As a new team supporting the EMEA region of a global company, we were tasked with implementing best in class digital marketing processes, using Eloqua as our Marketing Automation Platform. This included implementing a lead management process, in order to generate high quality leads for Sales and to support reporting and decision making.
Simply put, the main objectives of implementing lead management were to improve the quality of leads handed over to Sales, and to facilitate accurate reporting of all Marketing activities to support data driven decision making. SMART objectives were set for each country for implementation dates and business segments to be included.
How current state was benchmarked and documented
At the outset of the project the business was inexperienced at digital marketing and did not have consistent lead management processes in place.
After briefing stakeholders on the intention to implement a lead management process, meetings were held with country offices to understand existing capabilities and processes. The outcome of these meetings was used to specify how Marketing would support Sales, and the rollout of the process per country. A simple matrix was used to track progress of the project across the region.
What we implemented in each country
The Central Marketing team created a lead management playbook, which outlined how to implement the lead management process in a country.
Engaging content was created – infographics, white papers, videos, and so on - to attract potential buyers.
Lead nurture campaigns were created to offer the content to target audiences over the course of several months.
Progressive profiling forms were created to capture response details and gradually build up profile information of contacts responding to campaigns.
All Eloqua assets (Emails, Landing Pages and Forms) were Tagged to facilitate reporting of results using Oracle’s Big Data Discovery tool. This allowed additional reporting to be conducted on asset effectiveness in addition to standard Eloqua reporting metrics.
Five Lead Scoring Models were created to identify sales-ready contacts for different business segments. At the outset we decided that 2 content downloads was sufficient for contacts to be passed to Sales as qualified leads for follow up.
Segments and Programs were built to extract qualified leads from scoring models and pass them to our CRM system (Siebel C360).
Reporting is conducted in Oracle Big data Discovery and data is used in Budget Review Calls with accountable country managers.
Relevant Marketing Cloud courses
- Fundamentals of Emails
- Fundamentals of Forms and Landing Pages
- Fundamentals of the Campaign Canvas
- Advanced Editing and Form Processing
- Advanced Segmentation
- Lead Scoring
- Progressive Profiling
- Program Canvas
Impact of lead management on the business
The lead management process has been very successful and has significantly contributed to a culture of data driven decision making throughout the business.
Introducing lead management has significantly improved the relationship between Marketing and Sales.
At the time of writing, lead management has been signed off in 8 countries, with a further 6 countries in progress. Over 20 Lead Nurture Programs have been launched so far in the countries where lead management has been implemented.
Year on year, there has been an increase of over 300% in qualified leads handed over to Sales teams.
Engagement rates of Lead Nurture Programs have been significantly higher than standard email campaigns. For example unique open rates for emails are frequently ~50%, compared to ~15% for regular email campaigns.
Qualified leads from Events are now routed directly to the CRM system based on lead score, whereas this was not previously the case.
Implementing lead management has helped to substantially improve digital marketing skills within each country. 9 Digital Marketing Specialists have been appointed across the region to implement lead management carry out other digital marketing activities.
Main Lessons Learned
Don't make things too complicated - we found that by simplifying requirements and working in an Agile way, we made faster progress compared with trying to deliver a perfect process at the first attempt.
Technology is only half of the story - in many ways creating the technical elements of the lead management process was the easy part. We also worked hard to engage with colleagues in country offices to ensure they fully understood and bought into the lead management process.
Be persistent - challenges were often more complex than anticipated, particularly when it came to CRM integration. By engaging with the right colleagues and persisting with issue fixes, we were able to overcome complex challenges.