By Sramana Mitra and guest author Sudhindra Chada
SM: Got it. Let me ask you again the question I was asking. In getting to the lower dollar number, $462, which obviously has other efficiencies buried in it, it’s a function of cost, time, quality, and so on. What role have these technologies played in it? What is sales and marketing 2.0 doing?
DF: We simply could not do it without the technology.
SM: Tell me more.
DF: We would be out of business; we would be dead. It is being done through the technology and a combination of processes. People, process, technology is nothing new; we were talking about it even a hundred years ago. These are just newer technologies.
SM: Can you walk through a straw man work flow of what the lead qualification process looks like that gets you to $462?
DF: It will start at the very highest level at the building of our opt-in e-mail database. The information on this database comes from lots of different data sources such as Jigsaw, Hubspot, and ZoomInfo. That is all technology. Then we drop down to designing a campaign. Who are we going to communicate to, and when are we going to communicate? When we communicate for the first time and they say, that is very interesting, tell me more, what is the next step in the process? You have to define the campaign. That is Eloqua. We can’t do it without this technology. At that point, the next thing is I have to create the actual message. There are two types of messages, flat text and rich media. Brainshark is a rich media technology which we use to create little infomercials about how banks can grow bigger, better, and faster using our products and services. So we write that rich media message which gets integrated to the e-mail push campaign at certain times of the day and certain days of the week over a certain month. We are sprinkling out these outbound messages. That is all done through technology. When people on the other end receive the e-mail, click on the link, and listens to the presentation, we can see slide by slide through the video how much of it they watched and when they watched. If somebody watches it twice, they must have a lot of interest, so within thirty minutes a person in the organization, called an account rep, will get an automated message on his or her desktop saying someone just watched this presentation. Then we call that person. We call this a warm call. It is illegal in Brainshark to make cold calls. Our account management people go through a conversation to identify a potential business challenge that customers have that we can solve, and if it meets three or four criteria, that is then coded into Salesforce.com as an MQO. It is then a sign to the sales person. That is kind of the flow to create an MQO. That is a whole bunch of integrated technology, done in real time.
SM: You brought up cold calling and not warm calling. What role do you see social media playing at this point in sales 2.0?
DF: It is a growing role. I think people like me in the industry are putting a lot of time and effort into increasingly leveraging social media. There are some elements of social media that can support sales people. Sales people are still out there prospecting and networking. There are good applications like LinkedIn for doing a lot of discovery work and a lot of networking and relationship selling. There are other social media tools that are more in tune with supporting the marketing organization or the services organization where you are trying to build a community around your customers or prospects, where you are trying to insert your thought leadership into the community and be a value-add.