Sharing a customer’s story

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I’m just back from a client review meeting. We assist our customer with lead management and content. This week they started a campaign, here is their story.

As a result of our customer’s ability to track and score buyer consumption of content, initially delivered through an outbound campaign, and supported by a content microsite, our customer identified several people whose content consumption behavior indicated heightened interest.

This triggered a move of this “lead” in their (Marketo) lead management system from the initial “inquiry” status to “marketing qualified lead” (MQL). The lead scoring algorithm also triggered their inside sales person to conduct an immediate phone follow up. All of this was communicated automatically within their Salesforce.com system, virtually in real time.

The “buyer” turned out not to be the actual buyer at all, but the administrative assistant for the President of the company. She indicated they found the content so valuable they were very interested in conducting a conversation and evaluation of the proposed services. The content addressed the customer’s situation and avoided vendor oriented “chest pounding.” The lead was handed off to sales along with the notes of all consumed content and the phone conversation.

This simple story is being repeated regularly within companies that have deployed an automated lead management program.

Of course, “it’s not about the bike!” Software is an enabler. Content is the fuel that makes this work. Quality lists are critical. The right strategies and discipline to consistently conduct customer education oriented campaigns is essential.

But the ability to see in real time exactly who is consuming content within all online vehicles, and to determine probable levels of interest, is too considerable to be neglected.

Many people conduct email campaigns with good content. What’s too often missing is the ability to capture the results of buyer behavior, to manage relationships with large volumes of individuals with different interests and issues, at different stages of their decision process, and to measure and report with timely, actionable information.

Timing, indeed, is everything. The combination of regular, problem solving, content oriented campaigns increases timing odds.

Automated lead management is an essential enabler of an organization’s revenue engine. Early and effective deployments still provide some level of competitive advantage. But there is a learning curve. Playing catch up will be painful and expensive.