A Fitter Funnel in 2014: Streamline and Accelerate Your Lead-to-Revenue Model


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Want to win the revenue race this year? It's time to put your funnel on a fitness program. Discover how HootSuite was able to simplify their lead capture forms and drive higher lead volumes without sacrificing quality. You will learn how, using InsideView and Marketo, they increased conversion rates, accelerated speed from inquiry to sales-qualified leads, and substantially boosted lead quality.

Watch this month's LaunchPoint series webinar to discover how to:

- Increase measurable ROI by optimizing top of funnel
- Get fully enriched leads from minimal form fields
- Make Sales and Marketing play nicely together
- Score and route leads more efficiently and effectively through marketing automation and CRM intelligence

Published in: Business, Technology
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  • Nirav: Thanks Megan and thank you everyone for taking some time out of your busy day to attend what we hope is an insightful webinar.To build on what Megan just shared, I wanted to briefly highlight how organizations are evolving their organization. In particular the collaboration b/t marketing and IT and the expansion in the CMO’s responsibility from branding and awareness and lead generation to revenue responsibility across the customer lifecycle. A recent survey of CMO’s by Forrester identified, the following top priorities for 2014Marketing Strategies and Demand Gen plans need to have a strong data foundation across product messaging and marketing programsRedefine B2B to be Business to Buyer – a focus on personalization across multiple channels and the buyers journeyOrganizational alignment (people, process and technology decisions) around the customer. CMO’s are now more responsible for understanding how technology and process align to the buyer.
  • Nirav: Looking at key challenges that B2B marketers will face to implement their top priorities, there are some pretty eye-opening stats. Today’s B2B marketer, spends a large percentageof his or her budget on SEO, SEM and content marketing, which is GREAT for bringing leads into the funnel. But….on average according to Forrester, only 5% of those leads make it through the funnel to Sales.
  • Nirav: Furthermore, about 25% of the leads in an average marketing database lack the necessary information to nurture score and route them properly.
  • Nirav: If we break the data challenge down further there are three key areas that impact marketers ability to have revenue impact.#1 Inaccurate existing database – 25% of your database is inaccurate at any given point b/c people change jobs and companies are constantly evolving and marketers starting to recognize this – 60% of marketers state their database quality is unreliable#2 Incomplete leads – whether you capture leads via webforms, trade shows or webinars, 55% of buyers admit to submitting some false information or simply abandon long forms#3 Generic campaigns – nurturing buyers with generic content, not relevant to their industry or their pain points.The results are low campaign ROI
  • Nirav: to help put some perspective on the economic impact of this problem, lets take a look at an exampleA sluggish funnel, generates a good amount of leads at the top of the funnel due to bad data and generic nurturing has a relative low conversion of sales qualified leads and ultimately high cost. In this example, a customer generates 4k leads month with a 5% conversion rate to sales qualified leads.
  • Nirav:With a fit funnel, your cost per SQL goes down, because the same effort…we might even argue less effort…produces a larger number of qualified leads, as in this example. Notice how the cost per SQL dropped from $400 to $250 simply because the lead-to-SQL conversion rate increased 3%!Now let’s take a look at what it takes to get your funnel in shape…
  • Nirav: Like any fitness program, you need to cleanse. A fit funnel starts with a clean database. Secondly, as new leads come into your database, if they’re incomplete, they need to be enriched to maintain the health of the database. Lastly, you need to nourish and strengthen your lead records. What we mean by that is augment them with rich insights that allow you to target, score, route and engage with them effectively.Now let’s hear about the technologies Hootsuite has put in place to get their funnel in shape, driving up conversions and accelerating lead-to-revenue results. First an introduction… [Begin the interview process]Good morning, Shantel. Can you please tell us about HootSuite…who you are and what solution you provide?
  • Shantel: Thanks, Nirav. HootSuite is a social relationship platform that enables organizations to securely leveragesocial channels such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ Pages to support business objectives such as building brand awareness and loyalty, generating leads and driving revenue, and improving customer support and customer satisfaction, company-wide.We were founded in Vancouver in 2008, and today we have over 400 employees in five locations on three continents, and provide global support in five languages. Nirav:Can you tell us who your customers are?
  • Shantel: Sure. HootSuite has a freemium model, where anyone can sign up and try the product for free, and then upgrade to either our pro or enterprise offerings if they want additional seats and functionality. Today we have eight million users in almost every country around the world. They range from individual power users, like celebrities, bloggers and journalists, to small- and medium-sized businesses, and all the way up to 744 of the Fortune 1000. Typical use cases include social marketing, social customer service and social selling. But nearly every day we learn about an interesting new use case. Nirav: How do you reach them?
  • Shantel: Company-wide we use a number of different methods. For example, our community team does a wonderful job of global outreach, with local events and programs to support our users and fans around the world.My team is specifically responsible for lead generation for HootSuite Enterprise, and our programs are built to support a longer sales cycle. Acquisition campaigns include SEM, display, webinars and events, among many others, including participation in virtual events such as one we sponsored with Marketo in September of 2013.Social is in our DNA, so social channels are obviously also a focus, and content marketing weaves its way through all our campaigns, with assets to educate and empower organizations to fully leverage the power of social. This content is also what powers our nurture campaigns through the Marketo Customer Engagement Engine, which allows us to be very targeted in sharing the exact information that will be of most value to our prospects, depending on who they are, and where they are in the purchase cycle.Nirav:What are your marketing challenges?
  • Shantel:I’m sure it won’t surprise anyone here that our challenges, or not our challenges so much as our objectives, are to deliver the volume of high-quality leads required for the sales team to meet their targets.Given our freemium model, its important for my team to ensure that the leads we pass to the lead development team will be best served by HootSuite Enterprise, and that leads more suited to other plan types are routed to the appropriate teams without manual intervention.In order for us to do that, our systems need to have a have as complete a picture of the lead as possible, and that’s where InsideView comes into play.Nirav: What are the technologies in your marketing stack?
  • ShantelWell, like most marketing teams today we use a number of different technologies, but I’ll focus here on just a few.Of course, HootSuite is vital to us for developing relationships with our customers and prospects across social channels. UberVu is a new addition to the HootSuite offering, providing deep social analytics that allow us to better understand our audience.Various others are used to manage our programs, but once a lead enters our system, we rely on the ones you see here. Marketo is really the backbone of my department, and is essential for ensuring we are delivering the right leads to the sales team at the right time. InsideView data is used to help us make that determination.Analyzing and continuously refining our programs is core to what we do, so in addition to the analytics in HootSuite and Marketo, we also feed data from Google Analytics, Salesforce, and the predictive analysis tool, Brightfunnel, into GoodData for a complete view of our programs and customers.Nirav: How are you using Marketo?
  • Shantel: Marketo is core to our DemandGen programs. It powers campaigns across each of our plans, from Free to Pro to Enterprise.We’ve integrated Marketo with the HootSuite platform so that we can provide customers with information specific to their needs, and ensure we are delivering the best possible experience.For my team, it’s used to create and execute targeted campaigns, understand prospect behavior and needs so we can nurture them through the sales cycle, and score them based on multiple attributes. We also use Marketo Financial Management to manage our budget and tie our spend to specific campaigns and initiatives.Nirav: How are you using InsideView?
  • Shantel: We use InsideView across our customer lifecycle– from marketing through sales. We have two teams that rely on InsideView; my team, Demand Generation, and our counterparts in sales, the Lead Development team. Each of us uses different InsideView solutions for different purposes.We use InsideView for Marketing on our DemandGen team, and that comes in two flavors – InsideView CLEAN and InsideView ENRICH.The Lead Development team both qualifies our leads, and also does outreach within target verticals and accounts. They use InsideView for Sales.I’ll explain a little more about how each of these flavors work for us.
  • Shantel: InsideView CLEAN evaluates our database, then matches, de-duplicates, and adds missing data. We used it initially to provide more complete records for our existing Enterprise funnel.These graphs show the typical amount of data that is corrected by InsideView in a database cleansing process…gray is before, orange is after.. Now this is sample data, and not specific to HootSuite but I will say that InsideView was able to append data to a significant portion of our database…information such as geography, vertical, and size of organizations, which is just so valuable in allowing us to ensure that the relationship we have with our prospects is personalized so we can provide them with the information that’s going to be most helpful to them during every phase of the purchase cycle.Day-to-day, as leads enter Marketo, we also use InsideView Enrich.
  • Shantel: ENRICH is integrated with Marketo, and automatically fills in missing information on incomplete lead records as they enter the system.This is a great help as it allows us to be much more targeted with our lead-capture forms. We’ve been able to reduce the information we request on initial form fill and through progressive profiling, and collect important information such as purchase timeline up-front. With just a few fields, such as first name, last name, company and email address, InsideView ENRICH gives us additional data such as job title, company description, revenue and other firmagraphic information. And it’s not just for web forms. Many of our vendors deliver leads using the Marketo API, so when an incomplete lead comes from other sources, InsideView will enrich it, as long as it includes at least the name,company and email address. This is a huge asset given our multiple lead sources and allows us to ensure we are always working with the most complete records possible.·
  • Shantel: And finally, InsideView for Sales populates ourSalesforce lead and account records with current company and contact information, and insights from news, blogs, social feeds, editorial and financial reporting services.It also includes a comprehensive Connections graph, showing how we’re connected to our prospects via social connections, professional affiliations, work or education history and so forth. The Connections are amazingly helpful at opening doors. We all understand how important it is to “know someone” when looking for a job. Well the same is true when trying to get a busy buyer’s attention. These screen shots show the detail of information you would see within Salesforce.Our Lead Development team uses InsideView for Sales to build targeted prospecting lists. They can create lists filtered by all the information you see here…demographic information, keywords, social information, and more. Lastly, when they’re ready to reach out to a prospect, they support their pre-call research with InsideView data, to better understand their prospects, find a connection for a referral, or start a conversation. Nirav: Thanks for walking us through the process, Shantel. Now can you tell us what are the benefits of using the 2 solutions together?
  • Shantel: Having InsideView integrated directly with Marketo means that leads are automatically enriched with important fields used in our scoring model at the point of inquiry creation…fields such as Company Size, Annual Revenues and Industry.This has enabled us to increase the velocity at which a qualified inquiry becomes a Sales Accepted Lead, which is when leads are assigned to our Lead Development Reps for further qualification.Nirav: That’s awesome, Shantel. As we wrap up, can you summarize the results you’ve seen from using Marketo and InsideView together?
  • Shantel: Of course. … withInsideView and its Marketo integration, we’ve increased form conversions while still gathering important data specific to our business,We’ve able to deliver higher quality leads with more complete information to assist the sales team in their efforts, And we’ve shorted the cycle from inquiry to sales qualified leads by being able to recognize them earlier in the cycle and nurture them more effectively.Not least of all, it’s created better alignment between marketing and sales, because we’re able to focus our efforts on the right leads and help them achieve their goals.Nirav: Thanks, Shantel. Before we jump into Q&A, tell us what’s next for Hootsuite.
  • Absolutely. As everyone here knows, effective marketing requires constant evolution, so Ill share a few initiatives underway now that I’m really excited about. We’ve had tremendous success using the Marketo Customer Engagement Engine; I’d say it was one of the biggest wins for my team last year, in that we were able to increase engagement with our nurture programs by over 500% since we started using it in August. Right now we’re working on further segmentation to support our global audience. Earlier this month, we launched our nurture programs in German and Spanish, and plan to add four more languages in the first half of this year.Secondly Marketo’s lead scoring gives us the opportunity to very granular in identifying the attributes and behaviors that constitute a qualified lead, and we’re working hand in hand with sales to refine our model as our business expands into new markets and new product use cases.And finally, we’re working with Marketo on a Marketo/HootSuite integration, and we’re really looking forward to sharing the details on that in an upcoming MarketoLaunchPoint webinar.
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