After implementing Eloqua for marketing automation, the marketing operations team in the Intellectual Property (IP) & Science business of Thomson Reuters soon found themselves on the next stage of their journey to modern marketing. What prompted this move? They were taking a batch-and-blast email marketing approach for lead generation rather than sending targeted marketing messages, and were routing leads to sales based on the campaign they responded to, rather than on their quality. It’s no surprise that sales mistrusted these marketing generated leads and began their own distinct lead generation activities. It soon became apparent that the lead management process could not be improved within the IP & Science business without first creating a partnership between the two teams. So began their quest for the holy grail of sales and marketing alignment to create process efficiencies, drive revenue results and make sales and marketing best friends forever (BFF).
The team began sales and marketing alignment by first consolidating all their lead capture process. Once all leads were being captured in Eloqua, the teams collaborated to develop standard lead terminology definitions, process responsibilities and lead scoring criteria. This helped clarify how leads would be handled and who was responsible for them at each stage in the process.
Revenue: $902 million
- Poor segmentation and targeting of prospects.
Lead scoring criteria were developed to better determine which leads should be routed to sales, and data standardisation was used for better segmenting and targeting of prospects. This enabled marketing to send the right message at the right time to leads, rather than taking the batch-and-blast, one-message-fits-all approach of the past. Instead of discarding leads that were not sales-ready, lead nurturing programs were created to keep those leads engaged until they were ready to move on to the next stage in the process. Inside sales teams were established to help follow up with and further quality Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) in order to move them further down the pipleline. Sales and marketing collaborated to develop ideal customer profiles to assist inside sales engage and assess the leads. In addition, the team used Eloqua lead/contact activity tracking links to monitor the online behavior of prospects by reading their digital body language.
Achieving the nirvana of alignment between sales and marketing had other benefits including improved revenue planning, goal setting and reporting. For the first time, both teams could accurately view and measure the number of inquiries, Marketing Captured Leads (MCLs), and MQLs in the lead funnel. Shared marketing and sales dashboards have enabled them to monitor conversion rates. These improved reporting capabilities can predict the number of MQLs required to meet revenue goals, as well as measure campaign effectiveness and justify marketing spend.
“This type of insight and planning has never been possible before here at Thomson Reuters,” said Kim Yeatman, director of marketing operations and analytics. She continues: “Re- engineering lead management and working closer together as a team has accelerated our lead handling, driving large increases in the speed of lead conversion, opportunity creation, and closure.”
The teams have experienced a 23 per cent increase in the number of leads being routed from marketing to sales, a higher proportion of high quality leads being passed to sales, and a 175 per cent increase in revenue attributed to marketing leads. Yeatman continues: “The collaboration of sales and marketing management in driving through these changes has created a partnership of two teams who speak the same language, better understand each other’s roles, and share a single view of our entire revenue generation process."