The Marketing Challenge:
Within our business, Eloqua and Marketing Automation are both relatively new concepts. The sales team is very possessive of their clients and they are quite reluctant to allow marketing to contact their clients directly.
This became a challenge for the marketing team, as we would design fantastic campaigns in Eloqua, create our segments based on some well thought out filters, and then share that list with the sales team, only to be told to remove half the contacts and add a list of other contacts. Often these contacts aren't even in our CRM instance, let alone in Eloqua. The hurdle that we needed to overcome was: How do we get our sales team to trust marketing with contacting the clients that the sales team believe to be the right contacts. The first step is to build the sales team’s trust. The second step will be for the sales team to trust marketing's segmentation exercises and know that we are contacting the right client at the right stage in their buying journey.
Our goal is to build a level of trust where the Sales Team is confident that we are touching the correct clients at the correct time, thereby allowing us to decide when to put which clients into Nurture campaigns.
The Marketing team spends ages creating complex segments in Eloqua that have to be changed and reworked for every campaign based on feedback from the sales teams, resulting in delays in launching the campaigns of up to a month. In the fast paced industry that we operate in, time is money.
The Sales team is comfortable with flagging clients in campaigns within Salesforce, so I thought, why not use this as a way of indicating which clients our sales team would like to include in our campaigns? This way, they don't only have ownership and control over who we are contacting, but it also allows them to add clients to nurture or other “always on” campaigns if they believe the campaign would be of value.
To do this, I created a new custom object for our contacts which referenced the Campaign details from Salesforce.
Then, when we create our segments in Eloqua, we simply create a filter that references the Custom object, and specifically the SFDC Campaign Members field, which is being pulled across from Salesforce.com on an inbound sync.
As you see from the custom object fields, I am also mapping the contact status within the campaign, which also allows me to create exclude rules. If they mark the status as Don’t Send, I simply ensure that I create an exclude filter which looks at the status field and filters based on that. This is my way of creating that level of trust with our sales team. Ultimately, they are in control of who gets included in which campaign, without them having to send copious spreadsheets and lists of who they want included and who they want excluded.
The courses that I have found invaluable in this project were B2B: Profile and Target, B2B: Convert with Custom Objects and B2B: CRM Integrations.
I also have to thank the Topliners community for sharing their ideas and projects. It isn’t often that you find such an active and responsive community, that is always willing to help. Often just browsing through questions and answers, I have found new ideas that I will try to bring into our business in one way or another.
Our solution is a temporary one to help us build the trust and internal reputation with our sales team. We will soon get to a point where we, as a marketing team, have the autonomy to decide which clients we need to contact and when, and that is when I really believe that Eloqua will come into its own. The marketing automation project is a journey, and to get to that final destination we need to take one small step at a time.
How it has impacted our business:
The initial feedback from our sales team has been awesome. They love the idea that they are able to choose who they want to involve in which campaign. One of my sales team members commented just the other day that he was so excited about the campaigns that are being run and the ones being planned! I thought this strange, so asked him to explain. He said to me that he was at a client where he identified an opportunity for a solution, and after discussing it further, realized that the client would be a perfect fit for one of our nurture campaigns, so before he left the client premises, he logged onto Salesforce, added the client to the nurture and within the next day the client had received their first mailer, had engaged and was eagerly waiting for the next installment.
If we can get sales to buy into our marketing efforts, and support our initiatives like this, the world is ours for the taking.