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Automation tools blur the line between sales, marketing

SALES-ENABLED NURTURING

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“We have 35 different nurturing programs running concurrently to invite prospects into such things as thought leadership, webinars [and] white papers,” Eisenberg said. “And it's all under the control of sales.” Marketing list-building company NetProspex Inc. links its crowdsourced databases to Salesforce and LandSlide CRM, as well as marketing automation platforms Eloqua and Silverpop, to provide contact information about people who may be actively looking to purchase. Among its services is TechProspex, which identifies the technology used by b-to-b companies and contacts down to the specific model or version. “Marketing has changed tremendously,” said Maribeth Ross, VP-marketing at NetProspex. “The digital revolution allows email campaigns to talk to Salesforce automation systems to track opportunities that can become deals.” Ross said databases are essential to the sales-powered direct-marketing process. Contact appends help keep registration forms short, she said. And a NetProspex partnership with VisiStat Inc., which like Demandbase identifies website visitors by IP addresses, further informs the sales process. Aprimo Inc.'s Service to Sales app, available on Salesforce.com's AppExchange, uses customer data from call centers and points of purchase to tailor offers quickly after a purchase or conversion. Aprimo's solution includes an offer repository, a business rules engine, a contact history database and predictive analytics to improve offer targeting over time. “The main purpose is to turn the call center from a cost center into a profit center by having the ability to up- and cross-sell,” said Dave Motheral, director-independent software vendor alliances at Aprimo. Motheral said call centers using Salesforce's Service Cloud connected to an API with the Aprimo platform now have the advantage of predictive analytics to better inform product suggestions. The process means that sales and marketing are moving closer together with new direct marketing capabilities, he said. And it's coming not necessarily from the long-awaited meeting of minds but rather through advances in technology. “Sales has always had great insight into who's most likely to buy,” said Greg Ott, CMO at Demandbase. But information about likely buyers, Ott said, traditionally has been “trapped across the marketing wall” and isolated from sales. “Now, as you integrate and push the CRM platform forward into something usable, it can trigger direct marketing based on an insight that the sales team might know,” he said. “That's where sales and marketing are beginning to converge.” Ott said a Demandbase feature called an “account pulse” identifies the people from a single company researching a business and its products. “If they have a "pulse,' indicated by activity across your website, that's a good indicator they're ready to buy,” Ott said. It's a signal for sales to actively initiate conversations rather than waiting for marketing to give the go-ahead, he said. At DocuSign, classic direct-marketing offers are strong performers, and are initiated by sales through Salesforce syncing with Eloqua and an API integration with Demandbase. “As sales works the leads, they market to different stages,” Eisenberg said. “If we're unable to reach a good lead after one month, we run a program that asks for a phone call back, five minutes of their time and [offers] a $10 Amazon.com card. “You would be amazed how people respond to this,” Eisenberg said. “They pick up the phone right away.”
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