Pardot identifies how Lead Qualification, Lead Management and Lead Nurturing can help NetSuite users objectively identify the best leads, while nurturing the early stage leads until they show buying signals.
It’s a battle as old as time – Marketing And Sales seem to be frenemiesThe best solution here is to get the sales and marketing departments working together. And this can be pretty difficult given that as high as 80% of leads never have a meaningful conversation with a salesperson according to estimates by MarketingSherpa and Forrester. This explains why marketers and sales are always at odds - marketing thinks sales doesn’t followup with enough leads and sales thinks the leads are poor. With objective lead qualification, marketing can assign only the best leads to sales - resulting in a shorter sales cycle that improves overall ROI.
So, what is marketing automation? And, how can it help us achieve our goal of shortening the sales cycle and improving ROI?Marketing automation is a software solution that integrates with your CRM - NetSuite - and gives you prospect insight along with prospect management. The solution you choose can be a Suite Flex Solution that seamlessly syncs. By integrating NetSuite with marketing automation, you can track the activities of all inbound leads and qualify them based on the levels of interest and intent. All leads assigned to sales will have a score and grade to indicate the quality of the lead and the lead’s location in the buying process. The salesperson can then initiate contact or educate the prospect through lead nurturing and engage at a later point in time.
The Campaign – You execute a perfect campaign that drives a third party opt in list and Pay Per Click traffic to a landing page that offers a whitepaper to individuals who convert.The Results – The Whitepaper is downloaded by 500 individuals.The Leads – All of the 500 respondents who downloaded the whitepaper are passed to sales for immediate follow up.The Cost - $10,000.The Results – Sales gripes about the quality of these new leads, and notes an inability to contact the respondents.Should These Leads Have been Assigned to Sales? - The Experts Agree - Marketing Sherpa and Forrester both estimate that 80% of all inbound leads (like the ones we just discussed) never have a meaningful conversation with a sales professional.Do Sales Reps Just Drop the Ball? - No. Sales often attempts to make contact with these leads (e.g., several call attempts and emails), however is unsuccessful.Low Hanging Fruit – Sales is judged on meeting their short term goals (Quotas), and it generally not interested in chatting with prospects who are going to close far into the future.Then What is the Problem? – Often these leads have been advanced to sales too quickly, without an objective level of qualification. Often these leads are too early in the buying process to respond favorably to a call from sales (Like Finding a Needle in a Haystack).Sad to Say - 70% will educate themselves on your content and then buy from a competitor
Lead Qualification 101Many B2B Marketers do not have a definition of a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL). For example:BANT – Budget, Authority, Need and Timeline – (EXPLICIT) - This is one of the most traditional models of lead qualification, however BANT is actually a model for Opportunity Qualification, not Lead Qualification.Explicit (e.g., Job Title, Company Size, etc…) – (EXPLICIT) - Many Marketers leverage a numeric scoring model based upon Explicit factors, to ensure that the lead fits the company’s “Ideal Customer Profile”Activity – (IMPLICIT) - Many Marketers leverage a subjective “Activity Based” model that advances prospects who have downloaded multiple whitepapers, attended a webinar, etc…Eyeball Approach – (SUBJECTIVE) - a member of marketing reviews and subjectively determines if the lead should go to Sales.
Finding the right 20% - Lead with reaffirming the 80% statistic.A Blended Model – Identifying the truly “Sales Ready” leads might look something like this:Implicit – Did this prospect download multiple whitepapers, or download a whitepaper and attend an educational webinar?Explicit - Does this prospect have:A Buying Title – Is this person capable of making a buying decision (e.g., VP, Chief, Director or Manager)? The Right Department – Are they in the appropriate department to benefit from your solution?The Appropriate Company Size – Is the lead’s company able to afford or have the staff to benefit from your solution.Author’s Note – LinkedIn can help determine these.
Interest vs. IntentThese two concepts are quite different, however they can both be measured and utilized to qualify a lead:Interest (e.g., “Tire Kickers”)Examples of Interest - When a prospect:Views 25 pages on your websiteDownloads 2 whitepapersAttends a webinarIntent (e.g., “Buyers”)Examples of Intent - When a prospect:Completes the “Contact Me” formSearches for your company by NameSigns up for a product trial / test drive
You may have some leads that raise their hand immediately – they are ready to go to sales. These are the leads that showed buying intent. However, the vast majority of leads will continue down through the marketing pipeline to be nurtured before being handed off to the sales team.
Although Nurturing is almost universally appreciated as being a good idea, many Marketers struggle with how they will nurtureNurturing is a good idea…particularly now - Due to economic drivers, many buyers of B2B technology (particularly CAPEX), are taking longer to close.What is nurturing? It is the systematic delivery of relevant content to prospects over your sales processThe Goal? - Move the recipient forward in the sales processPush v. Pull content – Most Marketers develop terrific content and design campaigns (PPC, SEO) for prospects to PULL content from their website.Statistics indicate that prospects who pull data rarely return beyond their initial interaction with your content repository.Since these people have opted in, nurturing allows you to drive more value from every piece of content that is PULLED from your website by PUSHING out supporting, relevant contentThe Experts Say – In 2009, Aberdeen Group noted that 80% of the “Best In Class” companies will implement a Lead Nurturing strategy by 2010.To Stop Lead Loss by SalesTo Stay Top of Mind with prospects across a long sales cycleA review of customers utilizing Marketing Automation provided the following statistics:• 9% higher average deal size for nurtured leads vs. non-nurtured leads• 23% shorter deal time for nurtured than non-nurtured leads.
No Such Thing as “One Size Fits All”Personalized, Relevant content will increase response ratesAccording to Jupiter Research - Targeting leads to higher response rates. Relevant emails drive 18 times mores revenue that broadcast emails. According to Aberdeen Group - Personalization leads to higher response rates. Personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14% and conversion rate by 11%Prospect v. Customer Facing Content – Newsletters are appropriate for your customers, however they may not drive a prospect’s purchasing decisionGranular Segmentation - What should you segment based upon:Explicit Segmentation:Job Title – Deliver content based upon the prospect’s job title – e.g., Contains “Administrator, Technician, Information”Department – Does the Department = IT, ISShortcoming: This could put the highest level manager in a department (e.g., CIO), and a low level employee (Network Technician) into the same segment.These individuals would likely respond to different types of informationCIO would need ROI based information while the Technician would respond to information about how your solution simplifies their life. Personas:Role – What do they actually do at a company or in the decision making process? Many people make up the decision making team – Technical Buyers, Economic buyers and Decision Makers. One type of content doesn’t speak to allWho makes up your decision making team - Deliver content that will move each closer to a sale
Stephen Covey’s Habit 2Covey recommends starting with a Mission Statement – What do you want to be and do. What do you want to be when you grow up?Similarly, Begin at the end for successful campaigns by defining “Success”Specifically – What type of leads are you nurturing, and what are you trying to accomplish? Education? Broad Content - Deliver whitepapers, which are considered to be very broad, and can help build the need for the solution Green Leads to MQL? Deliver Case Studies, webinar invitations, etc….which help establish ROI for your solution. Top of Mind? Sales Driven Nurturing (we will discuss later when discussing “sales driven” nurturing)Example – If you are promoting a product trial, content should be focused on the use of the product, features / functions, and status messages reflecting the remaining time for the trial.Story - I recently worked with a customer who wanted Nurturing to “Sell” their product. Initially, I said that it probably wouldn’t work, however the customer outlined the segment (People who sign up for a trial), the content (tech bulletins, success stories), and the end point (transition from a trial to a paying customer).
Authenticity:Sending during Business Hours only improves response ratesSuppress content over weekends & after hours. – Send when it is most likely that the recipient is at his / her desk. NOTE: Emails over weekends may have their place (e.g., I see better response rates from executives from emails sent over weekends because they are more likely to read these messages on Saturday / Sunday than a middle manager)Frequency:Incorrect Frequency results in high opt outs (too frequent) or low response rates (too infrequent)Conventional wisdom – Send each 7-10 days, so the prospect is accustomed to hearing from you, however it’s not so frequent that it becomes a nuisance.Be mindful of all the different touches a prospect getsYou may want to suppress a prospect in a nurturing campaign from other types of touches (e.g., suppress Webinar Invites) so they do not receive messages too frequently.Complementary touches improve effectiveness compared to Drips Alone.There may be a scenario where a call that accompanies a nurturing email may be impactful (e.g., following up on an automated / drip marketing case study) – An example may be to follow up on the case study with an offer to do a 1:1 demonstration on how company “A” achieve such terrific results by using your product or services..
Starting with the end in mind – When would you like to start? START:For “Green” leads who are not yet MQLs?For prospects who signed up for a trial?For leads who have not been contacted by Sales (I know…your sales people claim to call everyone, but you can trigger off of the “Lead Status” field, ensuring that leads who don’t have their status changed from “Open” will automatically be nurtured on behalf of the sales person.Unresponsive to Sales – NEWS FLASH – Just like many of you haven’t spoken with me when I’ve called you, people don’t always take your sales people’s calls. Nurturing of non-responsive prospects (see “Content Mix”) can help keep your brand in front of a prospect when they don’t take calls from Sales.STOP:When they close – No brainer, but you don’t need to continue nurturing after a prospect becomes a customer.When you’ve hit “the end” – Did you achieve success (e.g., they moved from a free version to your paid product)Once you’ve run out – You can’t nurture forever – Statistics indicate that prospects buy within 24 months of considering a product. Don’t nurture for years....base it upon your sales cycle.TRANSITION:Transition to a more specific program or an accelerated program based on actions and/or interests.Did they move from Education to MQL?
Single Use content is expensive and not scalableContent should be designed to be utilized across multiple channels:Take for example, the Whitepaper - The whitepaper can be:utilized as a call to action for a PPC campaign (delivered via an auto-responder)Added to your content / resource library (protected by a form)Syndicated across industry specific sitesUtilized as a step in a drip marketing campaignBlasted to a segment of your databaseGo Green with Content – Dust off an old whitepaper and repurpose / rebrand itNew Logos New Screen ShotsNew Analysts StatisticsBlog Series– Multiple blog posts about a specific value proposition can be utilized as a focused nurturing campaignGeneral to Specific – Building a relationship with a prospect is similar to dating – You generally won’t have one wild night in Vegas where you meet and elect to get married in a drive thru wedding chapel by Elvis.Whitepapers are great for education and building a needCase studies outline how you’ve successfully overcome pain points, justify ROI
Heavy HTMLBest for Marketing Focused Information because:it has a sleek look and feelThe appearance matches the company’s brandText OnlyBest for Sales-looking emailsE.g., - Your sales rep wasn’t sitting around with Dreamweaver, building an HTML email to send to a prospect.Text, combined with “from address” branding (e.g., from email@example.com) looks like it originated from a sales person’s Outlook client rather than the Marketing DepartmentBrian Carroll, who wrote “Lead Generation for the Complex Sale” calls this nurturing with “The Human Touch” because it looks like it came from an engaged sales rep (even though the rep does not actually send the message). Good Rule of thumb – If the “From” address is “Marketing@” then the content should be HTMLIf the “From” address is personalized from a sales rep, Text is acceptableDepending on the campaign, it may be appropriate to send out a mix of HTML and Text emails.
Do’sGranular Segmentation (based on titles & departments or personas) to deliver relevant content Covey’s Rule #2 – What are you trying to accomplish? Develop your content mix based upon the goal you are attempting to achieveTiming – Don’t touch too frequently (every 7-10 days) and use complementary touches like a sales rep call to support the nurturing campaign.General to Specific – Don’t try the Vegas wedding – Send out relevant information over time that will build a relationship, by sending out general information at first, and more specific information as the relationship intensifies.Know When to Stop – If you’ve defined success, you’ll know when you’ve achieved your objective, and will transition the prospect to another campaign, or stop a nurturing campaignDon’tsNurture your entire DB – This is a terrible idea because many leads were generated quite some time ago. You’ll see high bounces, and high opt outs because the prospect may not remember opting into your campaign.Newsletters – They are Customer Facing, not prospect facing. They are terrific to keep customers up to date on new happenings with your company or product, however they are too general to be impactful in the buying process.Do it manually – We talk to a number of companies who dedicate an employee to manual nurturing processes. Affordable marketing automation technologies like Pardot allow that marketer’s time to be spent on more strategic endeavors (webinars, content development, etc…)
Marketing Automation and Your CRM: Lead Qualification and Nurturing 101for suiteworld
Derek GrantVice President of Sales – Pardot<br />Marketing Automation and Your CRM: Lead Qualification and Nurturing 101<br />
Marketing and Sales at Odds<br />When sales and marketing play the blame game, no one wins<br />Marketing says: Sales doesn’t follow up<br />Sales says: Marketing produces bad leads<br />2<br />
Create a Unified Pipeline<br />Sales and Marketing in Sync<br />Increased ROI<br />Shorter Sales Cycle<br />3<br /><ul><li>Develop an SLA
What is Lead Nurturing?<br />11<br />Delivering Relevant Content over time<br />Designed to move the recipient forward<br />Push vs. Pull Content<br />Aberdeen Group – 80% of Best in Class Companies will nurture<br />
Know Your Audience<br />12<br />Segments and Personas<br />No “One Size Fits All”<br />Personalized, relevant content has higher response rate<br />Prospect vs. Customer Content<br />Explicit Segmentation<br />Job Title or Department is IT<br />Personas<br />Technology Buyer vs. Economic Buyer<br />
Start with the End in Mind<br />13<br />What are you trying to accomplish?<br />Covey had it right<br />Mission Statement (Define success)<br />Education<br />Green leads to MQL<br />Branding/Top of Mind<br />
Be Mindful of Timing<br />14<br />Appear Authentic<br />Business hour mailings<br />Mindful of other touches<br />Frequency<br />Often enough to be expected, but not a nuisance<br />Every 7 – 10 Days<br />
Know When to Stop<br />15<br />Start<br />Not an MQL<br />Unresponsive<br />Stop<br />Success achieved<br />Relevant content exhausted<br />Transition<br />Stop one program and start another<br />
Content<br />16<br />Go Green<br />Develop multi-use content<br />Dust off old content<br />Blog posts<br />General to Specific<br />Don’t get too specific too soon<br />White papers - general<br />Case studies- specific pain points<br />
Content Mix<br />17<br />Heavy HTML<br />Marketing collateral<br />Use for white papers<br />Text/Light HTML<br />Custom “from” address<br />Nurturing with the human touch<br />Use for case studies and personal notes<br />
Example Uses for Nurturing<br />18<br />Marketing<br />Educate non sales-ready leads<br />Re-engage stale leads<br />Sales<br />Standardize communication<br />Stay top-of-mind<br />Reconnect after loss<br />
Nurturing Do’s and Don’ts<br />19<br />Do<br />Don’t<br />Use segmentation<br />Start with the end in mind<br />Be mindful of timing<br />General to specific<br />Know when to stop<br /><ul><li>“Nurture” your entire database