Process, Process, Process
Our friends in the back office and in the warehouse discovered many years ago that a process helps things run a lot smoother. Even sales figured this out in the 1980’s when sales methodologies (another word for “process”) were created e.g. Target Account Selling, Blue Sheet and others.

So that leaves us marketing folks in 2013 wondering if process can help us in this digital, social and automated marketing world. The simply answer is yes and the more complex answer is, well, complex.
Lead Nurturing, Get Fresh!
Sales & Marketing finally in Focus
The very notion of lead nurturing is to "nurture" and grow leads. If we set out expecting to turn prospects into leads and then into opportunities after two or three emails, we've misunderstood the objective.

Being creative can be tough,  finding funding for an external agency is not always the answer. Click the link below to access a post from Eloqua on 3 unconventional lead nurturing campaigns.

In their book "Revenue Engine" Woods and Shootman outline why they believe Sales and Marketing are finally in a position to systematically optimise the performance of the revenue creation process.

Historically sales and marketing have not been held to the same standard as other corporate teams i.e. finance, manufacturing and others. While these teams have been able to measure to the most granular details their processes using techniques like six sigma and others, marketing and sales have not had the
Arguments against the imposition of a process for marketing probably sound like this “we’re to creative, process does not allow for creativity”, “Our world moves too fast to get any value from a process”. These arguments are just that, arguments.

Where you have a process you go through on a regular basis there’s room to look at mapping that process and understanding where it can be tweaked, tightened, improved or generally made to function better. Defined process make team work a lot easier, when members of the team are away, other can pick up their work load with a good idea about how to get it done.

How Can Eloqua Help Your organisation

By providing users with the right level of access to Eloqua, you can support the idea of a process where a team may build assets i.e. emails, landing pages etc. Another team may gather those assets and compile a campaign by bringing those various assets together. Another team could have access to reporting to measure the success of a campaign.

Naming Conventions make life a lot easier, create a process to support the naming of assets, campaigns, forms etc. People generally work better when there’s an agreed way of doing things, a process.

same capability. Having worked in and around sales and marketing for 20 years, I can say that it wasn't through lack of trying. We performed many unnatural acts with excel spreadsheets, but perhaps this caused more paralysis by analysis than really delivering the insight we needed.

Times have changed.

Woods and Shootman believe that unprecedented transition in buyer behaviour and online access to information over the past 10 years have enabled, for the first time, the management and optimisation of the entire revenue-creation process. While we can acknowledge the change in buyer behaviour, our ability to track and measure that behaviour is the key to optimisation of the revenue-creation process.

Digital Body Language

The savvy sales person knows that being able to interpret the body language of a prospect or customer is essential to understanding their propensity to buy. In the same context, a person's digital body language (their online behaviour) can offer a similar degree of insight. Simply sending millions of emails and praying for the outcome you need is not the solution. Careful and considered analysis of a person's digital footprint will yield better outcomes every time.

How Do You Get Started?

The starting point to help your organisation develop a revenue engine is to understand your buyer's journey. Mapping your buyer's journey is something that needs to happen with both the sales and marketing teams.

"A buyer's area of interest can be discovered and prioritised, her stage in the buying process can be pinpointed, and her objections can be anticipated and pre-handled.

This digital body language provides the insights marketers need to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time."*

*Revenue Engine, Woods & Shootman, 2011,
New Year Publishing.

If you have a sales process, this is a good start. Don't make the mistake though of creating a process that reflects your internal process, a sales process should reflect your buyer's journey with observable behaviours captured against each step in the process. Remember you need to be able to measure a buyer's progress, this can't be based on "gut feel", it has to be based on behaviour and behaviour that can be observed.
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