February 18th, 2013
Past Problem: Buyers took control. The “buyer’s journey”, “the sales cycle”, “the buying process”—these became better known as the purchasing process. Last year, we heard all about how the buyer was calling the shots. They were choosing when to engage with a sales rep and that usually meant around decision time, at the very end of the purchasing process. As a result, marketing needed to take on a larger portion of this purchasing (or other choice word) process. A longer lead-nurturing strategy was required to bridge the gap buyers created. Most business leaders understood this problem and needed a way to solve it.
Past Solution: Companies looked to marketing technology. Throw some technology on the problem and it will be solved. The perception was that marketing automation would help marketing teams become more efficient and more effective. They would be able to use work flows and scoring models to target specific audiences. They would have analytics on prospect behavior and fit. They would be able to build email campaigns and schedule follow-ups. This was (and still is) all true, except for one major assumption….
New Problem: Marketing automation needs a well-defined process. Our Vice President of Sales, Ric Riddle, said it best: “An automation tool does not fix a bad process. It just makes a bad process run faster.” Many companies were operating on a model that was not fit for the technology consuming it. Over-adoption of marketing automation technology as a comprehensive solution led to little change in marketing results. Those minimal results came with a LARGE price tag. Thus, a new problem arose. Marketing still needed to take on more of the purchasing process, but now they had an expensive tool with unrealized capabilities.
The Final Solution: A lead-to-revenue management process. Lead-to-revenue management is a straight forward process that maps a prospect’s engagement from first becoming a lead all the way to becoming revenue for the company. Once the process has been established for one prospect, it can then be repeated for many more prospects. Marketing automation tools need a lead-to-revenue management process to yield significant results. Establishing a quality lead-nurturing process that spans the entire sales and marketing funnel is the most effective way of bridging the gap between marketing and sales, as well as reaching the ultimate goal: revenue growth.
If you are looking for more information on building or adjusting a successful lead-to-revenue management process, two great resources to look at are:
- The November 2012 Forrest Research Inc. Report: Pinpoint the Actions and Outcomes that Elevate Leads to Revenue by Principle Forrester Analyst, Lori Wizdo. She has created an extensive report that offers “a straightforward framework to create, validate, or fine-tune your L2RM process.”
- Our webinar that took place on Thursday, Feb 21st, 2013: The Funnel is Not a Process: Understanding Lead-to-Revenue Management. Lori Wizdo joined our CEO, Paul Rafferty, in a discussion on the lead-to-revenue process required to create marketing efficiencies that support revenue growth.