization ogy and the list of companies that are implementing it to (marketing to sales; sales to IT, etc.) will greatly enhance gain competitive differentiation and advantage is expand- adoption,” said Jay Hidalgo, CEO of The Annuitas Group. ing quickly. However, the common ingredient among these “Conversely, it’s very difficult for one group (marketing for market leaders is that they have tightly-aligned marketing example) to develop the process in isolation, roll it out to the and sales teams combined with a well-defined lead man- rest of the company and expect enthusiastic buy in.” agement process in place. 5. Establishing The Right Measurements/Metrics Filling the top of the funnel with leads is no longer good Once companies have a process in place for how leads enough to succeed. With the BtoB buyer now controlling will move from lead capture to the qualification and the rules of engagement, companies must have a lead nurturing, they are then able to measure their funnel and management process in place which maps to the entire establish benchmarks. journey of the buyer. Ideally these metrics will not only evaluate the volume of Once a lead management process is in place, companies leads, but also identify a quantifiable impact on closed have the ability to measure their marketing campaigns and business. By identifying what needs to be measured, how use the intelligence from these metrics to define future it will be measured and where it will come from, the guess programs. The impact to top and bottom line performance work will be taken out of the demand generation process. has been dramatic for companies that have addressed By pairing the power of optimized lead management their lead management process and enabled it with mar- keting automation. 7 • A DemandGen Repor t
  • The Annuitas Group is a provider of marketing and sales process consulting services for B2B companies. Their proprietary methodology and audit services help clients identify the gaps and opportunities within their lead management process. To date, they have identified over $400 million of potential lost revenue for clients. In 2009, both founders topped the rankings of the SLMA 50 Most Influential People in Sales Lead Management. For more information, visit www.annuitasgroup.com. DemandGen Report is a targeted e-media publication spotlighting the strategies and solutions that help companies better align their sales and marketing organizations, and ultimately, drive growth. A key component of our coverage focuses on the sales and marketing automation tools that enable companies to better measure and manage their multi-channel demand generation efforts. For more information, visit www.demandgenreport.com. 8 • A DemandGen Repor t