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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.

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The Crucial Difference Between A Lead And An Opportunity in Salesforce

The Crucial Difference Between A Lead And An Opportunity in Salesforce

You probably don’t remember Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

It’s a surreal comedy group from the 1970’s. It’s how John Cleese and Michael Palin first made their name.

In one famous sketch, Palin arrives at the Argument Clinic or for an argument. Cleese is happy to oblige. They go round in circles, contradicting each other over and over.

You can recreate a similar scene:

Ask a room full of Sales and Marketing people to agree how the lead process should work in salesforce.

You’re guaranteed a bun fight.

I’ve run hundreds of salesforce implementation workshops. And here’s something I’ve experienced:

No subject causes more debate than that surrounding the lead process.

However, resolving this debate is critical to an effective lead process in salesforce. Unfortunately, often that doesn’t happen with clarity.

The outcome is an ineffective lead process. Consequently, there is ineffective lead qualification, reduced revenue and poor marketing and sales performance information.

It also means a lack of lead conversion metrics that quantify the contribution of leads to revenue.

Let’s understand what causes this debate. Then we will define a lead process in salesforce. Do this as one of the core components of effective Sales and Marketing alignment in your business.

(By the way, don’t forget, you can download the lead process diagrams used in this article).

Difference between a lead and an opportunity

There is often dis-agreement between Sales and Marketing on the difference between a lead and an opportunity. Yet clarity is essential.

Unfortunately, that is harder than it sounds.

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

Here’s why it’s a problem.

Salesperson’s definition of a lead

To a salesperson, a Lead can come as easily from an existing customer or known prospect, as a brand new one.

The lead can be repeat business for an existing customer. Or a new prospect, freshly arrived through the door.

Either way, the sales process has started. It may not be advanced enough to warrant an Opportunity in salesforce.com. However, sales engagement hast at least commenced.

So, from a salesperson’s perspective, a lead reflects a broad range of early stage, potential opportunities that require immediate action.

Marketing person’s definition of a lead

A Marketing person’s perception of a lead often varies in two important ways.

First, a Lead is 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. Conversely, to a salesperson, a lead is someone entering the sales process right now.

Second, to Marketing a lead is very often a new company or person. The business or contact may not have existed previously in the database. Indeed, the primary role of Marketing in many businesses is to increase the overall lead database for long-term benefit.

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

Salesforce lead process

Sales and Marketing often fail to agree on the difference between a Lead and an Opportunity. This directly obstructs the implementation of an effective lead process in salesforce.

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.

  • Lead as a brand new enquiry

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

For example, let’s say you have a Web-to-Lead form set up on your web site. Web-to-Lead is an easy way to integrate salesforce with your web site. It means anyone that fills in your Contact Us form is automatically created as a lead in salesforce.

Now the lead exists. What’s the first thing that should happen in the lead process? Check for duplicates by clicking 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 outcomes will result from this part of the lead process.

  • The Lead is a dead end

It turns out the person isn’t interested in any further dialogue. Perhaps it was a student simply looking for research information. Either way, set the Lead Status to Closed. No further action is anticipated, although you don’t necessarily delete the Lead from the database.

  • 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. Nevertheless, 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.

Lead process diagram for qualifying a new Lead.

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 salesperson’s perspective, the Lead may – or may not – have been properly qualified by Marketing before it was converted to an Account, Contact and Opportunity.

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

  • 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 no existing Lead or Contact 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 is found?

Click the Find Duplicates button on the Lead page layout to find matching leads

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

Here’s the lead process diagram.

Lead process diagram for qualifying a lead with match to existing lead.

  • Leads that match existing Contact records

How can an existing Contact be created as a Lead in salesforce? 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, a Web-to-Lead form on your web site that allows visitors to register for an event. When an existing Contact registers she’s created as a Lead. Likewise, 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.

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, 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.

Lead process diagram for lead qualification with match to existing account or 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.

At the end of the Monty Python scene, Palin and Cleese continue to argue about whether the argument is finished.

However, you can do better than that.

You can resolve the argument about lead processes in the workshop. And then build the lead process in salesforce; it’s a sure-fire way to increase sales and marketing alignment.

Free lead process diagram download

Are the lead process diagrams in this article useful to you? Simply Download the diagrams in Powerpoint. Use them starting point for creating your own lead management process.

And now, kick-start lead metrics in your business by installing the free Lead Conversion Dashboard From GSP in your salesforce environment.

12 Must-Have Charts For Your Salesforce Dashboard

Download the FREE eBook from our website today

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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.

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Who’s in your invisible sales pipeline?

Who’s in your invisible sales pipeline?

In the age of the internet most purchasing processes begin long before the selling organisation becomes aware of it. Invisible buyers perform invisible Google research. They narrow their invisible choices. They invisibly decide which companies to contact. And start forming an invisible sales pipeline.

Increasingly businesses are not only starting to get visibility of this invisible sales pipeline. They’re influencing it. And the result is a constant stream of sales ready leads.

Invisible Sales Pipeline

So what exactly is the invisible sales pipeline? It’s the investigation and research processes that potential buyers go through before they’re ready to talk to a potential supplier. In our model we identify four stages in the invisible sales pipeline.

Invisible Pipeline

In summary:

  • Problem Awareness. The buyer becomes aware of a problem she’s experiencing or an opportunity that might be exploited. The buyer typically spends time researching the web, casting around for information that will help build her understanding of the problem or opportunity.  Example: “I know our employees travel a great deal and incur a lot of expenses but no-one ever has any robust information on the costs.”
  • Potential Solution. The buyer understands more about her problem. She starts to identify ways in which she can solve her problem.  Example: “It looks like we need an effective travel management system.”
  • Candidate Solutions. The buyer has settled on the overall solution. She starts to research the potential companies that can provide this solution.  Example: “There’s 10 companies that seem to have the type of system I need.”
  • Preferred Suppliers. It’s not realistic to talk to every supplier. So the buyer narrows down the list of companies she’s going to engage with.  Example: “I’ve identified the three specific travel management system vendors that I want to talk to.”

Of course it might not be as linear and well defined as this. But you get the idea. And however you define the buying process in your industry, most organisations have no idea the potential buyer is going through it.

Sometimes though they get an inkling. The potential buyer goes to a conference and is scanned. Or she enters an email into a form in order to download a document.

But often what then happens is that the ‘lead’ is passed to the sales person. So the sales person calls the lead, who in turn replies, “No thanks, I’m not interested in a meeting.” Or words to that effect. “Those leads from Marketing are always rubbish”, thinks the sales person. And doesn’t bother to phone the next one.

Is this the best lead process that can be achieved? No. Over the next 6 weeks we’ll be publishing several more blog posts that explain:

  • How you can get visibility of buyers in the invisible sales pipeline. Short answer: use marketing automation applications such as Hubspot, Marketo and Pardot. And integrate them with Salesforce.com.
  • How do you influence prospective buyers in the invisible sales pipeline? Short answer: create compelling and useful content that educates and influences the buyer as she moves through the various stages of the buying process.
  • How and when do you pass a prospective buyer from the invisible sales pipeline to the sales team. Short answer: when your lead scoring and prioritisation mechanism tells you it’s the optimum time.

The invisible sales pipeline doesn’t need to remain invisible. Stay tuned by following us on Google+

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9 Must Have Charts On Your Marketing Dashboard

9 Must Have Charts On Your Marketing Dashboard

Identifying which Salesforce marketing campaigns have generated the most number of sales ready leads is critical to improving marketing effectiveness.

So here’s 9 charts that we think should be on the Leads & Marketing Salesforce dashboard for sales and marketing alignment.

For full insight, combine these charts with our recommendations on tracking lead conversion metrics.

1. Leads by Lead Source

The Leads by Lead Source is a simple chart that gives good information on where new Leads are coming from. The underlying report is based on a standard field on the Salesforce Leads page layout called Lead Source.

Don’t confuse Lead Source with the Campaign. There may have been multiple trade show Campaigns for example, with the number of Leads generated for each trade show shown on the Campaign. The Lead Source tells us how many Leads we generated from all Trade Shows compared to other sources.

The Leads by Lead Source gives information on the marketing dashboard on where new Leads are coming from.

The dashboard data is displayed as a doughnut chart in the example above. It could alternatively be represented as a pie chart or stacked bar chart, summarised by month. Don’t forget to include the time period in the chart footer – Leads Created this Financial Year in this example.

Drilling down from the dashboard to the underlying report gives the user more information. In this case we’ve grouped the report by Lead Status but other summary options might include Country or Lead Rating. Incidentally the report shown above is a Matrix rather than Summary report. Here’s why it’s better to use a Matrix rather than a Summary report,  “When is a report not a report? Matrix versus Summary reports”.

2. Number of Leads created by Lead Status

The Lead Status chart tells us how many Leads have been created each month and what has happened to them. This includes information on the number of Leads that have been converted to Accounts, Contacts and Opportunities each month (shown in orange on the chart below).

The Leads by Lead Status report on the marketing dashboard tells us how many leads have been created each month and what has happened to them.

This is valuable information in telling us about the quality of Leads that are being generated and how effective we are in following them up.

3. Leads by Lead Owner

Tracking the number of Leads by Lead Owner means we can understand how effective different sales people are in converting Leads to Opportunities. Be sure to analyse this in conjunction with other factors. Some people may be allocated Leads from better quality sources for example.

The Leads by Owner Leads report on the marketing dashboard means we can understand how effective different sales people are in converting Leads to Opportunities.

The report might also highlight sales people that are overloaded with Leads. This in turn may explain why some sales people have a disproportionately high number of ‘Not Contacted’ Leads. Or perhaps some sales people are much quicker at following up new enquiries than others.

The chart above is based on current Lead Owner – this may be different to ‘Created By’. If information is needed on the number of Leads created by different users then track this in a separate chart and report.

4. Opportunities by Lead Source

When a Lead is converted, the Lead Source is automatically carried through to the equivalent field on the Opportunity. This means the number and value of Opportunities by original Lead Source can be measured.

The opportunities by lead source report on the marketing dashboard shows the number and value of Opportunities by original Lead Source.

This chart tells us how productive our various Lead Sources are in generating sales pipeline and Won deals. We’ve created a separate blog post “10 Sales and Pipeline Charts that should be on your Sales Dashboard” for that explains to to gain visibility of sales performance and the sales pipeline.

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5. Campaigns with Campaign Members by Type

The Campaigns with Campaign Members chart tells us how many people (Leads and Contacts) are associated with each Campaign. Of course a Lead or Contact may be associated with multiple Campaigns and will therefore be included within the report multiple times i.e. once for each Campaign with which the Lead or Contact is associated.

The Campaigns with Campaign Members report tells how how many leads and contacts are associated with each marketing campaign.

You may want to filter the report to include only certain types of Campaign e.g. events such as trade shows, seminars and conferences. Bear in mind the report shows the total number of Leads and Contacts associated with each Campaign. It doesn’t tell us whether these people responded positively to the Campaign. This is covered in subsequent reports.

6. Campaigns with Campaign Members by Status

This report gives essential information on whether people are responding to our Campaigns. The Campaigns with Campaign Member report tells us the respective Status of all the people (Leads and Contacts) associated with our Campaigns. As such it’s a fundamental indicator of how well our Campaigns are performing.

The Campaigns with Campaign Member Status report on the marketing dashboard shows the status of all leads and contacts that are associated with the marketing campaign.

 

In the example above, the green bar shows the number of people that have ‘Responded’ to each campaign, compared to those with a ‘Sent’ status. Control the Campaign Member values that can be created for each Campaign by clicking the Advanced Setup button on the Campaign page layout.

7. Campaigns with Opportunities

The majority of Campaigns are run with the direct purpose of generating additional revenue – so the number and value of Opportunities generated from each Campaign is a key metric we want to measure. The underlying report uses the Primary Campaign Source field on the Opportunity page layout to identify relevant Opportunities.

This field is automatically populated when a Lead that is associated with a Campaign is converted to an Opportunity. It can also be manually populated if the Opportunity is created without an originating Lead.

The Primary Campaign Source field on the opportunity means we can measure marketing ROI across different marketing campaigns.

A key challenge with this report is ensuring the integrity of the Primary Campaign Source field on the Opportunity. In many organisations, sales people are expected to ‘self generate’ Opportunities from customers and prospects, not just rely on marketing Campaigns. Setting the Field History Tracking for the Primary Campaign Source field is one way to identify if the Campaign Name has been changed or removed subsequent to Lead conversion.

An additional issue relates to the fact that multiple Campaigns may have influenced the decision makers within the customer organisation. How do we know which Campaign was the most influential in generating or concluding the deal? To resolve this, use the Primary Campaign Source field to record the Campaign that led to the Opportunity being initiated. Then use the Campaign Influence report to track those additional Campaigns that are associated with relevant Contacts. You’ll find the option ‘Campaigns with Influenced Opportunities’ under Campaigns when you click New Report.

8. Campaign Return on Investment (ROI)

Most Campaigns have a cost associated with them. Even an email Campaign may have a small delivery cost or expenses associated with template design by an external agency. And the cost of trade shows can be very substantial indeed. This means we need to measure Return on Investment (ROI) of the various Campaigns.

The Campaign Return on Investment report on the marketing dashboard tells us how effective each marketing campaign is in generating additional revenue.

The chart shows two metrics. Firstly the ROI %. Second, the Value of Won Opportunities. Both are taken from the respective standard fields on the Campaign page layout.

Strictly speaking of course the total revenue associated with a Campaign isn’t the ROI. It’s the total revenue associated with the Campaign. Accurately calculating the ROI would require the profit or margin on the Opportunity to be determined and for this value to be compared to the cost of the Campaign. This might be difficult to achieve in some organisations so we’re going to settle for calculating the ROI based on the revenue value of Won Opportunities in our example here.

9. Why are Leads being Closed?

Not every new Lead will convert to a successful Opportunity – far from it. So collecting information on why Leads are set to Closed by sales people gives us valuable feedback on the quality of Leads being generated.

The reason leads are being closed can be understood on the Closed leads report.

To implement this chart, create a custom picklist field called Closed Reason on the Lead. Make the field mandatory and link it to the Lead Status using the dependent picklist function.  Only the ‘Closed Not Converted’ value in the Lead Status should have any dependent values – this way the mandatory Closed Reason field will not be applicable if the Lead Status has any other value.

Summary

These 9 Lead and Marketing Charts will give your salesforce dashboard powerful visibility of the effectiveness of your salesforce Campaigns. Use these reports and charts as starting points – modify, adjust and enhance them to meet the specific needs of your organisation. And don’t hesitate to give us any feedback – on either the charts in this blog or ideas you have for other marketing and lead generation charts.

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