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SDR Outreach – Salesforce.com

As I’ve mentioned in prior posts, the SDR function is likely the most valuable function in the organization yet is often under-invested with newly minted college graduates slogging away at cold to qualify objectives.  On average, half the time these SDRs work for Marketing, half the time they work for sales.

Salesforce is the daily tool of many of these SDRs, either SFDC Classic or Lightning or combination thereof.  SDRs are busy logging their activities of meetings, follow ups, phone calls – and seeing which of their prospects have had marketing automation activity (website visits, forms, webinars, etc.)  Typically SDRs are queuing up a cadence for their prospect using several valuable tools – Salesloft, Outreach, and Yesware;  by our estimates, Salesloft and Outreach are the most frequent tools we run across in our client base.   While Marketing Automation have tools that are functionally equivalent (eg Marketo’s Tout), we typically see these marketing automation tools deployed the least.

Typically we see these set of SDR enabling tools offering the ability to enroll a segment, set a cadence of email touches, allow end users to customize those cadences for the right situation, and report out on metrics.  Outbound dialing capabilities are usually found in other packages – InsideSales.com and Connect and Sell being two market leaders with various packages addressing that aspect.

However, there is a new entrant in the market in Sales Cadence and dialing capabilities –  and that’s Salesforce itself.

In the Spring 19 edition, Salesforce now has an optional package called ‘High Velocity Sales Tools’.  This for-fee add on capability not only replicates the cadence capabilities of the tools mentioned above, but it also gives an optional for-fee dialer capability.   More importantly, it gives Lightning Salesforce SDRs the ability to have prioritized workflow based on Salesforce Einstein capability – our early testing indicates that Einstein prioritizes the leads with Einstein Lead Scoring activity at the top of the queue, such that the most likely to close are worked on first.  This is potentially a huge leap over competitive tools BUT assumes Einstein Lead Scoring and Einstein Activity Capture is enabled and in place.  There is also a private workspace for SDRs to work within their leads which make it attractive.  In theory, this new offer should be more tightly integrated than that of a 3rd party tool.

While it may make independent companies like Salesloft, Outreach, and YesWare a bit nervous, Salesforce’s own track record of acquiring partners marketing automation and CPQ solutions show that the market can sustain both a Salesforce acquisition for native capabilities AND outside players.  Salesloft and Outreach have a few year head start over Salesforce so one would think their momentum will carry.  Where we’d expect Salesforce to make greater inroads with this newer capability are in brand new, pure Lightning installations moving forward.

What remains to be seen is how well marketing automation can complement the Einstein sales activity if the system is not Pardot – Marketers who are concerned about conversion should keep a careful eye on this.

Which tools are you using for your SDRs?

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

What should I measure in Marketing?

As I mentioned in a previous post, as a former CMO with a passion to measure marketing impact on the business, I’m often asked by others ‘what should we measure in marketing?’  Let’s dive deeper into ideas of what to actually measure.

We typically see two models depending on whether you are trying to take business decisions from measurement OR if you are trying to ‘account’ (or justify) marketing investment.

Model 1 – CEO/Board reporting

  • If your board of directors or CEO are interested in marketing reporting, they are going to care a lot about cost of acquisition, particularly in SaaS based companies. Lifetime value is also a valuable metric to consider when it comes time for acquisition costs – in a SaaS model, measuring lifetime value by cohorts can be helpful.  These are typically manual measurements vs. system measurements.
  • The cost of customer acquisition, particularly in SaaS based companies is a manual calculation vs. a system calculation yet is very valuable for board level reporting. This acquisition can be more valuable if done by cohorts.
    • It goes without saying the CAC to LTV ratio from the above figures is also worth showing a trend on.
  • In the maturing stage of a SaaS company (i.e. beyond 7 years old), they’ll eventually want to see a decrease in total marketing investment relative to that of revenues – ideally revenues should be climbing at a significantly faster rate at that point relative to that of marketing investment.
  • Measuring performance in cohort retention in SaaS models are a must do – but again need context. Often times we’ll hear of 90% annual retention rate celebrated yet if you look at the cohort retention rate over say a 3 year or more span, the retention rate in cohort will average more like 66%.  Marketing has a huge upside in influencing retention in these longer cohort areas as a small change in retention adds to a substantial bottom line improvement; however, most marketers have very little incentive to invest their time here vs. acquisition.  This is where looking at compensation plans is critical.

Model 2 – Head of Sales/ Marketing Reporting

  • Sales may be more interested in what you in marketing are sourcing although in our experiences, this conversation can be tricky with a head of sales because you are ‘accounting’ for how a deal gets sourced – be careful with this one politically!
  • For those Account Based Marketing fans, Account engagement could be another CEO or Sales metric to measure – we’re seeing that boards of directors in SaaS companies are not yet asking for this metric, yet for an account based strategy, it is a leading indication of success.
    • Account engagement can be measured a number of ways or tiers – from an account with a contact that has some level of engagement beyond an email open (for example, download, webinar attendance, booth visit, demo – a ‘success’ metric’).
    • It can also be measured as an open stage 0 or stage 1 opportunity against the account, preceded by some period of time with a campaign attached to the contact related to the opportunity.
  • If you are measuring a lead based approach, there can be a variety of models to consider – first touch, last touch, and multi-touch are the most common.
  • Multi-touch attribution is best handled by 3rd party software in addition to you your marketing automation platform and CRM system. For multi-touch attribution, there are a variety of models to consider – even touch across all points, a W touch model, or you can with some software packages rank/rate the touches based on frequency.
    • In our client base, we have experienced vendors like Full Circle, Bizible, Terminus, LeanData, Engagio, and Calibermind to name a few.  Each have its strengths and weaknesses.
    • We also see Tableau or a visual tool layered ontop of an SQL database.
    • Lastly, Excel which has been around since the 1800s is also a tool we see deployed (just seeing if anyone actually reads these posts lol).

What are you measuring in Marketing today and how are you measuring it?

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

System Changes: Quality Control

Customer end user satisfaction is everything.   Thinking back to my days as a SaaS CMO in both private and public companies, in an agile environment, we’d go through a very rigorous development pre-process to ensure a reasonable outcome for a minimally viable product.

As a company matures, strategy changes.  Infrastructure supporting the strategy changes.  Business process changes to better support customers.  The need to integrate more systems together to have a better customer experience changes.  With all these macro changes, a rigorous process to support these internal system changes must be put in place.

We typically see a greater need for methodical change in Salesforce than that of Marketing Automation because Salesforce impacts how every user in the company can operate.  Getting a system level change wrong in Salesforce is VERY visible INTERNALLY;  getting something wrong in marketing automation is VERY visible EXTERNALLY.  Each of these scenarios impedes a good end user customer experience.

Skipping steps in a process to drive new features or product creates visible customer errors, costs sales & marketing productivity, and undermines organizational confidence.  Yet so many companies with executive leaders often overlook the value of taking a methodical approach within their own systems (Salesforce, marketing automation) hoping to speed the process.  Eager and impatient for results, an executive wants to jump right to the outcome.  While I too was a former impatient executive, I’ve come to learn jumping to the outcome involves significant organizational and productivity risk.

In our experiences with Salesforce.com and systems that connect to Salesforce, the companies that are best in class also follow a rigorous 5 step process before rolling out change.

  1. Requirements definition and system design
  2. Architecture, set up, customization – sometimes in a sandbox, sometimes in production
  3. User Acceptance Testing
  4. Make iterations / round of revisions – repeat steps 1-3 as needed
  5. Launch, training, and documentation

 

In step 1, requirements are defined and a system is designed on paper (eg powerpoint).  This gives all parties the opportunity to do ‘what if’ analysis before designing in system, and gives the ability for organizational change management buy in.   It’s the least risky step yet the most valuable to do of the five steps, to ensure a successful outcome.

In step 2, once the requirements are signed off, then design can take place within the system – in some cases this design is done within a sandbox (eg Salesforce sandbox) to minimize the risk of change.  In other cases, change is made right to production.

Step 3 is often overlooked.  When an outside agency or any party is building software or configuring systems, going through a rigorous test process ensures minimal mistakes are made.   While one would expect the configuration itself to be accurate, users often time see edge use cases not readily apparent when diagraming things out on powerpoint.

Feedback is acted upon in step 4.  If new findings arise in step 3, now is the time to remediate issues.  This may require repeating steps 1-3 but only if a substantial change is needed.  Typically, minor point changes are needed at this stage.

The final step involves launching the changes and training the trainer or training the end users on what to expect on those changes.  This ensures a consistency in the organization, rather than just one or two people knowing about the change.  Documenting the change is also helpful.

When these steps are taken, you can assure your internal stakeholders are happy as your end product will be more accurate.

When business needs change, what is the process your team uses for system change to support the business?

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

5 Foundational Questions of Marketing Measurement

5 Foundational Questions of Marketing Measurement

First of a 2 part series. 

As a former CMO with a passion to measure marketing impact on the business, I’m often asked by others ‘what should we measure in marketing?’   The temptation is to race right to the visual presentation level of dashboards.   However, it’s best to start with getting context.

While it’s probably the right question to ask, it’s often a difficult question to answer without context.  However, there are usually common questions to consider on the journey to this answer.

  1. Let’s start with the first one – what is your reporting objective?

There are two typical models of reporting objectives – first is to make business decisions from the reporting, the second is to make Marketing as a function that is accountable for their impact.

Our next article will dive more deeply into what to actually measure.

  1. What role are you in?

This can be complex – if you are ‘doing the work’ vs. ‘delegating the work’ there is a tendency in our clients of ‘doers’ to provide vanity metrics to their boss – web page visits, clicks, downloads.   ‘Doers’ that get promoted make that vanity metric connection to business impact – retention rates, new revenue growth, etc.  ‘Doers’ that also ask to get their compensation tied to pipeline performance are ahead of the curve relative to their peer set.  If you are the ‘C’ level leader of Marketing, the next post will dive into what exactly to measure from a business impact perspective.

  1. Who owns Salesforce?

This is a key question because getting marketing attribution done right relies on Salesforce process and methodology.   If marketing is the ‘owner’ which we find in about 30% of the cases, the ability to orchestrate change is much easier.  As a ‘guest’ in Salesforce, you then rely on others to help you execute that change.   Dashboarding inside or outside of salesforce could also be a function of who owns it and where is the information most credible.  We typically recommend dashboarding inside Salesforce.

  1. What state is your data in?

With data decaying at 3%/month due to people changing jobs (in a good economy!), a database without governance is like ordering a year’s worth of milk supply at your home thinking you will be good forever on your milk diet.  Data is at the heart of sales effectiveness, marketing effectiveness, and inside sales effectiveness – so much productivity is lost here because ‘no one owns the data’.  This is a critical function that also drives attribution.  So it’s prudent when measuring to know the exact state of your data.  We often recommend creating a dashboard for this data.

  1. What is your selling motion?

Are you a transactional sale?  An enterprise sale?  A sale involving partners?  A sale that has cold to qualify with a BDR function?  Each of these has dramatically different attribution needs and/or use cases in measurement.

 

What are you seeing as common questions or issues in measuring marketing?

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Top 5 MarTech & ABM Challenges for Marketing Leaders

At the 2018 Marketo Summit (#MKTGnation), we covered five common mistakes for MarTech and Account Based Marketing (ABM) deployments.

If you don’t have time to watch the embedded video, this is a ‘tweetable’ summary of each bullet point of our findings.

We began with some background.   Not every company uses the words ‘ABM’ but many companies are on a journey of account based selling and marketing.  Then we jumped into each of the five points below.

  • FOMO, Technology, and ABM Starting Point
    • Most companies have a ‘fear of missing out’, react, buy technology, realize that none of integrates.
    • Like a gym membership, people think having a gym membership (ABM technology) gets you in revenue shape (ABM strategy).  In reality, you need personal trainers to accelerate your progress with your gym membership.  Technology is not a strategy.
    • There are common elements of ABM deployments:  assessments, strategy, targeting, measurement, and XDR cadences.
  • Selecting the right targets (ICP, Accounts, Contacts)
    • Define your ideal customer profile based on qualitative and quantitative data.
    • Bounce it up against total addressable market and technologies to derive TAM.
    • Assess your data completeness at the account and lead level.
  • Lack of the right ABM Intent Data strategy
    • Account intent can be valuable when used for a personalized outreach.
    • Intent requires careful keyword selection and integration into business process.
  • Missing system and process requirements for ABM
    • Defining the customer experience on ABM is key.
    • Account disposition treatment is a critical arrangement across sales & marketing.
  • Not hiring the right internal and external talent
    • Internal talent needs to be well rounded across sales, inside sales, marketing, XDRs.
    • External talent needs to be a virtual extension of your team, agile, knowledgeable.

At the conclusion of the presentation, the sharpest audience issue that was felt was surprisingly the talent side of things – finding the right partners to augment the skills internally.  Initially, I would have thought Data as the #1 issue.

What trends are you seeing in Account Based Marketing?

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

2018 Salesforce Lightning Migration for Marketers

In March 2018, Salesforce will soon stop support of bug fixes within their classic version of CRM, moving toward the next generation capabilities.  Client wise, we’ve begun helping some organizations make the move over to Lightning, though clearly it is very early days of such a move.
There are several sales and marketing benefits of such a migration – better visualization, cleaner account level hierarchies, improved productivity with fewer clicks to name a few benefits.  Marketers will need to make sure their marketing automation software can in fact be used properly in Lightning as several have the classic application installed.
Before embarking on a migration, there are key questions to ask internally before making a switch:
  1. What is your business objective of a migration (e.g. sales cloud to improve sales performance, service cloud to improve support perf., etc.)?
  2. How documented are your existing sales and marketing processes?
    • How accurate and optimized are those processes?  This will help speed up an installation (and give an opportunity to freshen up an old set of sales processes).
  3. How are you thinking of this as a migration strategy – a fresh brand new instance or a migrated classic one?  This impacts strategy/timing and marketing.
  4. How much customization in terms of SFDC custom objects in Classic exist?   That will impact time to convert as custom object migration is more challenging.
  5. How proficient are your internal resources at JavaScript understanding?  That could impact time to migrate from an existing classic instance to Lightning.

What are you seeing in terms of 2018 migration plans?

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

GDPR – Sales & Marketing impact

(Please also consult your internal counsel and data privacy officer for how your company should approach GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)).

 

While there are several strict laws of data privacy throughout the globe to include countries like Canada, Australia, and China, GDPR is a European-wide framework that is the strictest treatment of data globally and is consistent pan Europe effective May 25, 2018. GDPR enforces accountability for ANY company selling or marketing into Europe and emphasizes the collection and processing of data.  This law impacts all companies, and their sales’ and marketers’ communication.

If you are a company considering implementing GDPR, there are several business advantages to following this law:

  • With clean, opt in data, better chance of demonstrating meaningful metrics internally
  • Improved targeting for selling and nurturing purposes
  • Less infrastructure carrying cost on dead contacts or contacts that have no conversion chance
  • By following the law, there is no 4% penalty on global revenues that could be assessed

There are several elements of GDPR legally to abide by, but the two largest concerns are making sure that Individuals give consent to data use and that the 3rd party has a legitimate interest, this link shows examples of the definition of legitimate interest.

 

Tips for planning for GDPR:

  • A plan should be put in place around the collection and storage of information that can identify the person, such as IP address, first name, last name, mobile numbers, and phone numbers among other information.
  • The company itself is accountable for GDPR compliance regardless of whether the data was sourced by a 3rd party or not, so it’s important to understand how data is collected and how it is processed.
  • It is critical that the marketer think through opt-in procedures, updates preference centers, and ensures sure that sales and marketing systems are properly processing data consistent with this new law.
  • The law also includes unstructured data – for example, an email that is sent from Outlook must ensure that the individual receiving the email has consented to receiving information.
  • A double opt in email approach is highly recommended as best in class way of ensuring clean data practices and is more likely found in a marketing automation system than in that of a sales automation system.
  • Data input from 3rd party sources, whether purchased lists or through trade show uploads require specialized treatment from a data governance perspective.
  • Consider a double opt in approach for all events, as an example of this special data governance treatment.
  • Some sales technologies enable phone calls to be recorded and collected. Explicit consent will be required to record phone calls.  You should clearly communicate to customers why their data is being requested for collection and how you intend to use it in any future activities.
  • Other outbound phone calls must not be listed on a ‘do not call list.’ Other calls must give explicit permission for follow up communication to occur.
  • Lastly, it is important that all tools are in compliance to governance – which would include sales automation tools (Outreach, Salesloft, etc.) as well as marketing automation tools. Marketers, make sure your sales team is compliant with their email automation tools.

The future around e-privacy and cookies is likely the next law to come out next.  It is an exciting time to be in Sales and Marketing in 2018!

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

What’s The Impact Of The New Demand Unit Waterfall?

As published in DemandGen Reports, May 2017

By Jon Russo, Founder B2B Fusion, @b2bcmo

For B2B revenue leaders that are contemplating adoption of the new SiriusDecision’s Demand Unit Waterfall, here are five impact areas on B2B strategies and initiatives to consider:

  1. Develop a data strategy: install proper data processes, match leads to accounts (Ringlead, Full Circle, Lean Data, etc.) and establish the right global account hierarchies. After Fuze CMO Brian Kardon and his team invested significant time and energy in a data strategy, his team experienced massive growth success.
  1. Embrace an Account Based approach. CMO Peter Herbert of VersionOne describes his very successful Account Based journey as, “real progress B2B revenue teams are making towards a more intelligent, proactive, and efficient way of going to market.”  This new approach reinforces a need for an ABM strategy of account identification and investments (Engagio, DemandBase, Radius, Everstring, Oceanos, Terminus, Kwanzoo, Big Willow, etc.)
  1. Align and measure. Herbert says, “B2B teams are shifting from working in silos to capture and handoff leads to working together to engage — in a more compelling way.”  Build supporting Salesforce structures, data lakes with Business Intelligence overlays like Anish Jariwala at Informatica has created, or leverage tools that measure most of this new waterfall (Engagio, Full Circle Insights, etc.)
  1. Select attributes of the buying committee but...anticipate challenges identifying the right buying authorities from scouts or key influencers, especially if roles change deal to deal. Expect assumptions and manual intervention as Sales uses Salesforce contact roles sparingly, Marketers create personas, and roles change.
  1. Retain the right internal and external talent to support this new waterfall and maximize technology investment ROI. Augment internal teams with knowledgeable external sales and marketing performance firms that extend internal strategy reach and best practice system capabilities to improve odds of visible success and to move in a more agile manner.
by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Marketing Automation @BMA

 

Here is my hour presentation that I reviewed with 30 others at the New Jersey BMA on Marketing Automation.

This video slide deck is condensed down to 4 minutes.  Note the emphasis I put on data – data is at the heart of a successful revenue acquisition technology like marketing automation or predictive analytics.

Let me know what you think!

 

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Marketing Tech Investments: Beyond Silicon Valley

This past week, I facilitated another round table discussion with twenty business to business digital leaders as part of the Marketing Operations Cross Company Alliance (MOCCA) group.   Companies represented ranged from large companies like CA Technologies, SAP, and MetLife, to smaller companies like Talkpoint (acq. PGi) and XLGroup.  We also had a technology venture managing partner join our round table discussion.

One topic of conversation was the recent VentureBeat article citing @chiefmartec Scott Brinker’s landscape of marketing technology.  Scott presented this chart to us in our last meeting so we had context.  We asked the question to the group – ‘are 1400 marketing technology vendors sustainable as an overall market?’

Market expansion responses:

  • The marketing technology company quantity will double (to 2800) because the pace of innovation is moving fast
  • Big companies (Oracle, SAP, SFDC) can’t innovate, therefore big companies will acquire so there will be a need for smaller companies continuously
  • To be competitive today, the advantage in the market is that of speed as value propositions blur – and technology enables that speed edge, so the market will continue to expand to get faster
  • It is a game of arbitrage – once all competitors buy a technology (like predictive analytics), they no longer have that advantage so they’ll seek new technology to go faster
  • Salesforce.com has the app exchange with thousands of companies, marketing is no different with Marketo with Launchpoint

Market contraction responses:

  • Technology has changed so fast, it is starting to outstrip the organization’s ability to respond and keep up
  • I spend my day dodging calls and emails from marketing technology vendors unless that vendor has something really unique I should look at
  • My budget is staying relatively flat, there is only so much technology I can invest in credibly and present to my boss
  • My companies priorities shape how I’m able to absorb marketing technology and we can barely get done what we need to get done
  • I check to see how long a vendor has been in business because I want to make sure they are sustainable for the long term

Based on my own experiences as a head of marketing in Silicon Valley and NYC companies for 10 years and recent discussions with my enterprise clients, I bend toward a market contraction.

  • Some companies will fade away completely and be replaced by newer innovations with the overall pool of companies remaining the same at first, slowly contracting with either exits through larger companies or exits because of lack of revenue.
  • While somewhat obvious, Silicon Valley companies are more likely to be industry leading in terms of their investment threshold for new marketing technologies as they are more apt to pilot/test and risk success;
  • East coast companies are a very different beast both in organizational risk appetite as well as the importance of marketing as part of the sales process.  It is likely east coast companies will need to digest what is in front of them now technology wise and prove ROI on existing investments before getting too far ahead on net new investments.

An area of opportunity is for one vendor to bring order to chaos, by simplifying one interface to get multiple tools to work together properly and coherently.

One thing we all agree on, there is no better time to be an enterprise marketer.

How do you see the technology marketing market shaping up?