Marketing Automation Blueprint – The Ultimate “How To” Guide

October 17th, 2011 by Robert Pease

This is a guest post from Tom Callway, Marketing Manager at IT monitoring platform company Opsview. You can connect with Tom on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter @opsview. Also be sure to check out Tom talking about the impact LoopFuse made at Opsview in this video.

I joined a UK technology start-up as Marketing Manager in 2009 and was immediately tasked with increasing the number of high quality leads to our sales team by 500%. Tough call? Yes, but this is how I did it.

Setting the scene

When I started at Opsview the sales team was very small. The company had only recently adopted an open core business model for its flagship IT monitoring product – distributing a free version under an open source license and selling subscriptions for a premium version to enterprise customers.

The free ‘Community’ edition is high quality software but not as stable or as fully featured as its Enterprise stable mate. Beyond giving users a great piece of software for free, the Community edition’s purpose is to embed Opsview technology at the heart of a company’s infrastructure, prove the value of Opsview and thereby help the upsell of enterprise products and services.

My challenge

Opsview’s new VP Sales wanted to drive inbound leads whilst ensuring that his team only worked on warm, inbound prospects.

Meanwhile, he wanted to capture accurate lead information and track online behavior so that each lead could be continuously compared with the ideal customer profile. If leads weren’t warm straight away, he wanted to know when they showed sufficient buying signals so that his team could engage at the optimum point to close the deal.

Needless to say whatever new processes I introduced had to scale with the company’s growth ambitions.

Enter marketing automation…

What is marketing automation?

Marketing Automation focuses on lead generation with targeted marketing programs to drive awareness and interest in a company’s products and services and nurture leads from first interest through to sale.

Commonly used in business-to-business (B2B) or longer sales cycle business-to-consumer (B2C) sales cycles, Marketing Automation is really the marriage of email marketing technology coupled with a structured sales process as defined by a customer relationship management (CRM) program.

There are a number of marketing automation vendors out there including Eloqua, Marketo and Pardot. We chose LoopFuse due to its track record working with open source businesses, tight integration with Salesforce CRM, and its flexible pricing model.

Setting it up

LoopFuse lives in the Cloud and the company distributes free modules to simplify the integration with popular content management systems (CMS) like Drupal and WordPress. Our CMS has been configured to offer premium content and features (e.g. software downloads, whitepapers, community forum access) to visitors who register on the site and create a profile. Therefore, the site’s registration form was ‘instrumented’ using LoopFuse so that the selections made by each lead could be scored.

Website registration form

Score thresholds need to be approximated to distinguish between those leads that will remain ‘forever-free’ and those that are likely to buy.

If a lead meets the score threshold just by filling out the registration form it should be immediately exported into your CRM. If not, then a ‘leadflow’ is used to ‘nurture’ the lead with multi-touch email campaigns until it has accrued enough points to be exported to your CRM as a ‘pre-qualified’ lead.

Leadflow rules in LoopFuse

Points can be attributed to a nurtured lead when they open or click-through from an email or visit high-value pages on your website (e.g. a pricing page).

Lead Scoring in LoopFuse

When you’re dealing with high volumes of leads a quantitative and dispassionate means of assessment is far more efficient than qualitative judgments made by different members of your sales team.

Marketing Automation and your CRM

Once a lead is in your CRM, then what?

If you’re using Salesforce, leads can be automatically assigned to sales reps depending in their location, industry sector or whatever parameter is right for you.

Lead Assignment in Salesforce

Create Saleforce ‘Views’ for each rep that lists these pre-qualified leads. Once visible to reps, these leads can be moved into their respective Open Lead queue for further qualification. If the lead is interested but not ready to buy, they can be pushed back into a leadflow for further nurturing.

LoopFuse assists sales reps during the manual qualification process by presenting essential lead information right inside Salesforce including lead score, latest activity levels and recent behaviors (pages visited, emails opened etc).

LoopFuse data displayed in Salesforce’s Lead Profile

As your team grows you’ll need to keep on top of your lead scoring thresholds so that reps don’t starve. High score thresholds might stop a few sales reps getting swamped with leads, but once you have more manpower then the thresholds can be lowered so that your salespeople are qualifying more leads using their experience and knowledge.

One final tip is to ensure that all leads, whatever quality, are eventually exported into your CRM. Even though they may be disqualified by your marketing automation system, their behavior can continue to be tracked and scored. You may want to periodically trawl through these disqualified leads to find out if any are responding to email campaigns or visiting your website. If they have accrued the right level of points, albeit very late, it may be worth reaching out to them.

Like marketing stats? Marketing automation tools all have powerful reporting features to compliment the good work you’re probably already doing with web analytics software and your CRM.

We would love you to try out LoopFuse here.

To find out exactly what LoopFuse does, click here.

To add LoopFuse to, click here.

You can follow LoopFuse on Twitter here or join us on our Facebook fan page here.

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