Give Yourself a Holiday Gift: Work Your Contact Database

Want to give yourself a holiday gift for 2013?

Try marketing to your Salesforce Contact database.

Everyone who’s a Salesforce Marketing user knows that salesforce.com stores individual names in the Leads tab or in the Contacts tabs.  When you have a new Lead, your reps know the status of the Lead and the data and workflow is designed for disposition.  The standard workflow in the Salesforce Marketing Cloud is for a new Lead, if it’s a good one, to be converted to a Contact and perhaps an Opportunity. So using the Salesforce lead management workflow, many companies become very lead-centric in their approach to marketing.

But as the number of Contacts grows in your Salesforce database over time, there’s gold to mine – the problem is ensuring good use of this precious resource.  Your marketing automation system (Marketo, Eloqua, or something else) can be configured to synchronize with both Leads and Contacts.  In the synchronization, a Lead or a Contact can be associated with a campaign. That’s good! With Leads, there’s a natural follow up.  With Contacts, there’s no status and no natural follow up workflow.

This came to light with a recent customer where the customer ran a fantastic campaign that attracted a very interested prospect from the Salesforce Contact database. However, because the response was a Contact, the synchronization associated the Contact with the correct Campaign but no notification was sent to Sales and Salesforce doesn’t track any status change.  This response was never followed up on by the sales team because if there’s no status then the sales report won’t pick up the new response.  The prospect, who was very eager for a reply from the company, emailed the CEO to complain.  Of course there was a big internal stink about why no one followed up – but the reality is that the sales rep never knew.

Had they been using Full Circle CRM at the time this would not have been a problem.  Our response management system provides notification to the sales rep of the new response and, even more importantly, the new response is tracked in the system as a potential opportunity.  This response then shows up in the funnel metrics, sales reports and other marketing metrics so it becomes part of the critical set of information to accurately track and measure all your responses and their outcomes – not just the leads.

So take a look at the number of Contacts you have in your Salesforce database.  Whether it’s 1,000, 10,000, or a million records, you have a golden opportunity for your sales development or sales teams to follow up with every response and turn them into revenue.

Bonnie Crater

About Bonnie Crater

Bonnie is a 5-time VP of Marketing at Genesys, Netscape, Oracle (Network Computer Inc.), Stratify, and VoiceObjects. While valuing the creative side of marketing, Bonnie's real love is marketing operations -- measuring marketing investments and determining investment optimization. Now as CEO of Full Circle Insights, Bonnie is working to help fellow marketers get the data needed to succeed. In 2000, Bonnie was named one of the “Top 20 Female Executives in Silicon Valley” by San Jose Magazine. Bonnie holds a B.A. in biology from Princeton University.