Category Archives: Tips

 

The beginning of a new year can be a magical thing. It’s a time of new beginnings, a reset on personal and professional goals, and hopefully new marketing budgets! If you’re anything like us, you’ve been prepping for the new year for a while—reviewing your year-end results, building out your marketing plan, and outlining SMART goals for your teams that support overall company and sales goals.

 

But, if you’re feeling a bit behind in your new year planning already, that’s OK too. We’ve put together a quick guide to getting your marketing team setup for success in January and beyond.

 

Understand where you’ve been successful.

It’s hard to know where you’re going without knowing where you’ve been. Take some time to measure what campaigns were most successful across email, social, your website, webinars, and events. Look at your standard engagement metrics and connect your opportunities and closed business back to the campaigns your customers interacted with to paint a picture of your customer journey and the supporting marketing campaigns.

 

 

Take stock of the marketing metrics at your fingertips, and those you’re missing.

If you’re missing pieces of the puzzle when looking back at what success was like for you in the previous year, start asking what metrics you could track to fill in the blanks. Are there fields you can require in your CRM system that will fill in data points you don’t currently have? Do you need to make sure UTM parameters are added to your links on social so you can connect content created by marketing to where they’re most accessed and shared? Think through what data will help you prove the success of your marketing initiatives, and start tracking now!

 

 

Establish a baseline.

Once you know what’s worked and how you’re going to measure to prove it, you can establish a baseline. If your average incoming marketing qualified leads number per month was 50 when you ran 5 campaigns that month, you know you probably won’t be able to double to 100 MQLs and do 5 similar campaigns. Use the data you have to tell a story, to give you benchmarks to measure against, and set realistic monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals.

 

 

Always keep your end goal in mind.

At the end of the day, marketing’s goal is often to support sales and overarching company goals. So you need to understand what those goals are and where marketing is responsible for driving them. If you’re only responsible for sourcing 20% of new opportunities, and sales is responsible for sourcing 80%, your measure of success will look a lot different than if the equation was flipped.  With sales sourcing the majority of leads, marketing efforts will likely focus more on middle of the funnel and bottom of the funnel supporting activities to help your sales teams close more business. Understanding sales and the leadership team’s expectations of you will help you prioritize and focus your marketing plan for the year.

 

 

Schedule in regular reviews, and be flexible to change.

Just like your new year gym schedule will probably change a bit come March, your marketing plan will, and should, too! Establish a regular schedule to review the metrics you have (this will help ensure you are consistently tracking data so it will be easier to set benchmarks for next year too). Discuss what’s working and what isn’t, based on what the numbers are showing, and don’t be afraid to make micro changes to your plans accordingly. The best marketing campaigns start out experimenting with a hypothesis, and it’s better to have built agile processes that you can switch up when something isn’t working, than go the whole year with a faulty campaign and have to suffer the consequences come December.

 

Looking for more guidance on making sure your marketing and sales processes are setup for success in the new year?

 

Reach out to our consulting team, we’d be happy to share our best practices metrics dashboard, provide suggestions, and even help with campaign execution to make sure you hit your goals this year.

 

Category Archives: Tips

Emoji use by brands in campaigns has risen a huge 609% year-over-year (from 2016 to 2017) in digital communications – Email Marketing Daily

 

Emojis are, for better or worse, a huge trend for consumers. So it’s no surprise that more and more brands are choosing to incorporate emojis into their email subject lines. But do they work?

 

A couple studies have come out recently saying they do, if used appropriately.

 

Emojis have some pretty clear benefits for email marketing. By using emojis in place of some text, you’re able to convey more in less characters. The average mobile inbox only shows 30-40 characters in the subject line. By incorporating one or two emojis, you can take full advantage of that space.

 

Plus with a couple of emojis in a sea of text subject lines you’ve got a better chance of grabbing your reader’s attention without affecting deliverability. 

 

According to the Emoji Use in Email Subject Lines report, which looked at emojis in emails compared to text-only subject lines throughout one year, subject lines using emojis has a higher read rate than comparable text-only subject lines.

 

However, there is a risk of emoji email oversaturation as emojis become more and more popular for brands. In a recent Mailjet study using a/x testing (testing up to 10 variations of the same email) they found that overall open rates with emails using emojis went slightly down from 31.5% in 2016 to 28.1% in 2017. The ❤️ emoji being the top emoji for open rates.

 

2016-2017 Emojis

(Source: Mailjet)

 

So how do you make sure your emoji-laden email is one that gets opened?

 

  • Stay consistent with your brand and tone — as a marketer you know your organization and audience better than anyone, if an emoji isn’t in line with your brand, stick to your gut and take it out!
  • Test, test and test again before sending. Verify whether the emojis you want to use will render correctly across email clients and browsers.
  • Implement A/B testing for your email campaign with a subject line using emojis and plain text to collect performance data.
  • Don’t overdo it! Use emojis in moderation so you’re not oversaturating your audience.
  • Make sure your emojis have a purpose. Whether they’re conveying an emotion, visualizing your brand, or just telling a story, don’t just add them because you feel like it.

 

Do you ❤️  the idea of emojis in subject lines? Check out the Emojipedia for a full encyclopedia of every emoji that you can copy and paste into your email subject lines. You can also see how certain emojis should render on different devices or browsers.

 

If you’d like more tips on using emojis for your audience or have some examples of brands doing emojis well, leave us a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

 

Category Archives: Tips

 

Data-driven marketing is no longer an option in today’s world, it’s a requirement. Modern marketers know that in order to successfully engage their customers, they need to understand them inside and out, and communicate with them according to their needs and expectations along the customer lifecycle.

 

This approach generally means collecting a lot of data – from IP addresses cookied on your website, to form fills and social media interactions – marketing is often the owner of the customer profile data used for ongoing marketing campaigns to prospects, customers and partners.

 

Now, for organizations with any kind of activity or customers in the EU, the regulations around how that data is collected, stored, and accessed are becoming more stringent with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

 

Does the GDPR affect your business? If it does, how will you have to change your marketing activities in the future? What is the deadline for compliance? We’ve got these answers and more below where we compiled the highlights you need to get ready for the GDPR.

 

If you’re looking for a deeper dive, check out our on-demand webinar for more specific tips on how GDPR will affect your business, and what you can do to prepare.

 

What is the GDPR

 

The GDPR is a digital privacy regulation from the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission. It was created in April, 2016 and will become enforceable on May 25th, 2018. Failure to comply after that could entail up to €20 million in fines or 4% of your global turnover.

 

The intent of the GDPR is to give EU citizens more control over their data privacy and standardize regulations for any business working with an EU citizen’s data (whether the company is located in the EU or not). The last time the data privacy laws in the EU were updated was in 1995. A lot has changed since then with the rise of social media, smartphones, and marketing so it follows that the personal data privacy laws needed a refresher.

 

Who does the GDPR apply to

 

Once you start digging more into the language of the GDPR, you’ll see reference to three main entities that the GDPR involves:

 

  1. The data subject – This is the person whose data is being collected. If your data subject resides in the EU, then the GDPR applies to your company regardless of whether you are located in the EU or not.
  2. The data controller – This is the organization that is collecting or housing the data subject’s data (ie your company!).
  3. The data processor – This is the organization (or software) that processes data on behalf of the data controller. For the majority of our marketing clients, the data processor is Marketo (or any marketing automation platform) and Salesforce (or any CRM).

 

What data does the GDPR apply to

 

The GDPR applies to a pretty broad sense of personal data. According to the European Commission, “personal data is any information relating to an individual, whether it relates to his or her private, professional or public life. It can be anything from a name, a home address, a photo, an email address, bank details, posts on social networking websites, medical information, or a computer’s IP address.”

 

What the GDPR means for marketing

 

By now it should be clear that digital marketers are involved with a lot of the data the GDPR applies to. So it follows that there are a couple specific areas where the GDPR is going to change marketing processes.

 

1.Explicit Opt In

 

Under the GDPR, your contacts must now explicitly give consent for you to collect any of their personal data. Consent is clearly defined by the GDPR as “any freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the data subject’s wishes” using  “a clear affirmative action.”

 

What does this mean in layman’s terms? Basically, assuming that anyone who fills out a contact us form can now be marketed to is no longer going to cut it. You need to collect explicit opt ins for any further communications.

 

Here’s a great example of a GDPR compliant opt in form versus a non-compliant form. Note the explicit check box (not just a message at the bottom of the form) that allows contacts to opt in to receive future marketing communications.

 

gdpr-compliant-web-forms

Source: https://www.superoffice.com/blog/gdpr-marketing/

 

2. Data Transparency

 

Your contacts under the GDPR will have more control over how you collect and use their data. This includes their right to request a report of where their data is being used, and taking that a step further, requesting that you completely erase their data from your records.

 

This means that you will need to provide contacts with access to their data and the ability to rescind consent. Marketo will require an unsubscribe link in any email you send, but you can also customize your unsubscribe and preferences pages to give your contacts more control about how they receive communications from you.

 

3. Data Justification

 

GDPR requires you to legally justify the processing of the personal data you collect. This means you’re only collecting data from your contacts that will directly relate back to the value you are providing them as a company. Just like in the above two requirements, you will need to be prepared to come with receipts. During an audit, you must be able to prove not only what data you have (#2) but why you have that specific data and what value it brings to that contact. At the end of the day you need to prove the data you are collecting is always in the best interest of the contact.

 

How is Marketo responding

 

As the data processor, your CRM and marketing automation systems have specific responsibilities for compliance with the GDPR. Marketo has stated on numerous occasions their full commitment to compliance with the GDPR as a data processor:

 

“Marketo will be in compliance with the GDPR by May 25th, 2018 and Marketo’s services already include the functionality necessary for our customers to comply with the GDPR’s consent requirement. We have carefully examined the relevant provisions of the GDPR and we are closely tracking applicable GDPR guidance issued by regulatory authorities. These steps are helping us to develop tools for our customers relevant to GDPR-compliant use of Marketo’s services.”

 

The main responsibility as a data processor under the GDPR is data protection. One way data processors comply with full data protection is by implementing pseudonymisation to their data. The GDPR refers to pseudonymisation as “the processing of personal data in such a manner that the personal data can no longer be attributed to a specific data subject without the use of additional information.”

 

One example of of pseudonymisation is encryption, which essentially makes it so that the original data cannot be read without a decryption key. Under the GDPR this decryption key must be kept separate from the pseudonym data.

 

Getting started with compliance

 

So you’ve established that the GDPR applies to your company. While many of the compliance activities we’ve covered in this post involve marketing, ultimately it will be a company-wide data governance effort to make sure you are fully compliant with the GDPR. So where do you start?

 

  • Start building your data governance team – Work with company leadership to prioritize a committee for GDPR compliance to ensure that the effort extends across your entire organization.
  • Assess your current compliance state – Evaluate your existing data processes. What systems are currently processing any type of personal data? What’s the process for updating and removing data from these systems? Document where you are or aren’t compliant with the GDPR within these systems and use that as a baseline for where to focus your efforts.
  • Create your data opt in and request processes – This is where you’ll get into the meat of designing your full GDPR compliance. Walk through everywhere you collect personal data, and make sure you’re posting privacy notices and are fully compliant with explicit opt ins for data consent. Evaluate any issues with security and document how you will detect and respond to any breaches. Determine the process for when your contacts request to access or delete their data. Start outlining how you will train the rest of the company on all of these processes.
  • Compile documentation – Under the GDPR you’re required to supply copies of all of the above processes. Start collecting your documentation for your opt in forms, privacy notices, employe trainings, and any other processes you have in place to handle the processing of personal data and requests from contacts.

 

Have a question about the GDPR or just looking for some help in making sure your company is fully compliant?

Check out our on-demand webinar, “Spooked by GDPR” or contact us for more information.

 

Category Archives: Tips

Originally Posted on CMOnation by Marketo. 

Bringing marketing automation into any organization requires buy in from a variety of executives. For marketers to make a case for an automation platform at an executive level, it is important to outline a plan that considers the benefits and ROI that apply to the entire organization.

Recently, Leadous hosted an event featuring marketing leaders from across the Minneapolis-St. Paul area to talk about just that – how your marketing team can convince your C-Suite to see the true value of marketing automation for your company.

Below are some of the key takeaways from the panelists:

  • Angie Franks, CEO/Chairman of the Board, Central Logic
  • LeAnn Case, EVP of Marketing, CU Companies
  • Sam Archbold, Director of Digital Marketing: B2B, US Bank

Getting your C-suite to pay attention

The key question to ask (and answer!) when getting your C-suite on board with a new technology purchase is, “What problem will this help our company solve?”

“Technology does not solve problems, it enables your team to solve problems,” said Angie. Make sure you bring that specific problem (and the way the technology will enable your team to solve it) when you are suggesting marketing automation as a solution; don’t just present it as a piece of technology you’d like to have. At the end of the day, “trust from your senior leadership is important,” added LeAnn. “They should trust your judgement in this investment, and know what to expect from your decisions.”

Stay focused on the data

At the end of the day, marketing automation is providing you with a tool to interpret and act on data. “That data can support decisions across the business, even if everyone doesn’t like it,” said Sam. How your team may talk internally about products and services differs from how customers interpret it. Use the tools within marketing automation like A/B testing to know what customers are actually responding to versus what we think they’ll respond to.

Marketing automation broadens the effect of marketing on the business

Beyond just lead generation, marketing automation allows for a multi-tiered marketing approach for all stages of the customer funnel. “From onboarding new customers to upselling additional products and services, marketing automation is a tool that can help support the entire lifecycle of your customers,” said Sam. “Provide cross-sell and upsell opportunities, go through onboarding, specific content tracks, and other activities that go way beyond lead generation as supporting documentation for the value of marketing automation. It can become a communications distribution tool for all stages of the funnel.”

By presenting marketing automation as a versatile tool across the lifecycle of the customer, it also becomes more of a problem solver (see “Getting your C-suite to pay attention” above) to support the broader organizational goals. The more departments you can get on board with your overall marketing strategy, the more agile and invaluable the work you’re doing with marketing automation will become, and you’ll have fewer silos across the organization, along with a more cohesive brand identity. That’s a win for everyone.

A new relationship between sales and marketing

Marketing automation has the potential to truly change the game between sales and marketing. It arms sales with new data “to understand who they’re calling and why,” says Angie. By understanding the value and lifetime per client, you can determine how to best replicate the buying behavior through marketing paths and bring your sales team more qualified leads, more efficiently. What sales team wouldn’t be on board with that?

The number one takeaway

“Go beyond simple lead generation to focus on your overall company’s growth strategy and how marketing automation can support that,” Angie said. Look at where there are specific problems and inefficiencies and how marketing automation specifically solves those problems. By translating marketing automation into a company problem-solver (not just a marketing department problem-solver), the C-Suite will see the true value that marketing automation can deliver.

Once you’ve convinced your C-suite to get on board, your next step is a successful implementation to make sure you’re set up for success.

For top insights and assistance with the marketing implementation and optimization process, click here.

Category Archives: Tips

The age old question – to outsource or not to outsource – is a constant struggle, especially in marketing. The marketing world is changing as quickly as the technology is. True experts in marketing automation are in high demand and experience high turnover, which means it can be expensive and time consuming to hire. But the same can be said for finding the right fit for an agency to work with. So which do you go with?

We say both…just hear us out!

Marketing automation is a relatively new concept, the percentage of companies that don’t use marketing automation is greater than those who use it.   And for those that do, we’ve often found they’re only scratching the surface of what they can truly accomplish with marketing automation. A consultation partner can fill the gap when getting your team trained and supported and make sure there’s a consistent and effective implementation of your marketing automation system.

The best partners will also show you how to leverage the components that are right for your business (not just try to sell you everything you don’t need) and keep you up to date on new and changing features. They take marketing teams from novice to experts and can help support more complex automation strategies that could take a beginner months to get started with. By building and supporting the framework for your marketing automation system, they help make sure your team is set up for success no matter their experience level.

Essentially, getting marketing automation to work for your business involves a team of people working together inside and outside of the company:

  1. Executive support who has visibility into the analytics coming from the system, and what those trends mean for the business as a whole.
  2. Campaign level team members who understand the ins-and-outs of the company and have quick access to internal resources like IT, product and sales to get questions answered quickly.
  3. A partner that helps guide, drive and recommend changes to help drive quick return and problem solve with your marketing team.

The value a partner provides goes beyond just knowing how marketing automation works, they should be offering true consultative services that analyze your business and how they can best support you, whether you have 1 or 20 people on your marketing team.

If you’d like more information on how Leadous serves as a marketing automation consultation partner to companies looking to up their marketing game contact us.

Category Archives: Tips

Marketing automation platforms understandably receive a lot of hype among marketers today as the “silver bullet” that can magically grow your revenue and increase the impact of marketing.

While marketing automation platforms can yield awesome results, the reality is, there is no one silver bullet for marketing. There’s no easy button to push on a marketing automation platform that will instantly flood your inbox with leads and grow your business exponentially, unfortunately.

The expectation of instantaneous results from marketing automation is a dangerous one. It’s not good for your marketing team, especially since you’re justifying the dollars you spend and are on the line for the results you bring into the company.

Here are a couple misconceptions about marketing automation to avoid when you’re considering (or in the midst of) implementing your marketing automation system.

1. Once you’re implemented, you’re done.

This takes us back to the easy button. In order to implement a successful marketing automation platform, it takes careful planning, analysis and iteration on what seems like a daily basis based on the data your platform is collecting. The process of optimizing your platform is never really done if you’re doing it well!

2. All you need is Marketo. Or Pardot. Or Hubspot. Or Eloqua. Etc.

Marketo is an enormously robust platform. But if you don’t have have a database of targets or a content portfolio that you can leverage, you are seriously limiting the impact you can make. Marketo shines in its ability to handle large swaths of data and personalized content paths that engage your audience based on their behaviors. So if you don’t yet have much of an audience or content to engage with, you might want to think through some of the supporting marketing activities that will make your marketing automation platform truly sing.

3. Marketing is the only team that needs to be involved in the purchase of marketing automation.

I don’t know what your marketing-sales dynamic is. You could be besties. Or constant frenemies. Either way, you know that both of your successes are tied to one another, which means with a platform as important as marketing automation, you need to have sales involved in the decision, setup and calibration of the platform. It’s important to understand what goals you are trying to hit for sales and get real time feedback on incoming leads so you know how to best deliver quality leads that they can convert. At the end of the day, you’ll both be better off for it.

Marketing automation is an amazing strategic tool that can change how you market. It won’t however replace a great product, tight process or grit. If you want help getting started or optimizing your Marketo platform, contact Leadous!

Category Archives: Tips

 

On our blog we’ve covered all things lead scoring with Marketo from what lead scoring is, to where to begin scoring leads at your company, to common mistakes made when scoring. Now it’s time to get into some of the more advanced techniques you can employ when lead scoring with Marketo. Moving beyond just behavioral and demographic lead scoring for a minute, there are three additional strategies you can use to better predict which leads are most likely to buy, giving you more insight than ever into your prospective buyers.

 

1) Product Scoring

 

Product scoring can be a complex strategy to implement depending on the size and scope of the product offerings at your organization. The concept, however, is simple. Product scoring measures a lead’s interest and fit for a distinct product or service (assuming your company offers more than one).

 

By scoring based on product interest, you can also prioritize your most popular (and profitable) products to steer your prospects into a lead nurturing campaign with a cohesive message that shows your company and products in the best light possible.

 

2) Account Scoring

 

Most of the time a purchasing decision is not made by one person, but a team of people. Depending on the cost and industry, there could be a whole buying committee reviewing your product. That’s where account scoring can come in handy.

 

If multiple contacts from one account are engaging with your marketing, you (and your sales team) want to know about that quickly and easily without having to wade through the data to figure it out. Using account scoring, you can group together contacts from one account to track their activities and determine sales-readiness. More on account scoring from Marketo can be found here.

 

3) Score Reduction

 

In marketing, you could argue that one of the most important things to focus on is a clean database. And your scoring model is no exception to that rule. With lead scoring, it’s easy to focus on the positive/action-driven scoring models. But you also need to think about leads who may be giving you all the signs that they’re engaging with you, but aren’t actually sales prospects. These could be job seekers for your company downloading brochures and visiting your careers page. Or they could be prospects who became clients. Or prospects who won’t be ready to purchase for a long time.

 

Either way, you’ll want to set boundaries on your lead scores to ensure a clean marketing pipeline. Putting a scoring reduction model in place that caps or removes scoring points after a lead is inactive for a certain number of days, visits the careers page of your site, becomes a client, and so on is an essential strategy to keep your pipeline accurate.

 

These three advanced strategies will help give your marketing and sales teams a crystal clear view of your lead pipeline and the prospects who are ready to buy.

 

Want some help employing some of the more advanced lead scoring strategies using Marketo at your company? Give us a shout!

 

Category Archives: Tips

 

In our last few blog posts, we’ve talked about what lead scoring is and how to get started with a lead scoring program. Lead scoring programs take quite a bit of initial effort to get up and running, and you want to translate that work into results! To support that effort, here are the top 5 most common lead scoring mistakes we see in our clients, and how you can avoid them.

 

1) Asking the prospect too many (or too detailed) qualification questions in forms

 

It’s tempting to ask your prospects every question possible in your forms to qualify them as sales ready leads. Remember to consider that prospects may not be filling in fully accurate information, especially if you’re asking for details they might not even know (such as trying to determine their sales ready status by asking BANT information — Budget, Authority, Needs, and Timeline). Try to use progressive profiling, and only ask information appropriate to where they are in the sales cycle.

 

2) Assuming bigger is always better

 

A Director (not a VP) may be your decision maker. A coordinator may be your main researcher. A mid-size company could be a better fit for your sales cycle and timeline. Don’t just assume in your lead scoring program that you only want CEOs and Fortune 500 companies receiving the coveted high scores. Make sure you’re taking into account the personas of your influencers and decision makers beyond senior leadership that reflects your prospects’ buying behavior.

 

3) Scoring email opens

 

Open rates tend to mean that the reader’s email server downloaded an image from the email. This could be in a preview, or even while they’re clicking the delete key. So while open rates can be a good macro trend to look at, don’t place too much weight on the value of the open. Go for engagement-centric metrics like click throughs and form fills, where you know without a doubt the prospect is engaging with your marketing.

 

4) Scoring either demographic OR behavioral values

 

You can’t have a good sales ready lead if they’re not a good fit for your organization. Just like you can’t have a sales ready lead if they’re not ready to buy your product or service. Don’t just score on one value (demographic) or the other (behavior). In order for your program to work properly you need to examine both customer fit and sales readiness based on behavior. More tips on that here!

 

5) Not allowing sales to adjust scores

 

Creating a lead scoring program in a vacuum, or carving it in stone means it won’t last long. Sales should be allowed to adjust the scores of their leads, whether higher or lower, to reflect where the leads actually are in the sales readiness cycle. At the end of the month or quarter, you can review the adjusted leads to determine larger scale updates you may need to make to your lead scoring program.

 

Want to make sure you get your lead scoring program setup right the first time and avoid these common mistakes? Contact us and we’ll help you get a lead scoring program up and launched  successfully.

 

Category Archives: Tips

 

In our last blog post we reviewed what lead scoring is (and why it’s important). Now it’s time to get to the good stuff–how do you implement it at your company?

 

Because lead scoring requires the collaboration of sales and marketing to rank leads by sales-readiness and product fit, the most important place to start is setting a meeting for your sales and marketing teams to come together to create your company’s ideal buyer persona.

 

To prepare for that collaboration, make sure you review and bring to the table all the data you have that show the process leading up to when prospects are ready to buy your company’s products or services: pull data from your CRM and website to get a full picture of how deals are moving through the pipeline, what campaigns are influencing deals to close, and what common features closed deals share.

 

Marketo has provided a useful checklist of more than 50 explicit scores and 200+ implicit scores to help you start to map out the important data points to consider for your lead scoring program. In particular you’ll want to review with your teams the following behaviors and attributes to determine what scores are critical to indicating a sales ready lead:

 

Explicit Scores (positive)

  • Individual-specific demographic scoring rules (job title, years of experience)
  • Company-specific demographic scoring rules (# employees, industry, location)
  • Relationship scoring rules (account type, lead source, current products)

Implicit Scores (positive)

  • Livestreamed event attendance
  • Survey fills
  • Tradeshow attendance
  • Web page activity
  • Search activity
  • Podcast/video views

Implicit Scores (negative)

  • Email unsubscribes
  • No website activity in multiple months
  • Negative social media interaction

 

Once everyone is on the same page, assign actual scores to these behaviors and attributes in order of importance. See Marketo’s examples in their Definite Guide to Lead Scoring for more information.

 

After you’ve laid out your explicit and implicit scoring model, add them together for a total lead score. Make sure that demographics are less than half of the total score (although leads may fit your target demographics perfectly, if they aren’t yet engaging with you, they’re not sales ready!).

 

The final step of building your initial lead scoring program is deciding (in conjunction with sales) the threshold for handing off a lead from marketing to sales. Is it leads over a score of 45? 75? You want to make sure you’re making the process efficient for sales (don’t pass over too many leads that may not be sales-ready), while still providing them with a healthy pipeline (don’t have a number that’s too high to hit consistently). It will likely take some time to test and determine the right number for your business and scoring model. To finalize your number, try testing a random sample of contacts in your CRM. Compare closed and lost deals to their scores and see if the corresponding numbers match up to your threshold.

 

As with any marketing program, once you push it live, you always want to revisit and readjust. Setup a quarterly meeting to look at your sales wins and losses and make sure you review lead scores to ensure your numbers are aligning with the deals.

 

Need some help getting started with lead scoring, analyzing the right data points for your business model, or simply optimizing your lead scoring program in Marketo? Feel free to contact us, we’re here to help!

 

Category Archives: Tips

 

Propensity to buy and product fit–when it comes time for marketing to hand off a lead to sales, these are two important measures that your sales team will want to know to prioritize their time and set them up for success.

 

  1. Propensity to Buy: Where are the prospects in the buying cycle? (Are they ready to purchase your product tomorrow or two years from now?)
  2. Product Fit: Are the prospects a good fit for your business? (Should sales be putting in the same level of effort to engage them if they won’t be able to use your products or services to the fullest extent?)

 

Fortunately, many of those questions can be automatically answered for your sales team using Marketo lead scoring.

 

Lead scoring is the collaboration of sales and marketing to rank leads by sales-readiness and product fit. By setting automated rules in Marketo to rank leads by A, B, C, or D (or hot, warm, cold), your sales team can gain more insight into which leads are ready to engage, and which ones need more nurturing from marketing.

 

Getting the Basics Down

 

There are two components of lead scoring you need to understand to build out a successful lead scoring program: explicit scoring and implicit scoring.

 

With explicit scoring, prospects tell you information about themselves. This can be through a form fill where a prospect tells you her job title, company size, geographic location, and so on. Explicit scoring is usually determined by your company’s sales targets. Which job titles or company size are the best fit for your company? Are you only accepting leads in certain areas of the world? Scoring a lead based on these factors tells your sales team how qualified this lead is by set factors in your target demographics.

 

With implicit scoring, you infer information based on the prospect’s behavior. This can be through webinar views, white paper downloads, web page visits, and so on. You can assign specific scores so that when a prospect fills out a contact us form she gets more points than say, downloading a white paper. Or on the flip side, if a prospect unsubscribes from an email list, points are removed. These are all key behaviors that signal how ready a prospect is for your business.

 

In case you’re not yet convinced that lead scoring can help improve your sales and marketing processes, here are 4 benefits of lead scoring that many of our clients see:

 

  1. Better align sales and marketing, so only qualified leads are going to sales and leads that need more time are being actively nurtured.
  2. Define a lead hand-off process that makes both sales and marketing more efficient and productive.
  3. Better estimate the deals in your pipeline so you can plan according to what deals are more likely to close, and when.
  4. Save your sales team time and effort by making sure they’re focusing on the contacts and accounts with the best fit for your business.

 

“A solid lead scoring approach not only helps to rank prospects against one another, but can smooth the lead flow and serve as the baseline for building a range of business rules that include ownership, role and activities.” -SiriusDecisions, What’s the Score

 

Lead scoring is a great foundation to build better alignment between your sales and marketing teams, and strengthen the impact of your marketing efforts. By ensuring you’re only engaging with prospects at a time when it will resonate the most, you’re saving time, money and effort!

 

Stay tuned to the blog for more about creating the basics of a lead scoring program at your organization. In the meantime, if you have any questions about getting started with lead scoring or maybe taking your lead scoring to the next level, contact us.

 

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