The structure and relationship between traditional B2B marketing and sales has long been separate functions. Sales feels marketing should deliver the best leads, and more of them. While marketing has been focused on volume over quality. It is not a novel concept to talk about marketing and sales evolving into a symbiotic relationship vs the traditional competitive one. However, with many decades of sales and marketing operating this way it is no surprise that the systems were setup and structured to support those processes.
If you happen to be at Salesforce Connections this week, you’ll be hearing a lot about the new way of thinking and how to structure your systems to support your new digital marketing strategy. If not, that’s ok. This blog post will give you the foundation for success with Pardot to begin accelerating your B2B pipeline growth.
Overhaul Your Process Before Your Systems
All of the systems and databases that you are currently using did not just show up one day and someone flipped a switch and they started churning out leads to support your pipeline model. Somewhere along the way department heads at your company got together to discuss and decide how leads should be captured and processed through the systems into sales. So, if you start by gathering the department heads together with the goal of optimizing your entire funnel you will quickly get lots of feedback. Guiding that feedback, with the idea of bringing marketing and sales together, will get you on the right track.
Nothing should be left out; from how lead forms are structured to clearly defining the stages of an opportunity. Marketers will need to start thinking like a sales rep (and a marketer) and sales reps will need to think like a marketer during the sales process. During this process you will begin to identify areas where your systems fall short in supporting the new process.
Then you can reference these new digital marketing strategies to begin implementing changes to your existing system, replace or incorporate Pardot and Marketing Cloud to support your new processes.
Four Strategies to Accelerate Your New Pipeline
Personalized, targeted campaigns. Yes, we hear that almost daily now but it still holds true. Analysis and statistics have proven that with personalization you can increase email click-through rates by nearly 3 times! I came across a great quote from Craig Davis, former Chief Creative Officer at J Walter Thompson, “We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and BE what people are interested in.”
Focus on your top prospects with lead scoring and grading. In the old model B2B marketers send all their leads directly to sales reps. However, only 27% of those leads will end be qualified. Scoring your leads based on their digital interactions and grading leads by their demographic and firmographic data will cut out the noise so the sales team can focus on the qualified leads.
Enrich and cleanse your database. Every database needs to be maintained by implementing strategies and processes to clean out duplicate or erroneous data and also by bringing in new data. Data.com is another product that can help simplify this process. Data.com can be scheduled to run cleanup processes on duplicate records and new data can be filtered and brought directly into Salesforce.
Nurture your prospects with your personalized and targeted emails. The new Intelligent Engagement Studio allows you to build and automate sophisticated, branching nurturing campaigns. This makes it much easier for you as a marketer to execute on your ideas for multiple paths that a prospect may take when researching your product or service.
Give Sales Reps a Tool to Help Them Be a Marketer
When asking a sales rep to think like a marketer it can sometimes be lost in translation. But if you give them a tool and teach them how to use the tool you will find this to be much more effective. The new Salesforce Engage tool from Pardot gives sales access to a library of marketing-approved email templates and nurturing tracks they can select right from inside Salesforce. You can also allow sales reps to create their own ad-hoc emails. Salesforce Engage can also be used from Salesforce CRM or the Salesforce1 Mobile App. All of these emails will also be tracked to measure performance just like any of your other emails. This allows you to see how the emails are performing and even incorporate an ad-hoc email into your nurture campaigns if it is doing well.
This is a lot of information to process in addition to all the great information we’re hearing at Salesforce Connections. Getting started can be a daunting task. We are experts in analyzing, optimizing and implementing business processes and the marketing automation tools Salesforce has to offer in order to enable pipeline growth. We can help you get started today with your optimized pipeline so you can focus on being a marketer (with a sales hat on as well!).