Sales & Marketing Alignment In Social Media: Dreamforce

September 7, 2011


—Note: This is a repost from a blog I wrote for the Involver Blog —
Dreamforce 2011 - The Cloud Computing Event of the Year held their annual customer conference, Dreamforce, the week of August 29th and I was fortunate enough to be invited to speak at Eloqua’s Super Session along side Joe Payne, CEO of Eloqua and Christine Heckart, CMO of NetApp. Our session focused on driving revenue growth with sales and marketing; my focus was specifically on how Involver has grown at the speed we have during the past year. The punch line? We did it one step at a time and optimized our business processes so they could be supported by technology (in our case and Eloqua). Joe summed up the practicality of making a business successful in a recent blog post and I’ve pulled a poignant piece from that below:

“While the history of business is no doubt full of “eureka” moments, the reality is that successful, disruptive organizations are built not just on one great idea, but rather on the continuous improvement of small ideas that result in one big important result: continual, sustainable revenue growth.” – Joe Payne

And Joe is right, success is a process of continual improvement.

I’m always struck at the limited adoption marketing automation and RPM have overall (in the 5% range). However, the value I’ve seen in the businesses I’ve run show me data that would suggest every marketer in the world should be using these tools and methodologies. Speaking at large events like Dreamforce remind me how overwhelming it can be to get started so I focused much of my time speaking about just that. How to get started.

Business Process Alignment:

Regardless the software you choose to support your business the single most important step in driving success with marketing automation and RPM is finding common ground and common language between your sales

and marketing teams. I’ve done this in multiple companies now and consider the initial investment in the sales and marketing funnel design to be step one. To help spur ideas I’ve included our funnel at Involver below.

I’m a believer in marketing automation and RPM. How does the social world relate to me?

We have a fairly unique perspective about the evolution of marketing automation and RPM because of our scale as a platform (over 500,000 customers) and our expertise using tool sets to optimize our own business. In the Dreamforce Super Session yesterday we shared four best practices in relating marketing automation and RPM to social. Here they are:

Make Cupcakes, not Whole Cakes

Marketing has been disrupted by social in a substantial way, more-so than anytime in our history as marketers. The content we produce and the interactions we have with our customers happen faster than ever before. As opposed to creating huge campaign ideas and running them to conclusion with the hope they are successful we recommend borrowing from the agile development methodologies to create smaller, fully formed, concepts to test and iterate from.

Nurture Your Sales Team

In a quickly changing market where your customers, prospects and sales team all need the same information at the same time, consider applying the same techniques you do with your primary nurture programs to your internal teams. Use your tools and business processes to identify who is most engaged with the right content on your sales team.

Be Where Your Customers Are

You may have more control over the flow of information and funnel optimization on your website and landing pages, but your customers and prospects are everywhere! Use tools like those we’ve created at Involver to bring your core business to where your customers are.

Qualify With Social

The preeminent social networks allow for more than merely two way call and response communications; they support rich interactions with polls, videos and much, much more. Put in place tactics that help you draw a stronger correlation with the key activities you want your prospects to interact with.

A member of our team captured my keynote on her point and shoot. It has a bit of a paparazzi feel to it however we put it on YouTube anyway in case you’d like to watch the full 15 min. Enjoy.


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