Assembling the elephant … thinking about the Ultimate CMO Dashboard

The whole is more than the sum of its parts (Aristotle). As a marketing leader, you don’t want to just make an impression, you want to show your impact.

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Let’s cut to the chase: as Chief Marketing Officer you need metrics and results. Otherwise, there is no glory – and no budget or resources for you to help your company succeed. Setting KPIs is today’s mantra for everything you do. But agreeing on which KPIs are relevent, is not that straightforward.

Despite our focus on being data driven and building our marketing plan on data rather than assumptions, aligning with sales objectives and corporate strategy – what we perceive as a successful result may not resonate among our peers. Our KPIs must be based on a joint perception of what constitutes success. Believe me, in large organizations, CMO-life isn’t straightforward:

Success

It’s analogous to the story of the three blind men and the elephant in which each blind man touched a different part of the elephant (trunk, leg and tail) and thus had a different perception of it. (Debbie Quagish, The Pedowitz Group)

 

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Illustration by Frits Ahlefeldt “The Hiking Artist Project”

So, how can you fulfill all these expectations while controlling your urge to count leads, conversion rates, clicks, opens, and number of attendees at your events?

I am guessing, that this is how you judge your success as a marketing leader today. But other stake holders expect different measures, and nothing is more frustrating for a marketing leader than happily reporting marketing results and then being ignored/unappreciated by the organization.

The dilemma is well known – there are countless “How To Measure Marketing Success” do-it-yourself books, articles, videos and blogs out there for you to sample. But from checking 10 different sources, none of these provided an answer to all of the above. Most – and that makes sense – are focused on the expectations of Sales in order to support creating revenue. But remember, Sales is measured on short term goals, and your CFO wanted your plan in place 12-18 months before it is supposed to be executed.

The ultimate CMO Dashboard

When convincing CFOs, CEOs and board rooms, the trick used to be to show complex pivot tables with an abundance of data that hopefully illustrated achieving your KPIs. But times have changed, and speed is the new currency of business.

You only have seven seconds to make an impression.

But knowing that your counterpart only has a slightly higher attention span than a goldfish, you have about eight seconds  to make an impact.

So, skip the pivots and show The Ultimate CMO Dashboard:

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You know you want it. (Source: Musqot Marketing Technology)

It has all the components you need in order to assemble the various parts of the elephant. The dashboard reports on budget, progress according to plan, activities planned and status, and much more. You can slice it the way you want. The application is called Marketing Performance Management (MPM) and is developed by one of Sweden’s exciting startups, Musqot Marketing Technology.

The benefit of an overview like this is that it takes only 8 seconds to process during a meeting where the CMO holds the last spot and only has 12 minutes left from the 20 minutes she was allocated on the agenda.

Another clever aspect is the fact that it provides a holistic view of marketing execution, CMO Dashboard 1based on real time data. For example, the planning section is built upon the familiar concept of Gantt charts while in the same view you have the updated results from the various activities displayed at the bottom – taking Gantt to the next level so to speak.

Musqot’s current tagline is “Control Will Unleash Creativity” and speaks to exactly what marketing is all about in the enterprise: being able to creatively support the strategic objectives of a company while maintaining control over planning, budgeting and execution. So, basically you are combining the parts of the elephant into … a whole elephant … rather than a snake (the trunk), a spear (the tusks), a piece of rope (the tail) and a leathery sheet (the ears).

There is a catch

If you want to visualize data driven planning, progress and results, you need to have the data available in a consolidated environment where the various sources are seamlessly integrated. Despite being the ultimate tool for marketing finance and performance management for the enterprise, you will unfortunately need to reside and consolidate everything on the Salesforce platform. It’s not an easy nut to crack, but to work with data means that the data needs to be compatible regardless of its source. Especially if you – as in this case – have real time visualization and insights to gain.

So, to reap the benefits of the ultimate CMO dashboard, you would need your data to be sourced from and consolidated on the Salesforce platform. Which is why Musqot is a featured application available on the Salesforce AppExchange.

But if you measure – and show – marketing success in a format that ties it all together like this, where activities are directly associated with sales success, the sales manager may just stop asking you to organize huge events and request more long time planning and engaging campaigns that are timely based upon the actual needs of the future customer. So now both Sales and Finance recognize your marketing success.

By consolidating your data, your activities and your results on one platform that is integrated well into the company’s IT backend, the CIO will recognize the success of your marketing activities.

And if everyone else is pleased, so is your CEO. Especially since you did not bore her to death, and succeeded in presenting your update within the eight seconds you had to make an impact.

Signed, sealed and delivered

moderndatasolusi

Document workflow is about converting data into valued transactions

Documents are at the core of successful businesses. We all get carried away by technology, so we tend to forget that the deal itself between a vendor and his customer is signed, sealed and delivered on a document. Okay, we can keep it digital. But a digital document is a document, nonetheless.

Digital is much more complex to handle than paper – you have data, you have tasks, you have interactions, you have compatibility issues. And no time to consolidate it all.

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Oneflow Collaboration Chart (Fluido Salesforce Innovation Hour)

Just think about the documents required to manage all of these! Each of these functions on this collaboration chart created by Oneflow also require legal compliance. Things that keep you awake at night such as revision tracking, signatures, data privacy, product liability, auditing and archiving. OneFlow’s way is to offer a document independent workflow of actions and interactions that only combines into a document as we know it when it is consolidated and sealed.

During each of the steps in the Oneflow application, the data is enriched, the cycle progresses but nothing is locked down until it is required – i.e. when a legal contract is signed by two parties.

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Oneflow Workflow for Contract Handling

 

When I got my first typewriter with correction tape in 1984, the technical documentation I was creating became both more accurate and looked nicer. And the interface was easy – you just had to avoid making changes after you had pulled your A4 out of the machine.

From a user perspective, the correction tape in a typewriter has been replaced by data points enriching the content that becomes the document. datafields

It’s no use if you don’t use it

Today, you interface with your operating system, your application and your selected platform – hoping that it will support the previous two.

In a very recent survey conducted by Documill among document automation experts and system integrators, the message was quite clear: It’s all about ease of use, content and branding/template support. (I bet they asked the actual users, not the managers.)

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Speaking about users – and platforms – the marketing mantra for document workflow solution vendors has always been seamless integration. But it is never seamless, and the platform is where it all comes together. So, even if you have a document workflow solution that liberates you from the paper in the typewriter, you still have to fit the details together and keep them up to date.

Documill Dynamo simple Salesforce data mapping numbered

Using a document workflow solution like Documill Dynamo especially created to seamlessly integrate with the Salesforce platform is one way of ensuring trackability, brand and collaboration within the Salesforce universe. It’s datadriven, collects the components of a document directly from real time data sources, and allows for all the benefits of collaboration that is the DNA of Salesforce. The outcome is a nice PDF – which is just an even better version of my A4 in the typewriter.

Although I am certain that this will change when our tablet kids are conquering the business world:

My grandson (aged 4) walked up to a huge e-display at the airport and tried to swipe. Then he told me, it was broken.

Ease of use is key even when it comes to selling tools. A tool is useless if it is not used. You need to interface with your data the way you interface with your phone or tablet. Let’s swipe, dictate, command and scan to enter and work with the data in your sales tool. That way you will actually get it done.

Some of us may probably end up having withdrawal symptoms and look for ways to scan our documents and to integrate our tools into our comfort zone such as Outlook. But you are just adding another layer of complexity and more applications to time manage.

“Too many sales tools are still desktop-oriented. As consumers, we enjoy doing stuff on mobile. When we go to work, why would we want to specifically boot up a computer? In five years time there won’t be one single end-all tool, but several tools that work seamlessly together during different sales pipeline phases. Data, digitalization and automation will take over.”

Blogpost by Finnish innovator Zero Keyboard quoting Nikolai Pietiläinen of Varpaus Bikes (Cycling-as-a-Service)

Do it when it’s top of mind

This is where a clever solution called Zero Keyboard comes in. Zero Keyboard let’s you enter data on mobile, manage your sales activities and update business systems without typing. It is currently marketed on the Appexchange and runs on the Salesforce CRM platform, but the concept is a winner: you manage your data and your tasks by swiping, voice command and scanning. Take a look at what I am talking about on this video.

Even my grandson could do it. And he probably will, once he’s grown up.

 

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The Fluido  Innovation Hour on April 23 (online event) brings together some of these offerings needed to create a meaningful end-to-end document driven business, using Salesforce as it’s platform. From marketing, sales and support to collaborative contract handling and closing the deal.

Credits

Featured Image by RICOH distributor Modern Datasolusi

Selected images and research by Documill, OneFlow, Zero Keyboard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cut through the noise

There are simply far too many emails in the world – you do not want to add to the noise. And with Google’s new Gmail interface with a tab entirely devoted to sale updates and coupons, where all emails which includes an unsubscribe link get lumped together, it gets even tougher for email marketers to get through.  So here are 9 great tips on how to create a successful email campaign. First, 25 mind blowing stats about email marketing:

Email marketing is cost-effective and the results are easy to track. But it needs to be part of a holistic marketing strategy to generate great ROI. Shouting is not enough.

  1. Create target lists – Segment your audience into target groups by creating lists. Use such as location, company, industry or size, job titles, past purchases and demographic information.
  2. Personalize your content – Tailor your message and content to appeal to each audience by using short, personalized messages with industry-specific key words to speak to the audience in their own language. You can also include a call to action by providing a link to an article, whitepaper or something else valuable for the receiver. Try to experiment with both rich text HTML and plain text formats to see which gets the best response.
  3. Don’t forget the subject line – Because it is vital! A survey from Salesforce shows that the open rate increases with 58 % if the subject has fewer than 10 characters, so try to nail a perfect line and this will help out a lot.
  4. Alert sales – Be sure to alert sales when you execute a campaign so they’re ready to respond quickly to the resulting leads.
  5. Integrate with your web – By using Web-to-lead forms you can capture prospect information from visitors to your site. And check out the marketing automation apps on the AppExchange to find other ways to shorten the time between an inquiry and response.
  6. Develop a social media strategy – To increase your visibility and establish yourself as a trusted advisor and expert, develop a social media strategy on how to be present in different social media channels. In my next post I will give you some more detailed tips on how to use social media tools for business and how to build a successful strategy.
  7. Don’t spam – Respect you prospects and don’t spam them with emails, it’s important to give them the information and content they are interested in. Your goal is to have a conversation over time and to build a relationship between the prospect and your company and spamming includes neither one of them.
  8. Track results – Measure how users respond to keep refining your tactics. Think about what you want to measure and then identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) you want to track.
  9. Nurture campaigns – Lead nurturing can have a dramatic effect on your sales pipeline so it’s important to alert your reps to follow up on leads being nurtured. You can for example use lead scoring as you can read more about here in my earlier post.

Get the right look

If you want to reinforce the look and feel of your emails and ensure your messaging always is consistent, try using an email template. At Salesforce.com you can find templates for text, HTML with letterhead, custom HTML and Force.com pages (Visualforce). This is not only great for the marketing department, it is also a great tool for your reps so that sales and marketing can speak with one voice. And it saves them time – time to spend on more selling. With Salesforce templates there’s also a built-in dynamic tracking feature so you can track which emails were opened, how many times and when each recipient last opened the email.

Remember to keep your templates up to date and easily accessible. For more detailed instructions on how to create your own email template, go to Help & Training. And if you need inspiration and want to see some great examples of email marketing, you should read this report from MarketingSherpa where they announced the winners of email marketing 2012.

 

Customer Company Tour Nordics 2013

Sign up for a day packed with exciting new sessions and breakthrough technologies during Customer Company Tour Nordics 2013. Come and meet us the 15th of October at Grand Hotel in Stockholm. Sign up here!

Turning leads into loyal customers

If you read my last post you may have learned how to increase the flow of high quality leads. But you really do not want to leave them out there in the void: If you manage them in a systematic and structured way, you can increase both the number of leads and the conversion rate: How many of those you turn into loyal customers.

By following these five steps you’re going to increase your pipeline and at the same time making sure you’re focusing on the right leads.

  1. First of all, just as Joe Pack explains in his article about Smarketing, you must align your sales and marketing teams to ensure no lead is overlooked. It’s a team effort. Map out your sales process and define clear hand-off criteria between marketing and sales. You have to define when a marketing lead is passed to inside sale and also when an inside sales lead should be converted into an opportunity, account and contact.
  2. Define your success metrics up front to be sure you’re not missing any important information when your leads move through the funnel. For example you can measure your pipeline by industry and then use a lead history report to show the number of open opportunities by converted lead industry.
  3. Now that you have several options to increase your leads (post) such as using your Web properties, SEM campaigns and social media, you can also import lists from Excel spreadsheets or from email applications such as Outlook and Gmail.
  4. Keep your data clean and avoid duplicate leads by using the “Find Duplicates” button in Salesforce CRM frequently. Also, create rules to avoid converting leads without email address or phone number.
  5. Track your lead-generation efforts and find out where you get most of your leads and which marketing tools that works best for you. By using a lead history report you can analyze revenue and pipeline to find lead criteria such as lead source, industry or annual revenue to opportunity amounts. You can also use campaigns with metrics like # leads, $$ pipeline and ROI. And at last, make it easy for yourself and get a clear view of your funnel by defining the stages of your sales process by using categorizing # sales qualified leads, # opportunities and # closed revenue.

It’s a team effort – so take a look at this video on how to establish an effective sales and marketing methodology:


Add lead scores to close the deal

Lead scoring helps sales to focus on hot leads and those most likely to result in a closed deal:

  • If you’re just getting started with lead scoring, use BANT (budget, authority, need and timing) data as a preliminary assessment of lead quality.  Then start to categorize your leads into levels of priority by using a point system to assign values to characteristics that align with successful sales. For example, you may assign 10 points to a CEO and 3 points to a manager based on the experience that CEO prospects result in more closed deals.
  • Categorize your lead data into explicit and implicit where explicit is the information you get from your own channels or by direct interaction, while implicit includes online behavior such as emails opened, click-throughs and downloads of marketing material. To come up with the best possible lead score you have to evaluate both types of data together because just knowing someone has repeatedly engaged with the corporate site is not enough. You also want to make sure the prospect’s profile shows if he or she can make purchasing decisions.
  • Once you identify qualified prospects with lead scoring you should automate the process by adding workflows and alerts, you can for example set up an email alert to notify a sales rep to follow up immediately.
  • Revisit your scoring criteria’s regularly as you learn more about how various characteristics correlate with success. And when you’re ready to take lead scoring to the next level you should check out the scoring applications in the AppExchange directory!

Just like the weather in Ireland, if it’s cold today, it can get hot tomorrow, so don’t disqualify a lead only because it’s not right for the moment. Update your fields with details why the lead didn’t qualify and keep an eye on it for the future.

Good luck!


Customer Company Tour Nordics 2013

Sign up for a day packed with exciting new sessions and breakthrough technologies during Customer Company Tour Nordics 2013. Come and meet us the 15th of October at Grand Hotel in Stockholm. Sign up here!

Become a customer company and turbocharge your lead process

During this summer I will share some best practices on how to become a customer company and how Salesforce CRM can help you optimize your marketing strategies. This first post is about how you generate more leads, since few things are more vital to a business than generating leads and future sales. And it doesn’t have to be as hard as it sometimes feels. Here are some great tips on how to become a customer company and connect with your customers in a whole new way.

Get to know your audience

If you haven’t by now, it’s time to take your marketing to the next level. Today, companies have to be more social than ever to create engagement and likeability.

  • By using a real time channel such as Twitter, you can capture leads by promoting your products and services, but most important, you can build relationships with both clients and prospects.
  • To know what to tweet about you have to do your research. Don’t underestimate the faithful old servant, your website, to find out what your prospects are interested in. By using Web-to-lead forms you can automatically capture information from visitors who already have an interest in your business.
  • Although, there is a few things to keep in mind before you create a form. Define what information you want to collect, consider where you should place the form and how much information is legitimate to ask for.
  • As soon as you have these parts in place, don’t be afraid to multiply your forms to capture different types of information!

Optimize and evaluate

But there is one problem, it doesn’t matter how great your website is, if just a few knows it exists.

  • Make sure to be where your prospects are looking by using for example Google Adwords.
  • To further search optimize your website there are also some great apps to use. Check out the AppExchange app SEO for Salesforce which automatically connects to intelligence data through Google Analytics. With the app you can also track your lead origins and report by search engine, keywords and campaigns through your entire sales cycle.
  • And remember! Evaluate your lead sources to see which one performs the best and gives you the best results.

By following these best practices you will soon increase the flow of high quality leads and at the same time build up your database of valuable information.

Customer Company Tour Nordics 2013

Sign up for a day packed with exciting new sessions and breakthrough technologies during Customer Company Tour Nordics 2013. Come and meet us the 15th of October at Grand Hotel in Stockholm. Sign up here!

Take a look at the keynote from the Customer Company Tour last year with JP Rangaswami talking about Business is Social: