Next Thursday, we’ll be hosting a webinar with Desk.com and Salesforce Foundation to discuss some of the ways that Salesforce uses Pardot to drive demand and close deals. Since we get a lot of questions about how we use our own product, we’re hoping to give you an inside look at how we leverage marketing automation across the Salesforce organization.
But that doesn’t mean you have to wait until next week to have your burning questions answered. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that we’ve used our own product over the years as we built our team from a one-woman department to a more diversified marketing army.
In the Beginning…
One of our primary uses for marketing automation in our fledgling days was lead qualification. This is one of the most basic features of automation (most systems come with an out-of-the-box model that can be customized to your use case), and can drastically simplify your sales and marketing workflow. Setting up a blended scoring and grading model for leads that come into your system prevents unqualified leads from clogging up your CRM, gives your sales team a concrete way to quickly identify and focus on the hottest leads, and goes a long way towards putting your sales and marketing teams on the same page.
Here are a few resources that can help you get started:
Getting Started with Lead Nurturing
Another large focus for our small team was building out simple drip programs with minimal branching. Despite being such a powerful tool, the great thing about lead nurturing is that the programs you build can be as simple or complex as you want. If you don’t have the time or resources to create a long, complex campaign, start with something basic. Find a few resources that could be helpful to someone in the beginning stages of researching your product, write up a few short emails, and build out a simple nurturing track with minimal branching. By placing colder leads on this nurturing track, you ensure that leads are more educated by the time they speak with a sales rep — and that your hard-earned marketing-sourced leads don’t go to waste just because they aren’t yet sales-ready.
Check out the articles below to learn more about some more common lead nurturing campaigns:
Picking up the Pace
As you get more comfortable building out lead nurturing campaigns, you can start creating more targeted, one-off programs to fit specific use cases (in fact, this post outlines 11 different ways you can use lead nurturing across your business, from sales to renewals). Here are two programs we ran at Pardot to help enable our clients and internal teams, not just nurture leads.
Streamlining the Client Onboarding Process
As the company grew, it was important to create processes that could scale with that growth. Our client onboarding process was quickly identified as an area that we could improve through automation. Not only would this help unify the client onboarding process by giving every new customer a common starting point, it would also cut down on maintenance and upkeep. The goal was to give clients a jump start on the onboarding process by sending them helpful “getting started” resources after each new client account was created.
You can read more about the creation process and execution of this drip program here.
Enabling Sales through Drip Campaigns
We’ve found that lead nurturing is just as powerful when used internally as it is when used externally. As marketers, it’s important to always keep our second audience in mind: our sales team. Developing a nurturing program is a great way to ensure that your sales team always has the most recent and helpful marketing resources, email templates, event and webinar information, and more. At Pardot, we’ve also found a lot of value in creating short, educational videos for our sales team, and linking out to these from our enablement drip emails.
Get more information on our full sales enablement program here.
Generating Leads at Events
One of our favorite uses for marketing automation is for event marketing. By using Pardot forms and landing pages, we can streamline our on-site lead generation efforts. But, as Ryan Johnston, Demand Generation Manager at Pardot says, “Generating the leads is only half the battle, because a lead is only as good as the new business it brings in.” Marketing automation can be just as powerful for post-event follow-ups, from scoring and grading the hottest leads to streamlining the nurturing process with targeted nurture tracks.
Let’s Not Forget Sales!
Sales reps may be one of your most important audiences as a marketer, but they’re also an important audience for marketing automation. A few weeks ago, our Summer Camp content series profiled Phil Simpson, Sales Manager at Pardot. In his interview, Phil elaborated on a few of the ways that the Pardot sales team uses marketing automation to improve their productivity. Specifically, Phil focused on features like prospect tracking and real-time alerts.
“As far as starting those engaging conversations and grabbing a prospect’s attention, I think having access to marketing data through prospect tracking and social plugins is one of the most powerful ways that marketing automation can impact sales,” comments Phil.
Check out Phil’s full Summer Camp interview on boosting sales with marketing automation here. You can also check out our e-book, 25 Marketing Automation Tips Straight from Sales, to get additional tips from the rest of Pardot’s sales team.
Want more information on how we use our own products at Salesforce? Register for the full webinar next Thursday, 7/16, to learn more about how Pardot powers our day-to-day sales processes, specific challenges that Pardot has helped us overcome, and some of the results we’ve seen from our Pardot campaigns.