Optimize Your Marketing Mix in Salesforce

Andrea Wildt, Advisor, Full Circle Insights

Tracking and understanding your marketing efforts has become very complicated with all the different technologies marketers are using today, but this can be simplified by leveraging Salesforce to capture all your demand generation data.

Join Salesforce marketing veteran Andrea Wildt for a 10 minute video discussing some key marketing metrics to track in Salesforce and some tips for effectively capturing the data you need.

Video Transcript


Thanks for joining us today. My name is Andrea Wildt and I’m vice president of products and marketing at Full Circle CRM. And today we’re going to talk about key metrics that can help you to optimize your marketing mix in Salesforce. Now, I’ve been a salesforce.com marketing user for over 10 years now, and one of the reasons why I’m so passionate about measuring marketing in Salesforce is because the marketing technology landscape can be really overwhelming. Just looking at this slide gives me anxiety. No doubt. Many of you have seen this infographic. It’s created by LUMAScape and this shows all the different technologies and marketing technologies out there. And this isn’t even complete. Marketing technologies have advanced so much in the last 10 years, and we’re using all these different systems now to track and measure things, and it’s great that we now finally have this ability, but the challenges is we can really bury ourselves in the data.

One of the real questions is, is this data even actionable? And is it accurate? Just looking at the traditional two systems that most B to B marketers are utilizing, marketing automation and CRM, even that can become very complicated when we’re trying to measure our effectiveness. These two systems work so beautifully together for so many things, but it can really be painful when you’re trying to get accurate reporting. Execution occurs in your marketing automation system, but all the followup occurs within your Salesforce for instance.

And they have fundamentally different data models. And what happens is when marketing is reporting out of one system and sales is reporting out of another system, the two parts of the organization start to distrust each other because they can’t drill into each other’s data. And the data doesn’t always match up. And so these conversations end up focused at a very low level around data quality and integrity rather than trusting the data, both sides of the organization and focusing on the strategy and optimization of the programs.

And so this is really why I like to report out of Salesforce both this way, both parts of the organization have drilled down visibility into all the same pieces of data. And we’re all talking from the same datasets.

So how do you take Salesforce beyond a sales tool and really turn it into a marketing analytics engine? Well, you start with utilizing campaigns in Salesforce, and I know most of you who use campaigns today may think that they’re just a little more than a tracking device, which out of the box is true, but with a little bit of elbow grease and ingenuity, you can really turn them into a powerful data hub, and they’ve got the ability to step extend across your entire lead and contact database for unified reporting, which is really cool.

So we know we need to use campaigns, but what are we using them to do? Well there are a couple of key metrics I want to talk about, and they fall into two main categories, which is Demand Waterfall metrics as well as campaign influence and attribution reports. So let’s start with the Demand Waterfall. I’m assuming everyone is familiar with the serious decisions Demand Waterfall. So I’m not going to spend a lot of time reviewing the concept, but for those of you that are new to it, the Demand Waterfall is a framework for identifying and measuring the key handoff points in the sales cycle from marketing to inside sales to outside sales, to opportunity creation and close.

These stages can help us identify points of failure in our process and in our handoff. So they’re incredibly critical to define and measure. This way as we’re passing these leads over the fence to sales, we can really understand how they’re moving through the organization and once you start to measure your efforts by stage, you can start to use this historical data to really understand how you’re impacting revenue and in what time frame and utilize this for future budgeting and planning and optimization efforts.

I can also use these stages to help keep an eye on performance and how well we’re tracking against expected goals. So I can see are my MQLs going down. If so, why? Did I decrease my marketing spend or something or did some external factor occur? If I increase the demand at the top of the funnel, does that actually increase my ability to push things through? So are my conversion rates staying steady? Now this is looking at our marketing from a global standpoint, but by looking at it by channel, I can also see, which types of programs are really generating those MQLs. And what converts at a higher rate.

So in this example, I know that conferences don’t convert very well from inquiry to MQL. And that’s okay. Not everything needs to be MQL generating. And we’ll talk about that in more detail in a little bit. But if my goal for this specific quarter is to get more qualified leads over to sales, that’s not going to do it for us. So instead, maybe I should be ramping up my banner ads and contents indication aspects of my marketing mix.

And when I do that, I know that I should actually be able to see the impact to the bottom line within 30 days. Based on average velocity in time through the funnel. Now, I would love to say that you can easily get all of this rich and meaningful data just by implementing the waterfall in Salesforce. But the reality is that marketing can’t be successful without sales. And if we’re spending money on social campaigns, content syndication, trade shows, we really need to make sure that these leads are moving through the sales organization and there’s no point in flooding the top of the funnel if sales isn’t going to follow up.

And this is really where the importance of SLAs, service level agreements and aging reports come in. And I know marketing typically wants to stay as far away from the sales process as it can, but if we’re going to be successful, we have to partner with our friends in inside sales and sales ops to make sure that things aren’t getting stuck.

I honestly believe that, 70% of increasing and optimizing our marketing mix inside of Salesforce is really about optimizing the process. When you see pooling of leads at a specific stage, that means you have a problem. So you really need to optimize your process first. And this might be a painful exercise, but it really is the surest way to increase throughput and get the most out of your marketing dollars. So I’ll get off my ops soapbox now.

So part one is really about the funnel, right? Implements it, love it, but don’t become short sighted because it’s not just about getting the MQL, it’s all those touch points along the way. The blog posts, the nurturing emails, the web promotions, all of those things that contribute to pipeline and revenue.

And this is where most people start thinking about ROI, and pipeline that’s sourced by, and I have a tendency to do this as well, but it can be really limiting because as you know, it’s never just one thing that is responsible for an opportunity. There’s always multiple touch points and this is where multi-touch attribution and influence can be hugely valuable.

Now Salesforce has a native influence capability and yes it is very limiting, but it’s a start. And I do recommend that you start there. It at least lets you see all those touches and if you’re at the early stage of measuring performance, I think it’s a good place to start. We need to crawl, then walk, then run. So don’t try and build a sophisticated attribution model on day one. But if you are in the walking stage, start thinking about weighted models and maybe you start off with an even distribution and go from there. The importance is that you’re giving your marketing team visibility into all of these touches and all the various impacts. Just because something doesn’t generate a lot of MQLs doesn’t mean that it’s a bad program and that we shouldn’t invest in it.

We have this conversation internally. We have a specific campaign that sales says, “Oh, this doesn’t generate any leads for us. These aren’t any good.” Yet it does generate a lot of early stage leads. It just takes them awhile. So when we look at the performance of those programs from an influence perspective, I can see that they actually are quite valuable.

These are really some of the key metrics that we should utilize to really measure and optimize our marketing mix in Salesforce. And now there are other metrics that can be equally important, but it really comes down to understanding your objectives up front because this will help you to determine what metrics are going to give you the insight you need to achieve your goals. Whether those goals are to spend smarter, close deals faster, improve your contribution and accelerate company growth, but definitely start off with what your goals are and that will help you to ensure that you have those metrics in place that are going to allow you to monitor whether or not you’re achieving them. And highlight where you have some issues and areas in which you need to address so that you can achieve those goals.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can track some of these metrics we discussed today during the webinar, please visit our website at FullCircleInsights.com.


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