How MobileIron manages volume with marketing automation

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The three-person marketing department at enterprise software provider MobileIron steered 30,000 Web leads through its sales channels last year, guiding prospects through an automated process that fed its growing partner network. The annual conversion rate: More than 27%. “That's huge,” said Adam Stein, marketing director of MobileIron. “We really put in place a way to move people through the various stages. With that many prospects, the only way that you can address them on a one-off basis and have all of the air-traffic control that you need to get people to the different stages of the sales funnel is by using marketing automation.” The proliferation of smartphones and tablet devices has driven demand for the company's mobile device management and security products, making it essential for the marketing team to be able to manage a growing number of leads while also recruiting and educating partners. In 2011, the company stretched its global footprint over 30 countries, saw company bookings quadruple over the previous year and more than doubled its employee base. The current marketing program, which combines content strategy with a customized marketing automation system, gives the lean department the agility it needs to respond to the company's rapid growth, Stein said. MobileIron pulls leads in from webinars, analyst reports and face-to-face events, then uses an established plan to help its network of VARs, carriers and systems integrators advance the sale. “Content matters,” Stein said. “But when you go back to that sales playbook it's, once you get that content, how do you map [a lead] through the sales process so that it's a repeatable process and it moves quickly through the sales funnel.” Most leads come in through, he said, with partners, paid advertisements, and event and call lists also contributing. MobileIron works with marketing automation software provider Marketo to build forms and customize the automation process, funneling leads to the appropriate partner and then pushing the lead from first meeting to product deep dive, to an evaluation, a request for proposal and finally, the close. The system includes a series of time-based alerts that ensure no lead falls through the cracks. It also provides flexibility. Leads garnered, for example, at a live event can be entered further into the funnel than leads from another source. The automation software allows the marketing department to track ROI and create reports for review. At the same time, it helps MobileIron manage its growing partner base. Prospective partners can fill out Web forms and begin the automated recruitment process. Educational materials and event invitations are funneled to existing partners, and the company then tracks participation. That kind of insight and the management of data flow are crucial, Stein said. “For a 250-person company that's growing rapidly, to have three people and do the number of leads and opportunities with that many partners—and put content together to educate those partners—you need to automate it,” he said.
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