I joined DemandGen in 2017 and, as a salesperson, I’ve figuratively died and gone to heaven. Before working at DemandGen, I didn’t get many inbound leads from marketing and was responsible for prospecting and sourcing my own leads throughout my career. And in the rare cases when leads were passed over from former marketing teams, I didn’t have visibility into key details beyond the contact information they provided like company size, industry, lead score, account score, assets they downloaded, and other extremely useful information to a salesperson. Pretty much the only thing I knew was that someone contacted us, and asked us to follow up. If I were lucky, maybe they provided a little more detail in a Contact Us form description field.
To complicate matters, there were no lead nurturing or scoring programs, so the lead follow-up and engagement solely rested with me. It was a literal baton pass in the past. Rarely were sales and marketing aligned. As a result, there were no processes in place to warm leads before handing them off to the right salesperson after they were truly qualified. As a result, I spent countless hours doing my own research to qualify each lead. It was time-consuming and unproductive. My story isn’t new. Every salesperson has experienced this. I just want to put it into contrast to what my experience is like working at DemandGen.
I’ve been in sales for about 30 years now, and I’ve never been so empowered as I am now. Here at DemandGen, I’m not only getting nurtured and qualified leads, but I can also quickly and effectively follow up on them through a powerful set of sales enablement tools provided to me by who? Marketing, that’s who. Who in sales wouldn’t be thrilled? I want every salesperson to be this happy, so let me take you through a day in my life with a glimpse at the tools I use and how I use them.
Know your prospect with the click of a button
We use a B2B audience management platform tool, Leadspace, that is integrated with Salesforce. When a lead comes in from our website — maybe someone filled out a form or registered for an event — I’ll get an email that contains information about the MQL and a link. When I click on the link, the lead comes up in Salesforce, where I have immediate access to a variety of relevant information. For example, I can see that Joe Smith just registered for an event and what Joe’s role is in the organization, as well as information about the company itself, including:
- Sales revenue
- Number of employees
- A summary of what the company does
- What software they have that is relevant to us (e.g., Salesforce, Marketo, Eloqua)
And guess what? The lead has already been scored! I already know if it’s a hot lead, and if I can call them right away. The lead scoring system incorporates behavioral factors, fit criteria, and even predictive AI-based factors. It seems a bit of black magic to a new rep like me, but I learned working here that DemandGen pioneered these lead scoring methods and has been adapting them over the years and this technology has been advancing. If it’s not a super-hot lead, I can figure out how aggressively I want to pursue them, and Leadspace enables me to append the database with additional prospects at the target account — all without any data entry by me other than a few mouse clicks. All of this power helps me instantly size up the opportunity, determine next steps, and use my time wisely.
Our marketing automation system is also well integrated into our Salesforce instance, so I can click right in the lead record and see everything we’ve sent to that particular contact and how they’ve engaged with us. With a click of a button I can see what content they have opened, if they registered for an event, what portions of the website they’ve visited, and what content was downloaded. Through this history, I can determine their areas of interest, and come up with a game plan for our initial conversation.
As I mentioned, if the lead really isn’t my ideal point of contact, or I want to target additional members of the buying committee, I can use Leadspace to easily find other individuals within that organization, in my case marketing and sales operations, and pull up potential leads — with accurate contact information! All I have to do is select the ones I want to reach out to, and the tool will automatically add them into Salesforce for me. In the past, I’d have to figure out who the relevant contacts are through LinkedIn or another tool, which is very time-consuming. And good luck getting their actual emails and phone numbers! Leadspace has a way of harvesting this information and telling me the level of accuracy. Amazing.
Pull in related contacts so you can talk to the right person
Another sales enablement tool DemandGen uses is Lean Data. Because of some limitations in Salesforce’s design, there really isn’t a way to easily spot other leads from the same company already in the CRM, or even contacts and accounts that already exist. Lean Data lets me see all the records and accounts related to the lead I’m looking at in one view. For example, if I get a lead from XYZ company, Lean Data will automatically go out and search other areas of the database and display related contacts. I can quickly see everyone’s business title and contact information or learn if someone has left the company.
Before I had access to tools like Lean Data and Leadspace, it took a lot of time and effort to do the research to find all the various contacts at the account, the right contact information, and time to do the data entry to add it to Salesforce. All that data work took away from doing the real work of selling. Now I can easily triangulate within a company who else I should be selling to. It feels a bit “automagic,” I must say.
Easily create relevant content experiences — right from within Outlook
When I’m ready to reach out to a prospect, I can create my own sales stream (similar to a marketing campaign) with another tool we use called Uberflip. The beauty of Uberflip is that it has the ability to create mini-marketing campaigns that you can send right from Outlook, leveraging all the content we have in our resources hub.
I can draft an email, peruse the content library, and select the content I want to share. Or, I can create a multi-touch email stream based on what the client or prospect is interested in. Very empowering. Talk about sales and marketing alignment. We actually feel like one team.
Find and share the right content more quickly
Another neat tool I have access to is TrapIt, a social media content repository tool. I can share any of DemandGen’s thought leadership content and resources — blog posts, webinars, even industry content that we didn’t create ourselves — via social media or email. This helps to establish me as an additional subject matter expert on LinkedIn, where I can see how many people have read or shared the content I’ve posted. As a result, I’m developing followers that will potentially lead to opportunities in the future, and I’m helping to amplify DemandGen’s marketing efforts.
Send personalized video messages with ease
We just launched another tool called Vidyard GoVideo, which allows us to create and send video messages directly within an email. Whether I’m following up before or after an event, sharing relevant content, or requesting a meeting, I’m able to create a short video of myself personally thanking them and send it directly in an email.
I’m excited to begin personalizing more and more of my messages instead of sending the standard text-based email follow-up. I even get to see who has watched them, which helps me know my message has landed.
Make your sales team feel like they have died and gone to heaven!
Here at DemandGen, we have the best sales enablement tools that I’ve ever had access to hands down, and it’s already made me a much more effective salesperson. I’ve easily seen a 30% increase in my productivity, and that’s a conservative estimate. I’m closing a high percentage of my deals and I credit that to being timely in my follow up, providing engaging and informative content, and probably most important, demonstrating to our prospects the power of the tools that we help them with.
I used to spend a good part of my day researching who to contact and finding content. Now I can quickly find the right contacts, send them an email with relevant content via Uberflip, and continue to engage with ease. In today’s day and age where it’s all about providing meaningful interaction to your prospects and your clients, that’s super important.
Marketing led the charge to make my job easier and more effective, and I couldn’t be more thrilled! Investing in these tools has aligned the sales and marketing organizations very closely. It allows me, as a salesperson, to be extremely relevant to my target prospects and even customize my outreach. With all of the cool technology out there, marketing teams everywhere can empower their own sales teams! Can you tell I’m excited? And heck, marketing even asked me to tell my “Died and gone to heaven story” here on the blog. I truly have.
Debbie Fisher is a veteran Account Executive who worked for IBM, Accenture, and boutique Salesforce.com consultancies before joining DemandGen. She works strategically with her clients to identify cost-effective, timely solutions that address critical business needs and help companies achieve their business goals.