Fergus states that Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) won’t turn into Sales Qualified Leads (SQL) by themselves – this phase can’t be automated and requires human interaction.
I agree with Fergus about the necessity of an additional role which businesses should consider. This role should help submitting qualified leads for the sales team. Mark Roberge, VP Sales at Hubspot has also talked about this by distinguishing the Hunter’s job from the Farmers.
But how would this function know which leads are qualified for their sales team? Well, Marketo is offering their scoring system, which based on user behavior on your website, which is a really efficient tool!
However, how would you know what leads are doing inside your APP?
For example, would you react differently if a new signup of yours signed up once and didn’t invite new users for your service rather than a user who logged in 3 times and invite 2 of his colleagues? Of course you would! You would like to invest more on the second user which reflects a higher level of engagement, won’t you?
And what if several users have entered one of your most important pages which suppose to lead for a sale and then signed out and never go back? you would probably want to look at that page again and figure out conversion issues, right?
This is why Totango service also offer the engagement score that would show you in-app engagement involvement.
But why compromise on one of the solutions – why not use them both?
This is why Totango and Marketo have joined forces and now Totango is also offering integration with Marketo’s services – this is how you could both know what’s happening in your application, get analysis on wha’t going on your app and then use Marketo strong nurturing tool to send your users exactly what they need to know by the stage they’re stuck on or need help with – the perfect match – Totango’s Lifecycle Marketing with Marketo’s automated nurturing – can you afford not to have it?
We are excited about our integration with Marketo to help companies with lifecycle marketing (marketing to existing customers).
Combining the capabilities of Marketo with Totango leads to the automatic customization of content, timing and type of Lifecycle Marketing campaigns targeted at existing customers.
Account nurturing should not stop when a customer buys from you. On the contrary: revenues from existing customers can far exceed revenues from new customers and these revenues are less costly to attain. Therefore, use Totango to understand how your existing customers are using your software and to automatically create usage-based cohorts.
Totango significantly enhances the native capabilities of Marketo, helping to drive adoption and usage of SaaS products. The result: better relationships with clients, increased revenues, customer success and lifetime value.
Lifecycle Marketing: Challenge & Solution
Oftentimes, customer nurturing activities abruptly stop when a prospect or customer starts using a trial or paid service. To continue to nurture the relationship with customers, businesses must create effective Lifecycle Marketing campaigns that engage, support and serve customer needs as their usage evolves.
Challenges in creating successful Lifecycle Marketing campaigns:
Accurately assessing customer needs and behaviors; and,
Following through with timely, relevant customer engagement initiatives.
Totango – Marketo: Working Together
Totango automatically calculates a customer engagement score for each account, based on real time streams of user actions (showing how people are using the service and where they get stuck), and customer demographics collected from CRM systems, help desk systems and billing systems. This score, as well as specific customer actions, can be used to segment users into activity-based cohorts, which in turn can be leveraged for automated and customized sales and marketing campaigns.
Examples of activity-based cohorts include:
Users who signed up for a trial but never activated
Users who are more active than the average activity
Users who display similar behavior to the most successful customers
Users of a particular feature
Users who logged in once but never returned
Users who referred other customers
Totango Marketo use case examples:
Trial Conversion: Trial users still active on the 3rd day of a trial are 4 times more likely to convert into paying users. Checking in with these active trial users increases trial close rates by 70%. Totango identifies who the most active trial users are, and Marketo reaches out to them at the right time with the right message.
User Onboarding: Totango analyzes where customers are getting stuck while using the product or service, and Marketo sends helpful tips at the right time to get them back on track.
Upselling: Totango finds users who are using a particular feature and are likely candidates for purchasing additional module(s) and/or finds highly engaged users who may be interested in expanding their deployment, and Marketo executes the upselling campaigns.
Customer Success: Cancellations are almost always preceded by a period of non-use. Totango identifies a drop in usage for a particular customer, and a Marketo campaign can be used to proactively reaches out to the customer before it’s too late.
Totango, a Complimentary Platform to Marketo
Totango serves businesses who operate in a no-touch or low-touch environment. We aim to help businesses gain a better understanding of their clients, so that businesses can serve their customers better. While Totango aggregates data and translates it into meaningful insights, Marketo translates Totango’s insights into meaningful actions. Together, the two platforms create a holistic, customer-centric work methodology that encourages context-driven, customized and automated marketing and sales intitiatives targeted at existing customers.
Marketo/Totango Integration Details:
With the Marketo and Totango implementation, Marketo smart campaigns are created to target certain behaviors, detected by Totango, by users of the cloud-application. The two systems seamlessly communicate through Salesforce.com.
Once installed on the cloud application, Totango monitors user actions and determines the nature and level of engagement of each user. When a configured behavior is detected (such as first usage of a specific application module or a drop in usage) the Totango record is updated with the appropriate Totango Insight.
Totango synchronizes information with Salesforce.com in near real time, updating Leads and Account with Insights as they happen. Marketo, in turn, seamlessly integrates with Salesforce.com and uses this information (alongside any other) in campaigns and programs.
A Marketo email campaign is created using Totango Insights as part of the campaign’s Smart List.
Managing a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business isn’t trivial. Successful SaaS companies are able to deal with a high volume of leads and turn those into a high volume of loyal customers with fast response and turnaround time.
This is often referred to as the ‘sales and marketing machine’ – a highly optimized, massively scalable and controlled business operation that is capable of:
Continuously increasing the service value, differentiation and offerings.
In order to build a ‘sales and marketing machine,’ companies need to invest in the tools that will get them the business scalability that is required and reduce the learning curve.
Many startups begin with homegrown solutions using spreadsheets and databases (with a bit of integration glue in between). This is sufficient for small scale, but quickly becomes unwieldy as the organization grows. Luckily, there are excellent tools available for SaaS companies to leverage.
Many vendors have a “starter” package, so there is really no excuse not to start building your tool-chest sooner rather than later.
The Customer Life-Cycle
To best understand where the different categories of tools fit, it’s best to look at the various stages of the customer life-cycle, as they evolve from early prospects to mature customers.
At Totango, we use the following customer life-cycle terms:
Visitor – Anonymous user on the website
Lead – Person who has expressed some interest in the service. This can be anything from downloading a white paper to signing-up to a trial
Evaluating – A user (or company) who’s actively evaluating the service usually during a trial period or fermium
Onboarding – A paying customer in the initial usage period
Mature – A paying customer who has been loyal to the service beyond the initial usage period
With those definitions in mind, it’s easier to associate solutions and tools to help carry customers through every phase of their life-cycle.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
CRM is a common way to keep a reference of all customers’ life-cycle stages. CRM organizes all contacts’ information and account details in a single database, so it’s vital you select a tool that fits your needs and can grow with you.
Specifically, your CRM software will be the main working software of your inside sales teams as they organize account work mainly during the sales life-cycle phases.
Web analytics tools keep track of visitor activity on your website and various other marketing properties; this is where you keep track of your top-tier leads funnel, measure the initial success of marketing and advertising programs, and work to improve visitors’ experience with your products’ properties.
Mainly the marketing team, though other users in the organization (product team, IT) will need to use it as well.
Select list of Web Analytics solutions Google Analytics is the most commonly used tool. It’s immensely powerful, feature-rich and free. But there are other good tools your marketing team should look at, such as Clicky, WebTrends that provide additional useful views into vistiors’ actions.
Marketing automation takes you beyond basic web-properties and aims to help you interact, build, and cultivate a relationship with leads, so they can ultimately be passed on to your sales team and “convert” to happy customers.
This is your marketing team’s main toy!
A post marketing (sales & customer success) solution stack for SaaS companies does not exist yet. Enabling the buying process (converting leads), ensuring customer success, and increasing service value, is something that I feel is needed and missing in the market, and this is what we’re building in Totango.
Having all the above tools in place enables marketing, sales and customer success teams to effectively do their jobs and be an integral part of the ‘sales and marketing machine’.
Having said that, it’s crucial to have a single business dashboard available to the executive teams that allows them monitor the business end-to-end.
The SaaS dashboard should include operational metrics, trends and key business performance indicators (KPI’s), which allow the business owners, get ‘the full picture’ of the business, identify bottlenecks and allow to teams to take appropriate actions.
The SaaS model presents an opportunity to run a predictable and high-volume business. The first step is to put the required business infrastructure in place in order to monitor, analyze and optimize the sales and marketing machine operation continuously.
In coming posts, I’ll discuss in further detail the actual attributes of the SaaS dashboard.