No Lead Left BehindAs is the case in many companies, the cooperation between our marketing and sales departments used to be less than optimal where leads were concerned. Thanks to the internal project “No Lead Left Behind”, we have been able to find a solution for a rather unproductive situation.

Using marketing automation software, we are currently preparing the next steps such as lead scoring and automated nurturing. We should be able to the see the results in about one year.

Number of sales accepted leads doubled

We have developed a process where not a single lead is lost and where efforts are made to follow up on all leads. The cooperation between the sales and marketing departments has considerably improved as well. Generally speaking, the number of sales accepted leads has doubled, with a record 136% increase in the beginning of the year. We have achieved this thanks to the following four steps of our action plan.

1. We have created an unambiguous process to manage the pipeline from lead to deal, with clear agreements on all intermediate stages, definitions and nomenclature. The process also includes the possibility to refuse or requalify leads on the basis of fixed parameters.

2. We have defined all stages of the process in a very detailed manner in our software, so that they are monitored quickly and correctly.

3. Targets relating to data quality, timing and conversion have been calculated for each stage. These targets are documented in an internal Service Level Agreement, which has been accepted by all sales and marketing people.

4. Through coaching and training we have made sure that everyone is motivated and is working towards the same goal.

This blog post is a contribution by Inge Landerwyn, marketing manager at Basware

“Marketing communication requires more than just a single action,” says Robert Gavin for Marketo, who we filmed recently when he came to visit. So of course you need a mix, but what’s the best mix? Marketing automation can help you find out where your leads come from, and check that your inbound program is working properly. This doesn’t just help you forecast your income; you can also adapt your communication mix based on real results.

Most marketing automation software packages have built-in analytics to help you trace where your leads come from, find out how often your information is searched for, and see how people progress through your company’s marketing pipeline. This last aspect is at least as important as the sales pipeline, even though it is sometimes overlooked by marketing people. It boils down to measuring both of them, and trying to improve the inflow and conversion rate.

In principle, companies are getting more leads than before because clients have become more independent and prefer to make their own decisions. The better you know where your leads come from, the more of them you can try to get. Clients are increasingly going online to find information about your activities, and marketing automation is way of doing the same thing to find out about your clients.

Robert Gavin: “The US market focuses on lead generation; the more new names emerging at the top of the marketing funnel, the happier the US marketing people are. In Europe the emphasis is more on lead nurturing and maintaining a good relationship with clients and known prospects.”