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Hi all


Would anyone care to share how they manage demand for their team's time (formal processes)? One of the questions we are being asked as we set our central team is 'how will you decide or prioritise who you will support if resources are limited?'. Do any of you have satisfaction measures in place to check that you are keeping everyone happy? Are there things that you have tried that work well, or not so well. And do you have escalation or appeal processes if you find yourselves having to turn away requests? We plan on operating a combined top down and bottom up approach to our demand centre, but from the outset it is likely to be more bottom up.


That's at least 3 questions in one post, but thought I would get my money's worth .


Thanks in advance



Mike McKinnon

It's All About Velocity

Posted by Mike McKinnon Aug 21, 2014

This post is the first in a three part series I will be doing on velocity.

These days marketers are really good at measuring a lot of things. Most marketers can tell you their CPA or CPL, their MQL conversion rate and a whole host of other metrics. However, very seldom do I hear about velocity.

Velocity can have the biggest direct impact on closed deals considering data reported in 2013 by Yahoo Small Business Advisor showing that contacting a lead within five minutes yields a 78 percent close rate, compared with a 19 percent close rate when the response to a lead is within five to 30 minutes. Further, a pipeline moving 2x as fast can be 1/2 the value of a comparable pipeline. The essence is simple - move deals as fast as you can through the sales pipeline. Time is the enemy of every sale.

While understanding the average sales cycle is an important part of velocity, you cannot impact velocity without also understanding the break points that lead to your average sales cycle. Consider your basic lead flow below.

As you can see there are 5 levers available that will impact velocity. I can tweak anyone of these breakpoints to increase my velocity. Further, by measuring these breakpoints you can also see where your leads are getting hung up. Mapping out a process like the above is an important first step in understanding your organization's velocity. How many breakpoints does your organization have?

In my next post, I will talk about some of the things you can do to increase velocity at each point.

If you’ve had a good SmartStart, it’s very likely that everything is fine with your Eloqua system.  But over time, there are processes that you don’t always look at, and those things might not be responding the way you need them to. 

Systems and processes degrade over time. Data degrades over time. New people may not have gotten adequate training, and sometimes, you just don’t know what you don’t know.


And just like a finely-tuned engine that you haven’t looked at for a while, Eloqua can get out of tune.


That’s why an Eloqua “Health Check” can be so important. A proper “Health Check” can answer so many questions for you, and help put you on the right footing to move forward confidently.


We invite you to watch our video and learn the importance of the ‘Health Check’ for your organization:

For more information visit, or call 1-888-ELOQUA4 (888-356-7824) or email

By now you’ve probably heard the buzz about a relatively new marketing technology called “Predictive Lead Scoring.” Marketers are excited about the prospect of using big data and machine learning to score leads more accurately than the usual rules-based techniques used in Marketing Automation.

This technology is developing fast and has enormous potential to improve efficiency and generate revenue. Right now it is in the early adoption phase, but eventually it will probably become a standard component of the marketing technology stack. Now is a good time to familiarize yourself with the basic idea of this technology, so you can assess whether or not your organization should consider adopting it.


Predictive Lead Scoring is a scientific method of predicting the probability that a particular lead will convert. It takes historical data from your CRM and behavioral data from Marketing Automation systems, and combines that with “big data” attributes gathered from multiple sources. The method uses this data to build a model of what a good lead looks like for your organization, then scores new leads against this model to determine how likely those leads are to close. That way you can correctly prioritize your sales efforts and focus on the leads that will generate the most revenue.

In other words, Predictive Lead Scoring uses data science and machine learning to uncover the hidden signals that predict the behavior of your prospects and customers: a dream come true for marketers.


Predictive modeling has been around for a while. However, using it in a business setting has generally involved hiring a team of data scientists to build a custom modeling system, assembling the required data themselves from whatever sources they can find. What’s changed is that advances in data science, computing power, and data collection have enabled vendors to offer Predictive Lead Scoring as a product you can buy “off the shelf.” Now you don’t need your own team of data scientists. You simply give the vendor access to your data. They build and test the model for you and insert lead scores directly into your CRM or Marketing Automation system with very little effort or expertise required on your part.


Traditional lead scoring can be a very effective way to increase conversion rates and make your sales operation more efficient. However, it has some drawbacks:

  • Guesswork - The rules used to score leads are determined manually by the guess-and-check method. Though we can make highly educated guesses as to what factors are likely to influence conversion and iterate to check against results, this process is slow and difficult in practice and not always satisfying. Predictive Lead Scoring automates the creation of model parameters, using statistical methods to give a rigorous, scientific result. This makes the building and testing of scoring models easier, quicker and more effective.
  • Incomplete Data - Traditional scoring only looks at the data you already have in your Marketing Automation and CRM systems, and usually only a tiny subset of that data is actually used in the model. Predictive Lead Scoring brings in thousands of data attributes to get a complete picture of the prospect: attributes such as financial data, social media presence, job postings, website technology use and sophistication, demographic and firmographic data and much more.

By replacing guesswork and incomplete data with scientific accuracy and big data, Predictive Lead Scoring can deliver better scores resulting in greater efficiency and more revenue.


There are several factors to consider when evaluating whether and when you should set up Predictive Lead Scoring...


Hello all,


I manage a global instance of Eloqua and am investigating whether or not to use Strict Mode to comply with the EU privacy laws regarding online tracking. I'm having trouble finding enough detail about Strict Mode on Topliners so perhaps someone here has implemented it and knows first hand.


I'm confused if email tracking falls under the privacy laws and if Strict Mode affects only web tracking or email tracking.


Also, is anyone using double opt-in on form submits? For instance, after someone submits a form and asks to receive additional emails, do you send them to a second form for the double opt-in?


Any learnings that could be shared would be greatly appreciated. Or, if you have experience with Strict Mode and would be willing to chat, I'd appreciate that as well.



By now, everyone knows they need to invest in content. It’s not a matter of if, now, but when and how. Marketers are transitioning from selling the concept internally in attempts to secure budgets to figuring out how to execute on their plans.


This is proving, for most, to be somewhat challenging. A lot of marketers are struggling to find a place to start and ways to make content engaging and relevant while also scalable. Content is such a big topic, that it is hard to focus on a simple, practical way to make content work for both the business and the customer. Most marketers, then, default to telling their brand stories from their perspective because they can control the output and more easily promote the business across all channels.


The problem is, customers just don’t care about your brand. You might not be as interesting as you think.


“If I want a long boring story with no point to it, I have my life.”
Jerry Seinfeld


Customers are people (shocking!) and, like you and me, react to what is interesting to them in the moment. And, regardless of whether they are working for a business, buying from a business, or acting on their own behalf as a consumer, they generally act as their emotions lead them.


Whether you recognize it or not, you are in the process of buying something…right now. It could be something complex like software, or simple like a new pair of running shoes, but you are already in the process of buying.*


Not interested in those shoes right now? I bet a review on Facebook could pique your interest. Have you heard about all of those Social Relationship Management tools on the market but don’t know which one is the best? Chances are that infographic on LinkedIn will get you to at least visit a provider’s website. There is always something that you see that shapes a decision to buy.


So, that’s great…here’s another post telling you to consider the buying journey. How does the buyer journey translate into content that doesn’t look like everyone else’s?


Nope! This is much more FUN than that.


Content + the buyer’s journey = FUN!


FUN & FUNny Content

In the EARLY Stages of the buyer journey, you are simply looking to engage with a customer and start to build a relationship. Getting people to emotionally connect, is a matter of getting them to laugh and providing them with something interesting to attract their attention. The funnier, the better. Some examples:

Colorful infographics and comic strips? Bring it!

               Short and sweet? I gotta show my friends / co-workers.

A Video??? Where’s the SHARE button?


A datasheet or product page? YAWN. It’s the dating equivalent of someone showing you family pictures from grandmas scrap books on the first date. Eventually she’ll / he’ll be interested. But now? The only thing we’re flirting with is a creepy reputation.


FUNdamental Content

In the MIDDLE Stages of the buyer journey, you can start to focus on what you do. At some point, the rubber has to meet the road and you need to differentiate your message from others in your industry. This is about explaining the fundamentals of your solutions and industry as well as, fundamentally, how you’re different. If your buyer is to this point, they’re probably more likely to want information that takes it to the next level and lets you prove your worth (value).

                White Papers? I’m gonna know stuff my boss doesn’t know.

                          Testimonials? Does anyone believe in this stuff?

                Product briefs? Is this solution right for me?


Break out that scrap book big guy…that picture of you taking a bath as a baby is gonna be SOOOO cute.


FUNctional Content

In the LATE Stages of the buyers journey, content that sells is critical. Anticipating and giving sales the information they need to close the deal is as important as any other kinds of content. Marketing is as involved in the revenue process as sales is and should take responsibility for their role as much as their counterparts.

                ROI Calculators? You CAN afford this!

                          Case Studies? How have others done this?


Engagement rings and wedding bells!


So, remember, the buyer’s journey dictates that type of content you create. You just have to know how to add the right FUN.

What are some examples of FUN content you’ve created?



*The point is, everyone is buying. All the time. Understanding the buyers journey is always going to be step one to figuring out what content you need to create.


For the sake of your attention span as well as the words in this posts, let’s assume all of those complex buyer journeys you can imagine can be boiled down to three stages; Early, Middle, and Late.


And we quickly define the Buyer Stages as:

EARLY: Customer doesn’t know they have a need, are not yet interested in solutions or are peripherally checking “stuff” out during their free time.

MIDDLE: Customer is aware of their need, knows of solutions, and is trying to figure out what is the right solution for them.

LATE: Customer is working on finalizing a purchase decision or, in more complex instances, working with a sales team to progress to and through the contract process.

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