Lead Nurturing Webinar Q&A

Thanks for all those who attended our BtoB webinar today with Tony Jaros of Sirius Decisions.  Since we weren't able to get to all the questions in the webinar, we've answered as many questions as we could below.  If you have any other follow-up questions, feel free to leave a comment and we'll be happy to reply.  If we don't have the answer, we'll find you a resource to help. How do you manage people getting too many emails when in multiple lead nurture programs?

If you’re doing lead nurturing properly, a lead should only in one lead nurturing program at a time. As discussed in the webinar, the nurture should be dependent on where the lead is at in the demand generation waterfall.

What is "BANT"? It is one of the three components to lead definition along with demographics and activity"

BANT stands for Budget, Authority, Need and Timeline.  As a best practice activity is tracked separately from BANT.

What's a good way to measure the efficacy of your lead nurture programs / emails?

The best way to account for the impact of lead nurturing is to measure the increase in the number of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) sent to sales through the lead nurturing program.  To get a true ROI on your efforts, track these MQLs all the way through the sales pipeline to determine an incremental amount of revenue generated by lead nurturing.  This data is great in showing the impact of marketing on the pipeline.

What's a good frequency for sending nurturing emails?

Depends on the length of your sales cycle and the type of nurture.  Example if a lead is pre-MQL, a touch every couple of months may be fine if the sales cycle is long.  For leads deeper in the pipeline, you way want to email them every week or two to deliver valuable content.

How do you manage that "recycled" (or Back to Nurture) status on leads, between your Marketing database and your CRM database?

You’d want to use dynamic list capabilities to automatically segment leads and pull them back over to the marketing automation solution for nurturing.

Do you delete them from the CRM when they are recycled back to the Marketing database?

This varies from company to company.  Here at Manticore Technology we don’t.  The reason is if that nurtured lead becomes an MQL again, we want it to go back to the same sales rep that worked the account the first time around.  Additionally, you want the sales rep to have the activity  history.  If you delete the sales lead from the CRM, you lose all that data.

Does Manticore Technology integrate into Salesforce.com?

Yes, Manticore has extremely deep integration with salesforce.com.  There are over 20 different integration points between our solutions including campaigns, marketing dashboards, lead scoring, and a marketing activity custom object.

What is an MQL?

An MQL is a Marketing Qualified Lead.  Based on the Sirius Decisions Demand Waterfall Methodology, this is a lead that marketing deems ready for sales hand-off based on predefined criteria.

We are in mid-sized company. Our leads go to the sales team as soon as they get created (this is our sales model). We don't have any buying cycle stages defined. How do you think I get started on creating nurture programs based on waterfall model?

From my perspective the most important (and difficult) stage of the waterfall is defining an MQL.  Once sales and marketing agree on this definition, a great first step would be implementing a nurture program for all those dormant leads you have in your database to try to re-engage them to turn them into an MQL.  From there you can get more sophisticated.  Feel free to ping me if you want to knock around some ideas christopher.doran@manticoretechnology.com

Which functions can be fulfilled using salesforce and which require an add-on?

You can begin some basic lead nurturing with salesforce.com and a basic email engine (like vertical response or Exact Target).   The problem is doing the segementation, messaging, timing, etc becomes a highly manual, time intensive process.  This is where the value of a marketing automation solution (like Manticore Technology) can add a lot of value.  It's designed for lead nurturing.

What are the best practices in getting leads to be nurtured back from sales?

This can be done as a manual batch process on a periodic basis, or automatically, through the use of dynamic lists in an marketing automation solutions.  As Tony mentioned, the most important thing is you get those lead back from sales so that they can be re-engaged.

Your system assumes a certain scale/critical mass in marketing organization resources.  How would you characterize the minimum scale of operations for this to be effective (# prospects, leads, marketing staff, budget).  My challenge is our organization is too small to implement such a granular approach.

From our experience as a vendor, typically an organization with a $500k marketing budget needs a platform to automate/optimize marketing.  I'll throw a couple of caveats in there.  Its really when you have more leads than sales can manage.  At the beginning of a company's growth - every lead is a golden lead and goes to sales.  As that paradigm shifts and they have too many leads, marketing needs to help them prioritize and and nurture.

Are HTML or text nurturing messages more effective?

Text messages have much higher deliverability, but lack tracking.  I like using text emails when sending emails on-behalf of our sales team (like follow-ups) and HTML for broad BtoB emails.

What is time bounded lead nurturing?

This is when a critical date is associated with the nurture campaign.  Say for example a lead chose a competitive solutions and you know the contract is up in exactly 1-year.  Ideally you want to setup the nurture to continue that engagement, then at some point leading up to the contract renewal, you want to try to engage them about switching.  This is opposed to an open-ended nurture that doesn't have an end date associated with it.

What is the difference between reconstituted and recycled lead nurturing?

Recycled leads are those that are "stuck" in the pipeline - they haven't come to a decision.  So they are taken out of sales' hands and put into a lead nurturing campaign.  Reconstituted are leads that have made a decisions and you want to continue the engagement for the possibility of converting them at a later date.

I assume Manticore Technology uses their system.  Any success stories you'd like to share?

Ironically, we're in the process of developing a webinar around how Manticore built a unified sales and marketing funnel - look for that in the future.  In the meantime, don't take our word for it - read what some of our customers have done through our lead nurturing case studies.