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What Role Does Marketing Automation Play?
[Ryan]: So where I thought I would being is basically by talking about where a system like this, a marketing automation system, fits into the overall ecosystem. And I saw the poll (which participants took part in at the beginning of the webinar), 83% of people don’t have experience with marketing automation. So really, where I thought I would begin is using three circles to actually describe where it fits in.
So on the far right-hand side here, you’ve got your database. What in this case we’ll call your audience. These could be prospects, or leads, these could be customers, these could be partners, but they’re over here on the right.
On the far-left, you’ve got your CRM. It could be Administrate, it could be Salesforce.com, could be Microsoft Dynamics, whatever it might be, that’s over here on the left. That is sort of your system of records.
Right in the middle, you’ve got marketing automation. Now one important point, it’s kind of a philosophy here at Lead Liaison, is we really don’t see marketing automation as a software, or a feature, it’s really more of a strategy. So again, it sits right in-between your customers, your database, right, and your CRM. Now, you see these lines – they’re very subtle lines, they’re bi-directional, and they actually have a meaning. So marketing automation is used, to reach out to your database and your audience.
When your audience interacts and engages with your company, the marketing automation system itself needs to track all of that activity and be aware of it. And then in the meantime, all of that information should be syncing back and forth, and communicating with your CRM again, or your system of record.
So really that marketing automation platform should be the engine for all of that communication between your audience.
The Purpose of Marketing Automation
So we actually have three day training courses on marketing automation and software platforms like this, but really when I think about it, I can boil down the essence of marketing automation into three things.
1. It can help your company strengthen relationships through better communication.
2. Deliver sales insight.
3. Scale your operations.
So obviously number three is the subject of today’s webinar, but I’m going to dig into three of these areas here.
So let’s talk about strengthening relationships. I’m sure everybody has heard about inbound marketing. It’s kind of a buzz phrase that’s been created, but really inbound marketing, to boil that down and keep it simple, it’s really about being in the right place at the right time.
So outbound marketing that’s really the opposite of inbound marketing. So that means reaching out to your audience. So if we were to break down outbound marketing, into two categories, we’d break it down into online and offline. So let me step through these components real quick.
So online outbound marketing, that would be email. If you look at a marketing automation platform, to keep it very, very basic, it’s the evolution of email marketing. I’m sure you’ve probably used systems like MailChimp or Constant Contact, but this is really version 2.0 of email communication.
Outbound marketing is also sending text messages, so very similar to what we sent out, for this particular webinar as a reminder.
The third piece of online outbound marketing and reaching out is dynamic content. So what I mean by that is taking content on your website and making that dynamic - whether it’s a block of text, whether it’s an image. Changing that content based on who is visiting your site and what you know about them.
The fourth thing is popups, so based on a visitor, maybe you have a visitor in London, or a certain area, maybe Texas. Maybe you want to show them a certain popup or content based on their interests and where they’re coming from.
The last piece of reaching out and doing that digitally, is sending surveys. So your system should be able to reach out and send polls and surveys to people.
And then the last point here, which is offline marketing. So it’s very, very important, as Jen mentioned, to focus on that omni-channel marketing. This is not about email only, you know when we say omni-channel, it’s multi-channel. It’s sending the communication through digital means and through offline means. So postcards, handwritten letters. The power really comes from mixing up these two channels, the online and offline channels.
So the key is to strengthen those relationships, use a platform that can help you do the online and offline and automate that, and trigger those communications at the right time – that’s the key. And again, that’s going to help you strengthen those relationships.
So moving on to the second point here – sales insight. So I’ll step through these real quick – engagement history. It’s super powerful to be able to deliver information like what you’re seeing on the left-hand side of my screen, to a sales rep. When they go to do their follow-up, and they know who they’re speaking to and what that person’s interests are about. So in this case, here’s a little preview of a profile as a timeline. You can see a website visit, some popups that were shown, and subsequently closed. You can see email, so if somebody’s opening the email, they clicked a link in that email. When you’re a rep, and you go to place that phone call, there’s nothing more important than knowing the interests of the person you’re connecting with.
The second thing here that can help your Sales team and give them insight is who’s on your website, and quite simply you want to know businesses and people that come to your website. So Lead Liaison for example, we’ll send out daily notifications, we’ll let the reps know who’s on their site, so it’s a great tool to help find them new leads and new opportunities.
The third piece of sales insight is buying signals, and it’s super powerful again is you’re doing your outreach, you’re making phone calls, you’re prospecting – you don’t really know when somebody engages and maybe comes back to your website. So a lot of these platforms will trigger what we call buying signals. And this is really a text message, or an email, or it could be both, but it will help the salesperson understand the intent, and when somebody is actually checking out the website and ready to engage. And those notifications will go to the owner, to the sales rep.
The fourth sales insight piece is lead priority. Most sales reps when they come into the office, they’ve got ton of things they need to do that day. So you really need to establish priority, and that priority can be done by the system itself, by kind of separating hot prospects and showing that in a report or a dashboard. But also other mechanisms that these systems use, such as lead scoring and lead grading, to help a sales rep understand what’s important and what’s not.
And then the last piece is social insights. So, in Lead Liaison for example, whenever an email comes into the system, we’ll go out to social media and we’ll pull in thousands of different data points from social media. So things like their gender, you know male or female, their age, Twitter followers, things like that, you can use that information obviously for marketing, but as a Sales rep, now you know more about who you are communicating with. So it’s about getting to know your audience better.
Sales Operation – Introduce Automation!
The final piece here, in terms of the essentials of marketing automation is about scaling your operations. The key thing is introduce automation. So if you look on the left-hand side, you’ve got your basic funnel. Obviously it can be more advanced than this, most customers here, most companies will have their own version of a funnel, but really you can break it down into these three different stages. You’ve got a lead at the top of the funnel, you turn that lead into an opportunity, and then you have a customer. Now on the right-hand side you see a colour-coded version, so these are all the different ways an automation can help your business. Now their colour-coded for a reason. So the three top items here in red, these are primarily used in that lead phase of the funnel.
So rapid inquiry follow up. This is a fact - 48% of reps don’t follow up with their leads. That’s incredible! So being able to help automate and assign these leads to your reps, and respond immediately - that’s very important! Early bird catches the worm right!
And then lead generation, so as I mentioned earlier, identifying businesses and people that come to your website – automate that! It’s really like putting a digital sales rep or an inside sales rep on your website. Why wouldn’t you do that? Obviously human capital is very expensive, but adding automation can help expose these opportunities for your Sales team.
Distributing leads, this could be round robin, could be given it to a rep who doesn’t have much that they’re working on at that moment, or geographical distribution – these three things again can be automated as part of that lead stage of the funnel.
And then the middle of the funnel would be lead qualification. So as I mentioned earlier, using concepts like scoring and grading to help prioritise these leads.
And then at the very bottom in green, you know when you’ve got a customer, you can use automation to help on-board your client. So right when they become a client, send them communications, give them tips and tricks, 30 days before their renewal, whenever than might be, send them some notification, and however you want to manage that is really up to you, but automation can help with that on-boarding.
And then the final, and I’d say really important piece here, is nurturing. Now you see it’s green, but you see these three colour codes right here - the red, the orange, and the green. Nurturing is a general concept, it’s not really a feature, but it’s a general concept where you can use that multi-channel communication that I mentioned earlier, whether it’s online or offline communication, to further strengthen and build that relationship. So whether it’s a new lead, whether it’s an opportunity or a client, nurture them! The best source of revenue for your business is going to come from your existing clients. It’s a lot easier to sell to them than it is to go generate new leads for your business, so use nurturing to help!
Why Automate? Stats to Think About!
So don’t just believe me, look at these stats! So on the top left here you see companies that excel at lead nurturing according to Forrester Research, they generate 50% more sales-ready leads at a lower cost. Because of automation, and the fact that they can be more scalable, they’re not spending as much money.
There’s a lot of words in this stat here, on the top right in blue, but I really want you to look at the top one, I mentioned this – 48% of reps never follow up. That’s horrible! Obviously you want to follow-up – an early bird catches the worm.
At the bottom here, you see 80% of sales are made of the fifth to twelfth contact. Let me say it again - 80% of sales are made of the fifth to twelfth contact. Your takeaway from that should be that one touch is really not enough, again you’ve got to be nurturing, you’ve got to use different channels, because I know personally if I got five to twelve emails in a row I’m going to think it’s totally automated. So it has to be personal, but you’ve got to mix it up. You’ve got to use your multiple channels to communicate, but it can’t just be one touch, it’s got to be more than one.
And then at the bottom here, this is really my call to action. If you’re on this conference, and it looks like we’ve got a lot of attendees here around the world – if you’re a marketing leader and you’re not using marketing automation, you should be! Salesforce reports in their State of Marketing report that 67% of leaders currently use marketing automation, so don’t be the 33% of companies that are not using it, because if you’re not using it, your competition is!
Scale Your Marketing – Take Action!
So how do you scale your marketing – what do you do? Well the first thing is take action. So on the left, these are the things that you can do. You can create a bunch of different content, and get yourself out there – promote your business! These are things like whitepapers, blog posts, videos, everything that I’m talking about there.
But syndicate the content! Let me give you an example, we wrote a five series blog post about integrating marketing automation with a specific CRM. So we took those five different blog posts and then we said okay, let’s turn that into a whitepaper, that we can then put as a resource on our website. And then we’re going to make a video out of that, or we might make five different videos. So that’s what we mean by syndicating your content. Do it once, but then chop it up and use it in different areas of your business.
And the third point about what you can do is have a call to action, which is pretty self explanatory, but if you have a landing page, have a call to action, have an offer, have a piece of content to download, things like that.
What can software do? Go out and get yourself a system like this, a marketing automation platform, and begin to track all your inbound activity. I mean you can doing these things on the left, but if you’re not tracking it, it doesn’t do you any good.
Begin to score your leads, nurture your leads, and then have that demarcation point where through your nurturing Marketing is able to hand off these warm leads over to their Sales team, and that’s where Troy will kind of pick up and talk more about, but there are three ways you could do that.
You can obviously do that hand off when there’s a bottom of the funnel action, so what I mean by that is maybe somebody downloading a very key document, like brochure or a case study. Or somebody submitting a form, like a general form or a contact us form. Those are bottom of the funnel actions, and when your marketing automation platform recognises those, you want to quickly get that over to Sales for their follow up, so they’re qualified.
The second thing you can do when you hand off is set up a score threshold, and I’ll actually show everybody what I mean by that, but establish a value and when somebody goes past that value, then you hand it off to Sales.
And then the last thing can be what we call a lifecycle stage, and a lifecycle is really identifying where a potential buyer is, or even a client, in terms of their overall communication with you through their lifecycle.
Lifecycle Funnel: The New Funnel
This is what Lead Liaison calls the lifecycle funnel. We actually have these seven stages in the platform.
1. Anonymous – Anybody that comes into the system. So visitor tracking-wise, if you go to a tracked website, we can identify that business. We might not know the person, but we’ve identified the business and we create an anonymous profile.
2. Suspect – If you have an email in the system but there’s been no inbound activity, they’re what we call a suspect.
3. Engaged – Once we track and identify inbound activity, this could be an email click, a form submission, things like that, we say they’re engaged.
4. Marketing qualified – This is in orange for a reason, because at that point you might say, “Hey they’re qualified. Let me send it over to my CRM”, which in this case is Administrate. You could make that hand off at that point.
Make sure you check out the webinar recording so you don’t miss the live demo of setting a scoring threshold in Lead Liaison, executing a send to Administrate, and then how you can manage those leads once they have been sent to Administrate.
The Purpose of a Training Management System (TMS)
[Troy]: So for those of you who don’t know, we just walked through Lead Liaison, a sales and marketing automation solution, but everyone really knows what a training management system is, and so I wanted to make sure people understood what that term meant.
A training management system is supposed to run really the core operations of your training company. So that means anything from the sales and marketing process, to the delivery of the training, to the reporting – it’s really sort of the backbone that manages the data of your students, your instructors, your locations and venues, all the things that go into running training.
So a TMS is really designed to help you grow your business. There’s lots of great tools out there that help with training itself, with delivery of training, with the technology around it, but often it’s very disjointed and not connected back to a central hub, and a training management system acts as that central hub.
For our purposes today we’re going to be focussed on the CRM component of Administrate, and so if you’re on this webinar and you’re not a training company at all, or you’re not into that space, these concepts are still applicable to any CRM really. We integrate with Salesforce, we’re on their AppExchange, we have customers that use that as their primary CRM and then get it into our workflows from there, but what we’re going to be talking about today is that CRM functionality that allows you to customise a sales pipe flow.
Create a Streamlined Process
What we’ll be doing now is talking about creating a streamlined process. We don’t want to have a big wall between your marketing side and your sales side, and then the delivery side. If there’s anything that gets lost in-between it can create a really terrible experience. You want them to have one interaction with your company, regardless of where they are on this journey. So using Administrate and connecting tools that are purpose built, that, like Lead Liaison, can create a single experience for the customer is very, very important.
Why Manage Your Training Sales Funnel in a TMS?
The goal here really is to take your sales out of the land of guessing and gut feelings and, “here’s what I think based on the relationships I have.”
All of that’s valuable insight that your salespeople can have but you can rely on that in order to really scale an organisation.
In order to scale sales you’re going to need to run sales like an operation, like you would any other part of your business. So to be able to set up a pipe that allows you to work through the stages of your sales process in a consistent manner allows you the ability to start breaking it down and treating it more methodically, so that you can see where your leads are, where they’re being nurtured, where they’re not, and how that is progressing.
What this does is it provides transparency – you can start to see where your leads may be falling off. If you analyse this information, and you start acting on it, you’ll be able to resolve any problems that you have during your workflow, any areas where you’ve got a nice lead flow coming in and then it just gets stuck or drops off at one point. So you can focus your efforts on that area and then resolve that and turn it into a nice predictable flow.
At the end of this you should have what we call predictable revenue. And again that’s a model, kind of like the marketing automation is a model. You can create predictable revenue in a business like this using these types of methods.
Using a Training Management System for Your Marketing and Sales Process
So moving forward, I reused the same funnel graphic that Ryan was using, because what we’re saying is that this creates one continuous funnel from your marketing side to the sales side. And effectively when you’re using Lead Liaison with Administrate, you are nurturing those leads, and in the demonstration that Ryan gave, you are going all the way to marketing qualified. He was showing you a definition of that, which was by lead score, and there are a few other ways you can do that, but once they become qualified by Marketing they are saying this is a warm lead, it is worthwhile for a salesperson to follow up.
So you can go through various stages beyond that. Sales vetting – you can have the Sales team do some initial calls, make sure they understand the business, that they understand the needs and they get a proper follow up to them.
So at that point you can go down to sales qualified and there’s nurturing that happens at this stage too, oftentimes we thinks of this perhaps being the longest stage of the nurturing. If you feel like you’ve got a qualified lead and you should be able to turn that into revenue right away, depending on what you’re trying to sell, that could be become a much longer process.
And then ultimately you get down to proposals and winning. So what you want this to look like is a continuous, even, smooth funnel, all the way from the first contact with your organisation and constant contact until they’re either won or decided that this just isn’t for them.
Administrate’s Sales System
The upper left-hand corner there demonstrates what it looks like what it looks like when you’re working with a system like Administrate to actually push these leads through. It gives us a nice visual workflow of where these leads are coming in. For us, actually as mentioned at the top of the webinar, we do use Lead Liaison as a company and this is actually a picture of our pipe. So we use our own tools and Lead Liaison for our sales processes, so we know how this works very first-hand.
So they come in from Lead Liaison as marketing qualified, and go through these stages, you’ll see the numbers generally go down until they become proposed or onto won or lost.
So that’s how this works for us, and that’s a very common workflow, and you should be able to see very visually where your leads are in the stages.
Examples: Where are my Leads Stuck?
When you first look at these numbers, these areas may not jump out to you, but what you’re looking for based on just ratios and based on changes over time are areas in your pipe where leads are not smoothly going from one stage to the next.
Now of course you’re not going to have all 250 lead generated become 1, but you should have a consistent narrowing because what doing it you’re qualifying them, making sure you are a good fit for their business, and visa versa, and making sure you can engage them to the point where they want your services.
So in the first column, column A, you will see that we have 100 marketing qualified leads and then they pass them off to the Sales team and they actually only consider 10 of them qualified for what they’re going to pursue. That’s probably a red flag! That probably means that there’s some gap between what your Marketing department and what your Sales department are viewing as qualified, and that may be something that you can work together on to narrow that gap. Maybe Sales is over-qualifying, they’re being too stringent. Maybe you’ve got some looseness going on on the Marketing side, and just sending too many over, but you want to be able to close that gap.
Each of these examples has a place where you have something that you can identify and work on, but I won’t go through each and every one of them, but the idea is you want to be able to find these areas, improve them, and this will get you to the point where you can predict your revenue.
This whole process will remove the divide between your Marketing and Sales teams, for one big continuous funnel. Sales and resources should be appropriately used. If you think about it, if you have a gap between these teams or the processes involved, what will happen is you start misusing your resources and creating waste in your business. If your salespeople are trying to nurture leads who really don’t have much interest, or don’t know who you are yet, and you’ve passed that lead over too quickly, then you’re wasting that resource’s time.
And the same could happen in the other direction, if you’re over-qualifying you could be wasting the effort you got to acquire the lead and basically letting it fall out of your funnel when you could have revenue.
So think that creating these into a very structured process is going to allow you to be highly efficient with your business. So the key is to analyse those metrics, they will tell you where you can improve, where you can grow, and if you keep your eye on the ball you will get to that predictable revenue.