+44 203 280 3665
5 Nifty Ways To Use Salesforce Campaigns

5 Nifty Ways To Use Salesforce Campaigns

Unless you’re exceptionally lucky, every business has to put effort into creating new leads and sales opportunities.

But if you’re not using salesforce campaigns to measure and manage your marketing activities then the chances are you’re missing out on many benefits.

Using salesforce campaigns means you can:

  • Compare the effectiveness of different marketing initiatives.
  • Manage marketing activities more efficiently.
  • Track the source of leads and opportunities.
  • Make it easy for sales people to contribute to marketing activity.
  • Drive sales activity based on the marketing history of each lead or contact.

This blog explains 5 examples of different ways you can use salesforce campaigns to achieve these benefits.

We explain how to use the campaign member status picklist values for each type of marketing initiative. This underutilised feature is the secret ingredient to using campaigns in salesforce successfully. It hides behind a button called Advanced Setup. Which is the reason many people are put-off from using it. But this simple and easy-to-use function adds huge value to your marketing activities.

Here’s what the campaign member function does.

It lets you accurately define the relationship between a Lead or Contact and a marketing Campaign at any point in the lifecycle of that campaign.

For example, let’s say you’re running an event. How could you describe the relationship between Leads and Contacts the Campaign that represents the event? How about Not Invited, Invited, Attending, Attended, No Show, Declined.

In other words, the Campaign Member describes the relationship between a person (Lead or Contact) and a single Campaign at any point in time.

It’s such a key concept that we’ve written an entire blog post about using Campaign Members. The rest of this blog post describes the different ways salesforce campaigns can be used and we’ve suggested Member values for each example.

So here are 5 ways you can use salesforce campaigns in your marketing activities.

1. Website Contact Us / Downloadable Content using Campaigns

Every business that uses salesforce should take advantage of the web-to-lead functionality on their Contact Us page.

Rather than asking potential customers to send an email, web-to-lead enables you to publish a form. The respondent details are automatically populated into salesforce as a lead.

This means the web site visitor can be automatically sent an email thanking them for their enquiry. It also means the lead can be immediately routed to the person best able to deal the new enquiry.

The same approach can be used for any downloadable ‘gated’ content on your web site. So, for example, if you offer a white paper, case study, presentation or other valuable material for download, create a web-to-lead form. Deliver the content in an auto-response email that is triggered when someone completes the form. It’s a great way of capturing the details of someone that’s interested in what you offer.

Use a salesforce campaign to manage the various web-to-lead forms (one campaign for each form). That way you’ll capture metrics on the number of people that have completed each web form or requested downloaded content. Associate any resulting opportunities to the campaign to gather valuable information on the contribution each form or content item makes to sales performance.

Suggested Member Status Values: Responded.

2. Christmas Cards / Christmas Gifts using Campaigns

OK it doesn’t need to be Christmas. But if you’re delivering any form of seasonal message or gift to a group of customers and prospects then using salesforce campaigns is a good way to do it.

Too often his sort of activity is managed on spreadsheets and email. If it’s a gift, sales people might be asked to nominate by email the people that should receive the gift.  As with hospitality events, often a manager must approve or reject the nominations made by each sales person. Very quickly it becomes a time consuming muddle of emails and spreadsheets.

So instead, use a salesforce Campaign to manage the process.

Sales people add their Leads and Contacts to the Campaign, selecting a campaign member status of Proposed. Managers can easily review the list of people associated with the campaign, and update the campaign member status of each Lead or Contact to Approved or Rejected. When the greeting or gift is dispatched, change the campaign member status to Sent.

This also solves one other fundamental problem when it comes to Christmas gifts. Trying to find the spreadsheet that contains the list of people who received a gift last year!

Suggested Member Status Values: Not Sent (or Proposed), Approved, Rejected, Sent.

3. Business development initiatives using Campaigns

Let’s say you’ve a new product to launch. Or planning to visit a segment of existing customers to build or expand relationships.

Use a salesforce campaign to manage this targeted business development initiative. Link the Contacts that you plan to visit to the Campaign, and use the Campaign Member function to manage the series of meetings you intend to undertake.

Be sure to define a successful outcome from the initiative. Most likely it will be to generate sales. So link the Opportunities back to the campaign. That way you’ll have a clear view of the efficacy of the overall business development drive. You’ll also be able to clearly see which customers and prospects were involved the initiative.

Suggested Member Status Values: Awaiting Meeting Invite, Invited, Meeting Held, Declined.

4. Trade Shows using salesforce Campaigns

Unlike events that you host, in a trade show, you’ve no idea who is going to walk up to your stand next.

Typically the names of people visiting the stand are captured using a scanning device. At the end of the show, the organisers provide a spreadsheet containing the list of people that you’ve scanned.

Use a salesforce campaign to manage the trade show. Associated the list of people you’ve scanned to the campaign by importing the data using the Manage Member button on the Campaign page layout (select the option, Add Members – Import File). Set the Campaign Member status value to Attended.

The imported records will appear as Leads in salesforce.

Click the Find Duplicates button on each Lead to see whether the person already exists in salesforce as Lead or Contact. Use the Merge Leads or Convert button to de-duplicate against the existing Leads or Contacts. That way the Campaign History of the merged records will be combined and you’ll have a full view of marketing activity for each person.

Suggested Member Status Values: Attended.

5. Training courses using salesforce Campaigns

In many technical industries, it’s common practice for vendors to provide training courses that count towards the Continual Professional Development (CPD) of specialists in that field. Other companies run training courses as part of the chargeable range of products and services they offer.

But often, attendance at each course is recorded in a checkbox on the page layout of the Lead or Contact. This doesn’t reveal the date the person went on the course, which sessions they attended, or whether they passed any exam associated with the course.

Instead use salesforce campaigns to manage training courses.

Create the overall training course as a Campaign. Then create child campaigns for the physical delivery of each training course.

Record the attendance of Leads and Contacts at the training courses using the campaign member function. You can even create custom fields on the campaign member record to reflect certification information or other data relevant to the individual person’s relationship with the training.

This way, when you look at the parent campaign (the name of the training course) you’ll see summary information for all course attendees. Drill down to a child campaign and you’ll see the specific people that attended a particular training delivery.

Suggested Member Status Values: Not Invited, Invited, Attending, Attended, No Show, Declined.

So there’s a wide variety of ways to use salesforce Campaigns – dive in and get started! And as you’ve gathered from this post, it’s essential to get the right member picklist values correct in each case – so here’s where you can find more on how to use campaign member status picklist values.

Related Blog Posts

Why You Need To Compare Average Closed Won Opportunity Size

How to use opportunity conversion reports for superior results

How To Stop ‘Closed Lost’ Screwing Up Salesforce Dashboards

5 Easy Tips That Will Make Opportunity Probability Your Trusted Friend

The Mini Dictionary of Marketing Automation Terms

The Mini Dictionary of Marketing Automation Terms

Getting the sales team to cold call an unqualified list of leads is like giving up smoking or going on a diet.

There’s always something that gets in the way. Tomorrow is always a better time to start than today.

And in any case, it often turns out to be an unfruitful waste of valuable time.

But how do you increase the flow of sales-ready leads and opportunities to the sales team?

The answer, increasingly, is marketing automation. Thousands of B2B organisations – and quite a few B2C ones – are investing heavily in marketing automation systems from vendors such as Hubspot, Pardot and Marketo. These systems provide scalable and automated marketing processes that boost the number of warm leads and drive opportunity conversion rates.

So what exactly is marketing automation? And what are the essential marketing automation terms that matter in any discussion on lead generation? Terms such as content marketing, lead nurturing, lead scoring, sales qualified lead and marketing qualified lead.

(more…)

The Best Advice You Can Get On Salesforce Campaign Members

The Best Advice You Can Get On Salesforce Campaign Members

Many people find it difficult to use salesforce campaigns. They can’t match the functionality with the campaign they want to run. They can’t tell whether the campaign was successful or not. Or the results simply don’t seem to make sense.

So here’s the best advice you can get on using salesforce campaigns effectively. Set the right Campaign Member status values for each salesforce campaign you run.

That might sound confusing but it’s not as difficult as you might think. In fact it’s pretty easy. But this vital function is not immediately apparent to anyone other than salesforce power users. That’s because it lies behind a button called ‘Advanced Setup’. Which, let’s face it, is guaranteed to put most people off.

But don’t be afraid to click this button. Because behind the door is the secret to the successful use of salesforce campaigns.

(more…)

The Crucial Difference Between A Lead And An Opportunity in Salesforce

The Crucial Difference Between A Lead And An Opportunity in Salesforce

If you want to start an argument, ask a room full of Sales and Marketing people to explain the difference between a Lead and an Opportunity. You’re guaranteed a bun fight.

But why does the difference between a Lead and an Opportunity matter?

It matters because every business wants to generate more Leads in order to drive revenue. Consequently organisations are focussing increased attention on the effectiveness of their lead management process.  And to implement an effective lead management process, Sales and Marketing must agree on the difference between a Lead and an Opportunity.

But that can be harder than it sounds.

However if Sales and Marketing can’t agree on the difference, then how can they agree on when a Lead should become an Opportunity? And if they can’t agree this, then it’s simply not possible to implement a robust, end-to-end Lead and Opportunity management process across the organisation.

It’s a challenge we’ve helped many businesses resolve. So here’s our definitive guide to the difference between a Lead and an Opportunity.

Sales person’s definition of a Lead

Why is there so much confusion in the first place? After all, most Sales and Marketing people will acknowledge that a Lead is the first step in the sales cycle.

The reason is that to a sales person, a Lead can just as easily come from an existing customer or known prospect, as a brand new one. It’s simply the start of the sales process. The process may not be sufficiently advanced to warrant creating a formal Opportunity in salesforce.com. But it has at least started.

So from a sales person’s perspective, a Lead reflects a broad range of early stage, potential opportunities that require action. It’s these opportunities, both early and late stage, that show on the salesforce dashboards that focus on sales performance and funnel visibility.

Marketing person’s definition of a Lead

A Marketing person’s perception of a Lead can vary in two important ways in the absence of an agreed organisational definition.

First, a Lead is often a person or business that will potentially make a purchase at some undetermined point in the future. Marketing may hand the Lead to Sales, but not necessarily with the expectation that a sale will immediately result. The Lead is a potential customer that may engage in a future sales process.

Second, Marketing often defines a Lead as being a brand new company or person. The business or contact didn’t previously exist in the database. Indeed the role of Marketing in many businesses is to increase the overall prospect base for long term benefit, rather than directly impact immediate revenue over the next month or two.

Sales are under pressure to close deals in the short term. Marketing want to nurture the Lead. It’s this contrast in expectations that frequently results in Sales to complaining about the quality of Leads created by Marketing.

Definition of a Lead in salesforce

These differing definitions of a Lead mean Sales and Marketing fail to agree on the difference between a Lead and an Opportunity. This directly obstructs the implementation of an effective Lead management process in salesforce.com.

So what constitutes a Lead in the salesforce.com CRM system?

In fact, salesforce uses the term Lead in several different ways. Let’s take them step by step.

1. Lead as a brand new enquiry

Start by thinking of a Lead in salesforce.com as a brand new enquiry, from a business and person you’ve never previously heard of.

For example, let’s say you’ve a Web-to-Lead form set up on your web site. Web-to-Lead is an easy, standard way to integrate salesforce with your web site. It means anyone that fills in your Contact Us form will be automatically inserted into salesforce.com as a Lead.

What’s the first thing you’re going to do? Click on the Find Duplicates button on the Lead page layout. This will identify any matching Leads or Contacts that already exist in your salesforce database. Let’s assume you don’t find any.

Now you make an outbound telephone call to the Lead. Essentially, one of three basic outcomes is going to result from the conversation:

  • The Lead is a dead end.
    It turns out the person isn’t interested in any further dialogue. Or perhaps it was a student simply looking for research information. Either way, set the Lead Status to Closed. You don’t necessarily delete the Lead from the database, but no further action is anticipated.
  • The Lead is a definite maybe.
    The Lead is moderately interested in your products and services. He doesn’t want to speak to a sales person – at least not yet. But you agree to send a brochure, product specification or price list.So this time set the Lead Status to Contacted. You might also create a follow up Task to call the Lead again in the future.
  • The Lead is a sales Opportunity.
    The Lead agrees to a meeting or phone call with a Sales person. Or he requests a quote. In other words, he gives you some indication that he’s a legitimate potential customer. He’s a Qualified Lead.

This time leave the Lead Status alone. Instead, click on the Convert Lead button. Salesforce will convert the Lead into three separate records; an Account; Contact; and Opportunity.

Here’s the process in a flow chart diagram.

Process diagram for qualifying a new Lead in salesforce

The Account represents the business or organisation. The Contact is the person employed by that organisation. And the Opportunity represents the potential sales deal.

It’s this early stage Opportunity that many Sales people will regard as a Lead.

Indeed Sales people may be reluctant to use the term Opportunity. It raises expectations about the outcome. It creates visibility of the deal in the sales pipeline dashboard. And from the sales person’s perspective, the Lead may – or may not – have been properly qualified before it was converted to an Account, Contact and Opportunity.

All legitimate issues. Before we address them, let’s deal with several other ways salesforce.com uses the term Lead.

2. Leads that match existing Lead records

Let’s go to back to our person that filled in the Contact Us form on your web site.

In our example we assumed that there were no existing Leads or Contacts that matched our new Lead. We established this by clicking on the Find Duplicates button on the Lead page layout.

What if one or more matching Leads had been found?

Search for duplicate leads in salesforce

No problem. Use the Merge Leads button to merge the various Leads into a single record. Then make your qualification call.

Here’s the process diagram.

Lead qualification process diagram with duplicate lead records

3. Leads that match existing Contact records

How can an existing Contact be created as a Lead in salesforce? Well, there’s a number of ways.

For example, Leads can be created by importing the spreadsheet that contains a list of people that came to a booth at an exhibition. Some of those people may well be existing Contacts.

Or say you’ve a Web-to-Lead form on your web site that allows visitors to register for an event. When an existing Contact registers he’s created as a Lead. The same thing happens if you’re using Web-to-Lead to enable visitors to download a document from your web site.

In any of these cases, when you click on the Find Duplicates button you may find there’s a matching Contact.

Click the Find Duplicates button to find Leads that match existing Contacts

Here’s three ways to deal with the Contact-as-a-Lead situation.

  • Convert the Lead without making a Qualification call.
    During the Lead conversion process, salesforce will help you merge the Lead into the existing Contact record. If the Account Owner is already actively engaged with the Contact – on an existing Opportunity for example – then perhaps it isn’t appropriate to make the qualification call.
  • Convert the Lead and then make a Qualification call.
    This is the common approach when it’s the Account Owner that is dealing with the Lead. He or she merges the Lead into the Contact record and then makes a call to the Contact.
  • Make a qualification call before Converting the Lead.
    This approach is used most frequently when Marketing or Inside Sales is dealing with the Lead. They make call to the Lead, cognisant of the fact that the person already has a relationship with the company. Following the conversation the Lead is converted, but Marketing or Inside Sales make a human decision on whether to simultaneously create an Opportunity.

Here’s the process diagram for the last of these scenarios.

New Lead Qualification Process Diagram with Matching Account and Contact

To Convert a Lead without creating an Opportunity, check the box “Do not create Opportunity upon conversion” during the convert process. It’s underneath the Opportunity name on the Convert Lead page layout.

When to Convert a new Lead into an Opportunity

Let’s go back to our first example. The one in which we found no matching Leads or Contacts. At what point should we convert the Lead to an Opportunity?

In fact, salesforce doesn’t mandate when you should do this. It’s up to you. The conversion point in the lead management process will vary from business to business. The key is to define the Lead Qualification criteria with the Sales team and convert the Lead when it meets these agreed criteria.

Defining who should convert a new Lead into an Opportunity

If new Leads are assigned immediately to Sales as soon as they arrive, then it will be the Sales person that converts the Lead to the Opportunity. This is the case in many businesses. There simply isn’t the resource available to have someone other than the Sales person deal with new Leads.

This is a high risk approach though. Remember, Sales are under pressure to meet short term revenue targets. If new Leads require patient nurturing in order to become sales opportunities, there’s a significant risk Sales will quickly start ignoring the Leads passed over by Marketing. Better to use a marketing application such as Pardot, Marketo or Hubspot to automate the nurturing process and transfer the Lead to Sales when the agreed qualification criteria are met.

What if Marketing or an Inside Sales team qualify the Lead before it can be converted? As a general rule, the team that performs the qualification activity should convert the Lead to the Opportunity. But to make this work, a robust Lead qualification process needs to be in place, with agreement between the qualification team and Sales on the criteria that will allow an Opportunity to be created. Again, a marketing application can add power and sophistication to the lead nurturing and lead qualification process.

If there’s ambiguity on the definition of a qualified Lead then it’s better to have Sales perform the conversion process.

The difference between a Lead and an Opportunity in salesforce

So, a meaty answer to what seems like a straight forward question – what’s the difference between a Lead and an Opportunity? At least now you’re ready to referee the argument that breaks out when you ask the question!

Whichever way you look at it, Leads are the first step in the sales process. An effective lead management process requires the difference between a Lead and an Opportunity to be clearly articulated and agreed between Sales and Marketing. What’s the first step in achieving this? Agreement on the qualification criteria that determine when a Lead can be converted into an Opportunity.

Free lead management process diagram download

Want to get your hands on the diagrams used in this blog post? No problem, fill in the form to download the diagrams in Powerpoint. Use them starting point for creating your own lead management process.

Related Blog Posts

If this blog post is relevant to you then you may also want to review:

Get in Touch

We’ve worked with many businesses to define and implement detailed Lead management processes. We also help companies implement salesforce.com and marketing automation applications including Pardot, Marketo and Hubspot. Simply get in touch for an informal discussion on how we can help your business innovate your sales and marketing process to boost revenue.

Related Blog Posts

Why You Need To Compare Average Closed Won Opportunity Size

How to use opportunity conversion reports for superior results

How To Stop ‘Closed Lost’ Screwing Up Salesforce Dashboards

5 Easy Tips That Will Make Opportunity Probability Your Trusted Friend

Innovate marketing to boost sales ready leads: Event 11th December

Innovate marketing to boost sales ready leads: Event 11th December

Register Event CTA MiddleBoosting revenue means increasing the number of high quality leads given to the sales team.

Simple to say. But how do you achieve it?

Join us on 11th December and we’ll show you how. We’ll demonstrate how to innovate marketing and lead generation activities to drive sales ready leads.

We’ll cover:

  • How marketing automation tools such as Marketo, Pardot and Hubspot are radically transforming marketing and lead generation.
  • How to create and use high quality content to attract new prospects and increase leads.
  • How to integrate with salesforce.com to create a powerful, end-to-end sales and marketing process.

We’ll demonstrate exactly what terminology such as lead nurturing, content marketing and lead scoring actually mean. And we’ll do it all using live examples and practical demos.

Date: 11th December 2014
Venue: 9 Devonshire Square, London EC2M 4YF
Start: 9.00 for 9.30 AM
Finish: 12.30 followed by light lunch.

It promises to be an action-packed event. We’d be delighted to have you join us. Simply fill in the form below.

Related Blog Posts

Why You Need To Compare Average Closed Won Opportunity Size

How to use opportunity conversion reports for superior results

How To Stop ‘Closed Lost’ Screwing Up Salesforce Dashboards

5 Easy Tips That Will Make Opportunity Probability Your Trusted Friend