Getting Accurate Marketing Data From Salesforce Requires a Native Application
- AUTHOR Feng Hong
- January 26, 2017
- No Comments
Let’s face it: you wish your marketing tech stack worked for you and not the other way around. You have your CRM, marketing automation, and perhaps other specific prospecting tools, such as Sales email (the ToutApps and Yeswares of the world), content distribution, predictive, etc. The integrations between your data silos are disjointed, and so even if every one of your tools has pretty graphs, you can’t have confidence in any of them for accurate insights. The root problem: no external tool is accurately tracking your leads throughout their lifecycles, especially if they enter, exit, and re-enter your funnel. So, before you shell out more marketing budget to lay another tool on your marketing tech stack, you need to consider the tried and true fix: an app that harmonizes your data, natively inside Salesforce. I’ll lay out the reasons why you need a native Salesforce data fix to make marketing decisions and address the common objections you may have in considering a native fix.
Optimize your already-large investment in your CRM, don’t throw money at disconnected “holy grail” solutions that promise to provide special insights without fixing the root data problem.
Marketing is getting past the high-level metrics of clicks and views in order to get at the root of why marketing does what it does: impact on revenue. Measuring revenue impact requires an accurate view of touches and the deals they lead to. That’s what a native Salesforce application installed into your Salesforce org enables: accurate data. In summary, a native Salesforce app:
- Creates the master data set that enables comprehensive and accurate insights
- Lives in the CRM, so it’s understandable and more trusted by Sales
- Establishes stronger Sales and Marketing alignment
- Automates alignment between Sales and Marketing continuously, reducing manual work and time
1) A native Salesforce app creates the master data set that enables comprehensive and accurate insights.
You may have many marketing engagement tools, in addition to your primary marketing automation platform. You may have content distribution, website analytics (e.g., Google Analytics), social listening / management, video, webinar, ad analytics platform, etc. Would you trust any single one of your marketing engagement platforms to be your marketing system of record? If your primary engagement is email, you would probably be tempted to answer with your marketing automation platform. And it might be, especially if it’s the platform you operate from every day. However, think about what happens after a lead becomes qualified and gets passed to Sales. Do you trust that your marketing automation (MA) tool captures what happens after that point? Can you trust a funnel graph created from your MA data? Or revenue attribution report across cohorts? And would your Sales team trust those reports? Our view: not unless the data is accurate and comprehensive, and the most reliable (and easiest) way to connect the dots is right inside of Salesforce. Regardless of whether you use Salesforce or an off-platform tool for the analytics around your lead lifecycle, get your data accurate first, then operationalize it how ever you choose.
2) A native app lives in the CRM, so it’s understandable and more trusted by your IT and Salesforce admin.
There’s no need for your Sales team to learn a different platform. A native app uses the same login and same language, so the workflows can be audited. In other words, whatever Marketing proposes to re-harmonize the data, the process is not in a blackbox of a marketing platform, with some other company’s customer support and engineers doing custom workflows. It’s all Salesforce, so your Sales team can trust it more. This leads to my next point.
3) A native app establishes stronger Sales and Marketing alignment.
A native app does this in a couple of ways. First, there’s no need for your Sales team to learn a different platform. Sales operates in Salesforce daily, and utilizing familiar workflows in Salesforce creates more trust from Sales. Secondly, it stores marketing engagement data within Salesforce, allowing users to create sophisticated cross department processes. For example, cross-funnel reporting can yield insights that lead to mandates and recommendations for your Sales team members. These mandates can be in the form of an SLA (service level agreement) that are more enforceable and justifiable due to the trusted reports. With trust, accurate reports, and an agreed-upon process, Marketing and Sales can be on the same page.
4) A native app aligns Sales and Marketing continuously, with highly reduced manual work.
While it’s great to be on the same page, how do the two teams remain on the same page (in lock step)? Would you prefer automated funnel stage tracking and marketing engagement record tracking, or do you really enjoy manually re-harmonizing the data through even more platform exports, spreadsheet editing (row-by-row), and the cross-your-fingers Data Loader tool from Salesforce (with overwrites and all)? Sales and Marketing can get back to doing their day jobs when these processes are more accurate, comprehensive, and automated.
Those are some key reasons for incorporating a tool that fixes and optimizes your current tech stack. This helps you get things right the first time, even if it seems like it takes longer (it doesn’t). But what are the downsides? Here are some common objections (and their counter arguments) to implementing a Salesforce application to fix the data and enable marketing analytics.
“Marketing is unfamiliar with Salesforce.”
“Are you a Salesforce marketer?” The usual reluctant answer is “no” for better or worse. I think it’s beneficial for marketers to measure funnel metrics and attribution within Salesforce, but I understand the preference for staying in the marketing engagement application (e.g., marketing automation). However, being unfamiliar with Salesforce is no excuse for ignoring your data problems inside it. In fact, being unfamiliar is one of the biggest reasons for installing a native Salesforce app from experts who understand the ins and outs. Again, you can do the re-harmonizing with spreadsheets and manual labor, but the easier and faster thing to do is fix the underlying problem, not patch the symptoms. Your Time-to-Value is just that much improved the more you (or an app) can get under the hood.
“Modifying Salesforce involves other people.”
There is an aversion to involving more people into a process, and that is supposedly a reason to discourage integrated solutions that touch different organization. My question: why isn’t your marketing involving other people in the first place? Your team needs alignment in order to understand marketing effectiveness and to pass good leads to Sales, so your activities involve others regardless of whether you want it to or not. And you should want it to. If you advocate for a fix that aligns everyone, your SFDC admin will like you more for it, and your biz ops folks and finance department will stop hating you.
“This takes too long, can’t I just throw visualization or predictive on top, right now?”
Short answer: no. Long answer: of course, just be ready to gamble on the accuracy of your insights or spend more time trying to re-gain the accuracy and trust across your organization. I understand that “Time-to-Value” is an important measure of your success, and I argue that optimizing your current data and tech stack is much higher value-add than generating quick or sophisticated (but inaccurate) insights. You’ve heard “garbage-in, garbage-out” as a phrase that describes the importance of quality data. Your predictive solutions or your pretty visualizations aren’t useful unless you fix your data. And with a native app that gets under the hood of Salesforce to do just that, your Time-to-Value becomes exponentially better, especially as time goes on (and you get your insights and cross-department strategies right the first time around).
I hope I’ve been able to convince you of the merits of a native Salesforce application that truly gets under the hood to create a synchronized and harmonized set of data for Sales and Marketing. By no means am I trying to convince you to do less in your marketing automation or ditch your data visualization tools. My only contention is that you want a comprehensive set of data (single source of truth) that can come from one place but can then be transferred anywhere else, driving accurate insights for multiple parts of your organization.
Watch this video of how Full Circle Insights’ native app illuminates your marketing performance!