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Sales 2.0: Greg Brush, Vice President Of Sales And Customer Success, InsideView, San Francisco (Part 2)

Posted on Wednesday, Mar 30th 2011

By Sramana Mitra and guest author Sudhindra Chada

Sramana Mitra: Would you talk more about scoring process, the scoring algorithm?

Greg Brush: You know, I don’t know all the nuances. I work with the director of demand generation, Rob Richardson, on that. Here is what he says about it: “InsideView uses a fairly sophisticated lead scoring methodology. Cutting across two different vectors, we evaluate both the explicit details of a particular contact (title, company size, location, etc.) and the implicit activities (downloaded white paper, attended webinar, chatted at a trade show, etc.) – rolling this up into a aggregate score.”

SM: What you are saying is that you do have a scoring algorithm in that process that basically classifies the leads.

GB: Absolutely! And what I would say is that it is not a fixed thing. We are dynamic about it; we look at it quarter to quarter, and we throttle up or down depending upon the nature of what we see in the flow of inbound leads and our capacity to respond. We also do things like run a campaign within the leads, so it is not just about quality leads and managing those; it is also about the velocity, it is about recognizing what the half life is on a lead. So, we will use different capabilities to drive the velocity in our […] inbound lead response.

SM: What happens next? In terms of profits or technology, what else is happening in the cycle?

GB: A lot of times what happens next is that depending upon the lead and the conversation that happens in LeadQual, if we qualify an opportunity right there, we will direct people to talk to one of our quota-carrying account executives. Alternatively, we might direct them toward some of the different public training information, depending on where they exist on our funnel as a leader in [the] inquiry [stage]. We will also continue to market to them the different white papers, marketing animation and event opportunities, and sales tour conferences that we participate in. So, there are a number of different things we may do that I would put in the education category.

SM: So, you keep in touch with them and engage them in various ways.

GB: Yes, exactly. We do a fair amount of scoring on the events themselves, too, so we have a lot details about these. We are a very-metrics based organization, and we are always measuring how we are doing relative to our specific spending on events, whether it is search engine optimization (SEO), search engine management (SEM), traditional webinars, marketing events, conferences, trade shows, and things like that.

SM: Based on your experience, since you are measuring everything, what is your most effective channel for lead generation?

GB: That is a great question. I would say the best yield in terms of opportunities probably comes from some of the events we do, things like Dreamforce and Sales 2.0 conferences. We did one last year with the corporate executive board that was good. We see higher volume in things like webinars, but the conversion rates might be lower. We see a lot of awareness through some of our Web branding initiatives.

SM: When you are scoring these leads, and you are going ahead and touching them more and more, are there different models of how you touch the leads depending on the score?

GB: Yes, that is definitely an art, I would say, and that is owned and executed by our director of demand generation, Rob Richardson. It is not something that I do, but I would say it is definitely a question of finessing and segmenting different contacts by the status of their inquiry level. And then we run campaigns and different initiatives relative to that segment. We have a strong sales and marketing alignment within the organization, so for a lot of the marketing aspects we score the leads, and we actively track what the cost per opportunity and what the cost per lead are. We track all of these things through the phone, or even we reach through the matrix. Rob is the one who owns all that. He explains it as, “Leads that score well are sent directly to our LeadQual team for further qualification; those that do not meet a particular threshold are dropped into nurturing programs. Our nurturing strategy is in a constant state of flux, as we continually test and adjust our follow-up messaging and offer mix – [we are] always striving for the greatest conversion to sales-ready lead.”

SM: At what point does marketing hand the lead over to sales?

GB: The people who are in our LeadQual roll up through my organization, but we really track the difference when something goes from a lead to an opportunity. So, we track conversion rates on lead to opportunity, and we shake hands on this. So, if our LeadQual person believes that the lead he or she is working on is an opportunity, that person quickly promotes it to our account executives and they consciously accept the opportunity. So, it is a discreet hand-off that happens between a lead to an opportunity, and we then score it accordingly.

This segment is part 2 in the series : Sales 2.0: Greg Brush, Vice President Of Sales And Customer Success, InsideView, San Francisco
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