Demand generation marketers are focused on supporting sales teams, and a large part of their role is ensuring that carefully curated leads are moving through the funnel effectively. To that end, aligning with your sales team is critical to building an effective lead management process that drives results and helps achieve shared goals.
Last year, our sales and marketing teams aligned on a high-growth strategy for 2017. From a demand generation perspective, we first aimed to capitalize on marketing opportunities in two areas: 1) lower performing channels where we could employ creative methods to raise conversion, and 2) high-performing channels were we could invest even more to pump up lead volume, given this could be easily be done and were a reliable source of quality leads for our sales team.
Of course, keeping a balance was key to this approach, as to not overload either channel to the point of being ineffective. Keeping an eye on metrics throughout the funnel was important to be able to identify that tipping point. To plan effectively, we needed data – and a lot of it – to help inform decision making.
Luckily at Velocify, we drink our own champagne – we use our own solution. It provides the confidence for both demand gen teams and sales managers alike, that every lead is followed up with by our sales reps. Beyond that, Velocify provides insight with sales analytics, into which leads are being contacted and converting at a higher rate, by source, industry, persona and more. This helps to guide campaigns in terms of both channels and content, and where to allocate future marketing budget.
Here are 4 benefits I’ve realized as a marketer using the Velocify solution, which helped position us for high growth through the year:
Full- Funnel Visibility
The main form of currency between our marketing and sales team is Sales Qualified Opportunities (SQO), which indicates that the demo is successfully completed and converted to an opportunity by sales. However, our marketing team looks at conversion across the entire funnel, measuring leads created, qualified, assigned, contacted as well as opportunities and revenue generated. We can also view all sales activity on a timeline. This step-by-step insight is incredibly meaningful, as having the ability to check the contact activity after launching a major campaign enables us to quickly make adjustments and improve outcomes.
Balancing Lead Volume and Flow
One challenge within demand gen is identifying the right number of leads to send to sales to optimize conversion rates. Too little is a clear problem, but overloading the team when there is not enough capacity to address every lead can also be an issue.
At Velocify, we follow a specific contact strategy. Our own product can show us which leads are being pushed through that cadence completely, and which may drop off due to conversion or being disqualified, as well as how prospects respond. This can indicate the quality of lead as well as identify communication channels and time of day our prospects respond to best.
Optimization of Channels and Campaigns
In line with the lead funnel metrics above, we look at conversion from lead to SQO, however we will also review the other metrics mentioned earlier by channel and by campaign. With leads coming in each month through 15 different sources, and various types of campaigns within those channels, it is critical to measure and optimize marketing efforts to ensure marketing spend is being invested properly. Having a large amount of opportunities is great, but what matters more is if those turn into closed deals and impact our bottom line.
Alignment with Sales
Using closed-loop reporting, we are able to create comprehensive reporting and forecasting models in partnership with sales and operations. We have weekly meetings to align with these groups, and by having all of this data on a micro-level allows us to see patterns and trends – which provides invaluable insight. The data tells us a story. It tells us specifically where the gaps are so we can determine as a team how to proceed in filling those gaps. This visibility into our sales process is really powerful, and not something I’ve seen at other companies.
After looking at our own specific data set and aligning with sales, we employed a few key strategies to support our funnel goals. For example, search is a high converting channel for us, and one that we decided to invest much more heavily in. On the events side, we saw an opportunity to maximize our presence onsite in order to increase conversion in this lower converting channel – and through a few different approaches, we were able to triple conversion within the year.
Another opportunity was to launch account-based marketing, where we are heavily utilizing direct mail as part of the strategy to support Enterprise level sales opportunities.
These are just a few areas which have contributed to supporting our growth at Velocify. Overall, understanding what is happening in the sales pipeline in every stage of a lead’s lifecycle has helped our team to confidently make decisions which have positively impacted our revenue goals.