How to Use Full Circle CRM to Build Powerful Demand Generation Funnels in Salesforce

Editor’s note: Today’s post is from Bonnie Crater, President and CEO of Full Circle CRM. As you might imagine, posts on funnels are a favorite of mine…Enjoy!

Funnels are great tools for understanding exactly how sales and marketing functions are working – both on their own and together.  At Full Circle CRM we believe that leveraging CRM systems (like Salesforce) is the best way to get the most accurate and complete funnel metrics across your entire demand generation organization. Salesforce tracks a ton of response information from both your sales and marketing efforts and provides some great insight into your overall demand generation health. With Full Circle CRM’s native Salesforce Marketing Performance Management application added on top of your Salesforce instance you are able to get a more complete picture of the key metrics your funnels are tracking to truly understand how your overall demand generation efforts are performing.

Let’s take dive a little deeper into how to leverage Full Circle CRM to get the most out of your demand generation funnels in Salesforce.

Step 1: Define Your KPIs

The first step of building out any report is determining what exactly you are trying to measure.  The same is true with your demand generation funnels.  KPIs can be anything from generating a particular number of MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads) to having a specific amount of days it takes responses to move all the way through funnel (aka velocity) to having sales accept 50% of the leads that marketing sends over (conversion rates). These are going to be different for each company but with Full Circle CRM enhancing Salesforce’s ability to track critical performance metrics at a granular level you can easily set up reports in the standard salesforce.com reporting UI to track these across any category that is relevant to your business.

Step 2: Assess Baseline Metrics

The key metrics that we find are the most helpful to track are the volume, conversion rates, and velocity of your funnels. Volume tracks the sheer amount of responses that are being generated and is a critical metric helping you determine if you are generating enough raw leads to hit your revenue goals. Conversion rates show the quality of the responses and how effective your organization is at transitioning responses between different funnel stages or departments.  Velocity shows how quickly responses move through the funnel and is an important metrics for finding and eliminating bottlenecks in your processes.

conversion rates, demand generation

Tracking Volume/Conversion Rates in Salesforce

Above is a standard report that you can generate with Full Circle CRM showing how many MQRs (Marketing Qualified Responses – another designation for MQL) each of the 3 primary demand generation sources have produced in a given period of time.  Here you can see exactly how many responses each department is generating and how well the convert through the funnel. For example on the left you can see the marketing department generated 142 MQRs during this time period but then only 34 of them were accepted by sales (SAR), ending up with a 23.94% conversion rate between those two stages.  You can see these exact volume and conversion metrics for every stage with all of your demand generation departments.

lead generation, marketing funnel

The report above shows the average velocity from the marketing-sales handoff all the way through sales closing deals.  This is another standard funnel report Full Circle CRM provides that lets you see how quickly new responses from each demand generation department move through your funnel. Here you can see that on average it takes about 69 days for sales to engage with a lead (MQL) passed over from marketing, but only 34 days on a lead passed over from telemarketing.  Interestingly though once sales accepts a lead from marketing it gets qualified (a potential new opportunity) within less than a business week.

Full Circle CRM provides an added level of granularity and visibility into the data that Salesforce is already collecting and lets you measure any of these metrics (or whatever else is important to your company) by any vertical, geography, department, product type, or other category that you track in Salesforce and is relevant to your business.

Step 3: Review Trends

Once your baseline metrics have been determined you can go back into the same reports after the fact to review the trends in your data and find places where you can iterate on your processes to get more bang for your buck.

marketing, sales, lead generation
Going back to this report you can see that the telemarketing group is driving significantly less demand then marketing or sales (16 MQRs sourced by telemarketing as compared to 180 by sales and 142 by marketing). So perhaps some changes need to be made with how that department functions to make it more effective. Notice how despite the fact that telemarketing is not generating a lot of leads it has very high conversion rates through the funnel.  So perhaps even though at first glance it looks telemarketing is not contributing much value due to a small number of leads you should invest more in your telemarketing efforts because of the high conversion rates.  If you are able to simply double the amount of responses telemarketing drives these conversion rates tell you that you would have nearly as many closed deals source by telemarketing as all of marketing.

funnel, metrics, optimization, marketing reporting, sales reporting

In this report you can see that on average it takes more than two months for MQLs coming from marketing to get accepted by sales, so perhaps marketing needs to have a conversation with sales about what exactly sales is looking for when they change a lead from MQL to SAL (Sales Accepted Lead) so the conversion process can be sped up. Figuring out how to cut this time in half could generate a lot more revenue without having to spend any large amount of money on new demand generation programs.

The bottom line is that when set up properly funnels can be an incredibly powerful tool for your sales and marketing teams. They show exactly how much impact marketing and sales each have on driving revenue and bring them closer together by showing them just how much they jointly affect the entire demand generation process.  Full Circle CRM adds the granularity and flexibility into your funnels in Salesforce needed to uncover the actionable insights into your processes to help make your sales and marketing teams more efficient and drive more revenue.

 

Author: Bonnie Crater, President & CEO, Full Circle CRM

Full Circle CRMPrior to joining Full Circle CRM, Bonnie Crater was vice president of marketing for VoiceObjects and Realization. Bonnie also held vice president and senior vice president roles at Genesys, Netscape, Network Computer Inc., Salesforce.com, and Stratify. A ten-year veteran of Oracle Corporation and its various subsidiaries, Bonnie was vice president, Compaq Products Division and vice president, Workgroup Products Division. Bonnie was also president and CEO of Zelerate, a provider of open source e-commerce solutions. In 2000, Bonnie was named one of the “Top 20 Female Executives in Silicon Valley” by San Jose Magazine. Bonnie holds a B.A. in biology from Princeton University.