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Growing A SaaS Startup With Velocity: Marketo CEO Phil Fernandez (Part 4)

Posted on Monday, May 23rd 2011

Sramana: What do you do in the process that directly supports your clients?

Phil Fernandez: We can help our clients to produce webinars to promote their product or services, even if it is specific to a geographic area. To run a webinar you need to identify the target audience, and you need to be able to contact them, invite them, track who attends versus who has registered, and follow up with attendees afterward. Our product does that.

We send the e-mail invitations, our system interfaces directly with WebEx for the webinar, and we keep track of who registered. We then deliver reports showing who attended and who did not, because even if they did not attend there must still be some interest there. They are still prospective customers, and that is where lead nurturing kicks in. We will send one message to the people who did not attend with a link to the audio recording. We send a different message to the 800 people who did attend.

We have a very systematic process to follow up and engage with everybody. That is the kindling of potential buyer business. We then take that scenario and do it hundreds of times a month in different cities. For a client, that will result in a lot of contacts and names, and they need to know which of the thousands of respondents should receive a call directly from a salesperson. Our systems and analytics measures and monitors enough data points that our clients can determine who to call. We then drive those leads into the sales team.

It is important for sales teams to know who the best people are to call. They need to know who is most likely to say yes. We provide the sales teams with a dashboard that shows them rating system for the contact with one to three stars and one to three flames. The front-line salesperson knows who is most likely to say yes and buy the product before they even make the call. That is a phenomenally powerful ROI for our customers. That dramatically increases the productivity of the salesperson.

Sramana: Is there a particular size of customer that you aim to support? A lot of smaller companies use services like iContact and DimDim to do essentially the same thing as you are describing.

Phil Fernandez: The company you just mentioned, iContact, is a customer of ours and uses our solution to find more customers. As it turns out, the Marketo product integrates with other solutions. On24 is both a Marketo customer and uses Marketo in its solution to its customers. You can think of Marketo as the orchestra conductor. We integrate with e-mail, SMS, and many cloud engines. We work across multiple channels. If you can interact with a buyer, then we can work there. At the macro workflow we orchestrate the big picture of all your channels and marketing programs and ultimately drive that into contacts for your sales force to talk to.

Sramana: Are you both a product and service company?

Phil Fernandez: We are a software solution that is offered as a service. We are a SaaS company. Our tools enable our customers to build and run the scenarios I described. There are many services that are involved in this. A lot of lead generation services use Marketo to provide their services and we have programs to support their outreach. We let them ‘Marketo Enable’ their services, but we ourselves do not do services.

This segment is part 4 in the series : Growing A SaaS Startup With Velocity: Marketo CEO Phil Fernandez
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