I recently had the privilege of sitting on a panel with some of the Salesforce and Pardot industry’s top experts. Hosted by Marketing Life Hacks and led by ExtensisHR’s Lara Black and SaaScend’s Stephen Stouffer, we were asked about our top takeaways from 2022. Simply put – I’d say that my top two takeaways were inter-departmental communication and embracing AI/making analytics accessible.
No person makes decisions from an island.
Sales and marketing decisions are typically made as part of a team effort, with input from various stakeholders, including leadership, sales and marketing staff, and possibly even external consultants or partners. Sales and marketing teams need to work collaboratively and communicate effectively to ensure that the decisions they make align with the overall goals and objectives of the organization. Effective sales and marketing teams often have a clear vision of what they want to achieve, and they work together to develop strategies and tactics that will help them reach their goals. This may involve defining qualifying criteria (MQLs and Personas), building out a prospect-to-lead flow (including assignments), developing marketing campaigns to assist with quarterly sales goals, identifying and targeting specific customer segments through process and data input, and reporting on the ROI of marketing campaigns.
Sales and marketing teams must also regularly review and evaluate their efforts, using data and metrics to track their progress and make adjustments as needed. This helps to ensure that the team is making informed, data-driven decisions that are aligned with the needs and goals of the organization as a whole. As I like to say “One Team, One Dream!”
Agree on and automate on lead flow process, lead grades, and lead scores.
Automating the lead flow process helps identify active leads, communicate their readiness, and ensure that leads are promptly and consistently followed up on, reducing the risk of lost opportunities. A good lead flow process can help sales and marketing teams be more efficient and effective, and can ultimately lead to increased revenue and business growth.
Lead grading is a way of assigning a letter value to each lead, based on various characteristics such as the lead’s company size, industry, and location. Lead scoring is a way of assigning a numerical value to each lead, based on the level of engagement with your company’s marketing and digital assets. A combination of these can help sales and marketing teams prioritize their efforts, focusing on the most promising leads first.
Maintain improvement by reviewing MQLs sent every month or quarter.
Reviewing marketing qualified leads (MQLs) regularly can be an effective way to constantly improve your sales and marketing efforts. MQLs are leads showing a strong interest in your company’s products or services and are more likely to become customers.
By reviewing MQLs on a monthly or quarterly basis, you can gain valuable insights into what is and isn’t working in your marketing efforts. For example, you may find that certain types of marketing campaigns or tactics are generating a higher number of MQLs than others, or that certain customer segments are more likely to convert to paying customers.
Using this information, you can make adjustments to your marketing strategies, lead flow, grading, and scoring systems to better target and engage your most promising leads. This can help improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of your sales and marketing teams by providing a source of review and communication. As you can probably guess, this too will lead to increased revenue and business growth.
Quality over quantity
Since the dawn of time, Marketing persons have been tasked with delivering a large number of MQLs. The higher the better in the eyes of most leadership and sales teams. For me, I would rather have 25 of 30 MQLs close than 25 of 200. The minutes, hours, days, and weeks spent reaching out to the 175 people in the second scenario are a waste of a salesperson’s time. It can also induce what I call “MQL Fatigue”. If someone spends more time on unqualified MQLs they can become accustomed to not believing in the process and ignoring them altogether.
As Marketers, we must shift the focus to quality over quantity. The key to doing this is written in my previous 3 points: automation, conversation, and the constant tweaking of our lead flow system.
Embrace AI and make analytics accessible
Enable Einstein Lead scores for your sales teams to view
Automated Intelligence tools, such as Einstein within Salesforce, are powerful tools that can help us in numerous ways. Einstein, specifically, offers Salesforce users many sales and marketing functions like send-time optimization, activity capture, forecasting, and opportunity scoring. In my experience, I have yet to see the tools widely adopted across most organizations.
Einstein Lead Scoring is one of the offerings that can help a sales and marketing team decide which types of leads are the best and most likely to turn into revenue. It analyzes your past leads to determine which current leads have the most in common with leads that have previously converted. By default, Einstein scores your leads using most lead fields. If your admin is certain a field doesn’t affect lead quality, they can tell Einstein not to include the field.
Essentially, Einstein creates a predictive model for your organization based on its data analysis, re-analyzing lead data every 10 days, AND refreshes your scores. So if new trends emerge, Einstein won’t miss ’em!
Enable engagement history dashboards on the opportunity and account objects for key users
Enabling engagement history dashboards on the opportunity and account objects in Salesforce can provide key users with valuable insights and information about customer interactions with our marketing efforts from the entire account perspective. These dashboards allow you to slice and dice the interactions on a person-by-person basis for everyone associated with the account or opportunity. Having this information readily available can help sales teams track and analyze customer engagement patterns, identify the most active persons at the target company, and make more informed decisions as to who from the company is engaging. For example, sales reps can use engagement history dashboards to see which persons are engaging with each channel, tactic, and asset. This allows them to use this information to know which persons to engage during the sales process and how to tailor their approach to each individual customer.
Overall, enabling engagement history dashboards on the opportunity and account objects can provide key users with valuable insights and help sales teams better understand their customers, improve their sales process, and ultimately drive better business outcomes.
Watch the panel discussion here, and stay tuned for part 2 of the Reflections Series!