We all know that marketing’s primary objective is assist in driving revenue.
And we do that by supporting our sales efforts.
Cincom was in the throws of a Sales Renaissance. With a newly implemented sales process, and a sales organization with an average tenure of less than a year, Corporate Marketing was struggling to support product marketing, and multiple sale organizations, efficiently. We found that we were often reactive to the needs of ours teams and our sales organizations were tied to the pace of Corporate Marketing. Corporate Marketing needed to become agile and proactive in the support, education, and enablement of our sales teams.
While attending ElouqaExperience last year we learned about a few tools that we weren’t currently leveraging. Immediately after our return we discussed these new findings. We also spoke with our sales members to understand what they needed. Their response was, “more support from marketing” and “more independence”.
Our first challenge was introducing these new tools without overwhelming an already overwhelmed sales team. The last thing sales wants is another tool they “have to use” simply because it’s part of the process and the company needs that information, on record, from the sales team.
Cincom decided to launched a corporate initiative introducing Engage (ELMO), Prospect Profiler, and sales specific dashboards and reporting to its global sales organization. We decided to rollout one solution at a time, and only after the sales team saw positive results from the previous tool.
Because our Eloqua system was already integrated with our CRM system, we felt the first application we should roll out was Prospect Profiler. Following Eloqua best practices, we avoided the end of a fiscal quarter and scheduled a review of this solution with our top performing reps, at the beginning of the sales quarter, when they were in the office for a sales kick off. We focused on the top performing reps because they were more apt to embrace new solutions to aid their efforts, and we new if they had success others would soon follow.
Show screen of Prospect ProfilerWe knew that just merely explaining the benefits would not equate in adoption. We identified the top sales opportunities for those reps and showed them the activity against those contacts in CRM. That got their attention immediately. Aside from the forensic evidence of activity, they also appreciated the ability to set up web alerts and view what the actual marketing pieces looked like. We were beginning to eliminate the complaint that sales didn’t know what marketing was doing.
Show Prospect Profiler Form Field Screen ShotPerhaps one of the greatest benefits for the sales/marketing relationship was the view into form submission fields. Because the form submission information was now easily accessible, our sales teams could now approach a call better educated. We eliminated cold calls. This also allowed our sales/marketing teams to jointly think strategically about the information we ask for on a form.
Once our top performers began to utilize this tool, many followed. We very soon uncovered our next challenge. Not all contacts in our CRM system showed activity in Prospect Profiler. Because we are tasked with communication to a “forest” our engagement levels aren’t as a significant as those communicating with a “tree, branch, or leaf”. That engagement must occur for prospect profiler to be of use.
Upon further conversations with our sales teams we learned that activity against our database was occurring, but that activity was occurring as an unknown visitor activity. We needed our sales teams to assist in converting our unknown activity to known activity. Because they were communicating with those trees, branches, and leaves, they had a higher chance of conversion.
It was at this time that we decided to roll out Eloqua Engage (or ELMO as some may know it). We decided to follow the same best practices. We waited until the beginning of a quarter and this time focused on our AEs. Within our sales process, the AEs are viewed as the quarterbacks of the sales teams. By gaining their buy-in early on, we saw the adoption of this tool take off. They would push their teams weekly to use this tool.
Every Friday Corporate Marketing would send a report to the sales organization with the results of the Engage activity. As the sales teams began to see the click throughs increase, and the activity in Profiler populate, the use of the 2 solutions began to multiply. When reviewing this weekly activity Corporate Marketing did notice one thing.
The click throughs tended to be “shallow” in nature. While we converting unknowns to knowns, we weren’t converting them to information that would further them through the buy-cycle. Oftentimes they were sent directly to the homepage of a website. Another takeaway from last year’s Eloqua Experience was the needed to conduct more formal content audits. We began to do this and thought perhaps by sending these audits to our sales teams we would see more valuable conversions.
We were wrong. All we did was overwhelm the sales teams. We had so much content they didn’t know what to use. Additionally, many of our sales teams were new and were not yet fully educated on the value of our solutions.
One afternoon I was speaking with a co-worker and he was telling me about sending his daughter a care package at college. That’s when we got the idea to develop weekly “care packages” for our sales teams.Each Friday a new template is added to their Engage folder. In that template is a key message for the week along with a blog entry and offer (white paper, eBook, podcast, webinar) that supports that key message. They can customize their communication around this key message and the conversation that occurred with the prospect. Not only does this result in more valuable conversions, but our new sales members engage with this material and are learning as well.
I would like to add that the key message is determined by conversations that occur in our sales war rooms. As we continued to demonstrate our support of sales efforts, the sales organization began to open its door. We were invited in to their weekly war rooms and the sale people became much more comfortable sharing the successes/failures of various messages and campaigns.
We also saw adoption increase significantly when our sales teams learned that there was an Eloqua Engage app for their iPads. Now when they attend a conference, show, or field sales call they can follow up immediately, with a pre-developed template, customized to that specific conversation. They no longer have remember each conversation 10 hours later. This can all be done in real time.
Repetition + Reinforcement = RetentionAs our sales success continued at Cincom, the need for a larger sales force increased. We were challenged with reinforcing the value and use of these tools to our existing team, while also training new employees. When we spoke with our sales teams we found they wanted additional training on these solutions. We could see that our internal Eloqua resources would very quickly be stretched thin.
It was at this time that we engaged a member of our educational development team. She created an online tutorial for sales team using a learning management system. The tutorial focuses on the use of Prospect Profiler, Eloqua Engage, LinkedIn and Twitter for enhanced sales performance, and the use and explanation of internal Cincom processes and systems.
Because this is built in a learning management systems we can go beyond tutorials and walk the teams through exercises and tests and our sales managers can see how they perform and where they need assistance. We track who has, and has not, used the tutorials. People can also refer back and walk the exercises again at any time.
Lastly, we found we needed a way to communicate these successes. As marketers we knew what information to look for, but information did our sales managers and C-level directors want.
We spent a month interviewing these individuals to determine what information and trends each was interested in. Our initial concern was each would want something different and we’d be tasked with developing 30 different dashboards weekly. What we found was commonality.
Our sales managers and C-levels wanted to understand trends over a quarter, conversion rates through the phases of the buy-cycle, and suggestions for improvement. This direction allowed us to develop dashboards that outlined that information. Moving into FY13 we are currently implementing the use of scorecards and closed loop reporting.
Previously there was a distinct wall between marketing and sales, where a lead would come in through marketing and be heaved over the wall to sales, and then the two would go their separate ways. Now the wall is gone. Marketing is involved throughout the sales cycle to ensure that the sales team has the materials and messaging that’s required at each touch point, and sales is involved in the creation of marketing materials to make sure it reflects what they hear during their conversations, and they will actually utilize it.
The most recent sales campaign applied all of our learning to date, and it’s the best we’ve had so far. From the beginning, the sales team was engaged because of their involvement and buy-in—in other words, they “owned” it. The results were outstanding: A 20% increase in hand-offs from LGs to ISR. A 163% increase in the number of HIPs completed. An 85% increase in account opportunities. Increase in pipeline conservatively estimated at 85%—from $8.1 to $15 million for one product from one campaign alone!
Cincom Marketing and Sales organizations are aligned, and making decisions based on proven outcomes. We work towards a common objective and we like each other.
Talk with your sales teams. Understand what their needs are. Identify how your Eloqua system can support these needs.
Empower Your Sales Team With Marketing Automation
Empower Your Sales Team With thePower of EloquaMarilyn CoxDirector of Marketing CommunicationsCincom Systems, Inc
About Me• Marilyn Cox• Director of MarketingCommunications, Cincom Systems Inc.• @MarilynECox• email@example.com• Eloqua user for 4 Years• If I couldn’t be a marketer I would be aprofessional wrestler with the WWE.