I had the extreme pleasure of a conversation with Jon Miller, VP of Marketing for Marketo, the other day and got an inside look at their new Lead Insight for Sales tools.
But, let me back up for a minute to this revolution bit. Marketo is convinced (kudos to them) that in order to recapture the $1 trillion annual loss that results from sales and marketing misalignment nothing short of a Revenue Revolution will bring success.
They've even taken a bold step and invited sales and marketing professionals to sign their Revenue Revolution Manifesto and put their own stake in the ground for alignment. In their words, "The Revenue Revolution occurs when marketing and sales stop pointing fingers, cease working within their own silos, and unite to create dramatic improvements in marketing ROI, sales productivity, and most importantly top-line growth."
Marketo has put their money where their manifesto is by launching Lead Insight for Sales to complement and extend their other marketing tools and focus both sales and marketing on the Revenue Cycle. The Revenue Cycle is a comprehensive look at how all the singular components of the marketing-to-sales process integrate to produce measurable revenue outcomes.
It's also about ramping up collaboration to improve the coordination and contribution from all the separate components or steps that lead to revenue generation.
“When marketing and sales teams coordinate their activities as part of a unified revenue process, companies get better at properly identifying and prioritizing opportunities,” said Barry Trailer of CSO Insights and a strategic advisor to Marketo. “This is important since better quality leads result in easier and better quality sales cycles, with more wins and ultimately more revenue."
What I like about Lead Insight for Sales is that it's designed to work with salespeople, not make them adopt something else. We all know how tough that is. The beta version has an integration with both salesforce.com and Microsoft Outlook. But the Marketo system becomes the system of record for the lifetime of the lead.
Visibility is greatly enhanced across the entire process from lead generation to revenue, meaning everyone can see what's happening, regardless of where the interactions initiate. The ability to close the loop on this process plays a key role in unifying your marketing-to-sales efforts.
And finally, the drag and drop interface incorporated throughout drip campaigns, scoring and routing leads is intuitive and easy to use. There's not going to be a long ramp-up period before your company can see, as well as actively participate and collaborate, deep inside the revenue cycle. By putting the focus squarely on profiling the lead's interest, activity and progression throughout the cycle, the benefits of marketing and sales alignment should become glaringly obvious.
It doesn't hurt to also include some additional insights from a recent report, “BtoB Lead Generation: Marketing ROI & Performance Evaluation Study,” showcased in an article on Demand Gen Report. You can go read the article, but I'll leave you with this tidbit:
"Of the respondents who projected they would outgrow their competition, those sales organizations gave higher marks to their marketing team’s performance and the alignment of sales and marketing. In addition, comparing those who rate their marketing effective to those who rate their marketing less effective shows higher positive rating for quality of leads (56% vs. 20%) and for conditioning leads to create higher preference and conversion rates (46% vs. 13%)."
Go check out demos of Marketo's tools here. Take a spin for yourself and start thinking about how your Revenue Cycle can be improved.