Transcript: Interview with Justin Gray of LeadMD. This is a literal transcript, authentic and unedited. Or listen here while you work.
Jim: Welcome to SLMA radio. I am Jim Obermayer the host for Sales Lead Management Radio coming to you on behalf of the 8400 worldwide members of the SLMA. SLMA Radio is a syndicated show and our archives have 357 shows and 400+ executive interviews. Our producer is Paul Roberts and we’re coming to you live from our studio in Costa Mesa California. SLMA radio is part of the SLMA Live network (now Funnel Media Group) which produces radio programs for business network listeners. You may subscribe to our shows through iTunes and Stitcher radio. We’ve got a special guest today and a special title.
Marketing automation has a lot of promise, no doubt about it, it’s a growing but how do you turn promise into definable wins? Justin is going to tackle that today.
Mr. Gray has been involved; he’s a strong voice for demand generation, value-based marketing and conversational best practices. He’s a recognized speaker, he’s published over 250 articles in industry publications and meanwhile his marketing blog, The Marketing Evangelist is one of the top marketing blogs.
Justin, tell us about your company and let’s get into the subject today and welcome thanks for joining us!
Justin: Thanks for having me. I think that you mentioned a really interesting element of marketing automation which is always – what are we going to see? How are we going to establish an ROI in relation to that software? And what do we expect within a short amount of time? So as you mentioned, Lead MD is a marketing automation consultancy. We have been dealing with pretty much nothing but for the last five years and we’ve done just over 2400 implementations of marketing automation at this point. So I would consider that if we haven’t seen everything, we’ve seen a lot of things during the course of time.
Jim: I certainly would expect that. I know you are a consultancy for Marketo, Salesforce.com and other companies?
Justin: That’s correct. So we focus on a couple of core platforms which you mentioned as well as some attachment type services. We recently took on a content platform called Capost and then we worked with a host of other different technology providers like Lead Space, Lean Data, just other attachment type services that really complement marketing automation.
Jim: Super. Well, Lead Space has got Lead Space radio on, that’s at 11:30 today and they’ve been a sponsor so that’s great. About the last I heard, about 20% of B2B companies out there have some form of marketing automation. And that seems to be growing dramatically year by year so everybody is getting on board with the tool but the tool in the hands of a fool is still (just) a tool that’s not very useful and yet everybody still wants to say, “Gee, it’s got all this promise.” But how do you get quick wins in this 30 day period that you are promising? Can you give us an outline on that?
Justin: So really, really important points there. Definitely around marketing automation being a tool and really not a magic wand or some sort of an automated system that sits in the closet and spits out money. I think one of the most important elements that we see is they are quick wins around marketing automation but not in the sense that most organizations think.
I would really direct people to… if you’re going to purchase a tool like marketing automation, number one (the) software is much easier to buy than it ever has been. You can buy an enterprise class piece of software or on a credit card. We can have that provision in a day, we can have users added and really be functioning within that system in an incredibly short amount of time, certainly if you compare to that where we came from 10, 15 years ago.
One of the biggest areas that I always call business attention to is what those quick wins (are) defined by. And again if you’re looking for those quick wins to be a huge spike in the number of leads that you are generating or a huge spike in the number of dollars that you are seeing precipitate from those campaigns, it’s just not going to happen. The metrics behind this are really well-defined and robust. You see organizations like Gardner and Forrester just spewing out the stats.
Justin: One of my favorites is that it’s actually a demand gen reports that 13% of marketing automation programs succeed, not fail but succeed, that’s crazy! So one of the first questions I always ask our clients when I talk to them is, “What makes you different?” “How are you going to go about this process where you are going to actually ensure that a greater number of your programs succeed than fail because that’s not the average, that’s not the norm.”
So as we define success, we have to look at what we could truly accomplish within the topic of today’s show is obviously quick wins in 30 days, what can we actually do in 30 days that is going to positively affect the organization, that’s going to lead to more adoption of marketing automation and marketing automation best practices? What can we really show people that they’ve gotten for this large amount of money that we are investing?
Not only from a software perspective but from a time, from the tools, from the data, just overall from a people perspective and educating our staff and bringing folks in to run the system did today.
Jim: (I suppose) you are not necessarily talking about immediately revenue dollars. You are talking about early wins which could be better qualified leads, better communications.
Justin: Normally it’s even higher levels than that. It’s defined Process. On my list of number one items to shoot for within 30 days and really starts before the buying cycle, it’s having a defined process for your demand generation waterfall, your lead management cycle, whatever you want the term that.
Jim: So really get the basics of the company going and force them into thinking these things through but really in order to install marketing automation.
Justin: That’s right. I will tell you; the dirtiest secret of marketing automation is that if you lock in the first time, you won’t find much. It’s blank. It’s really... you are selling the ability to automate processes. You’re not selling automated process templates. And although a number of providers have started providing kind of a jumpstart or a stepping stone for automated process by providing program frameworks, it’s nowhere near a normal B2B or B2C organization’s needs. So considering that it is blank when you get it day one, you better have some good process to fill the system with.
Jim: Okay so you’ve certainly going to have to have a place to start and so many people in marketing don’t even know the sales process or the sales steps. A lot of the sales managers don’t understand the sales process or the buying process which is very often, you might have six steps, eight steps to the salem, but there might be 15 steps in the customer side and a lot of these aren’t reconciled.
Are saying the marketing automation process helps establish these benchmarks and then you can begin to launch what you’re actually delivering and how you can make better use of the marketing automation program. Marketo has, if I remember several years ago I looked into the program through the years and they’ve got a lot of templates there to help you get started really quickly.
Justin: Yeah. So there are definitely frameworks to help you define this process. I would say that the tops that we see out there are lead scoring so you mentioned getting to know your buyer. So one of the first areas that we focused on our buyer persona establishment and resulting lease core methodology that we are going to create as a result.
Both of those items are really fundamental to getting the most out of our marketing automation system. So even prior to making that purchase decision, those are two elements that you can focus on. They are going to guarantee that you are going to be able to see some results because marketing automation gives us the ability to actually measure those items. Measuring the demographics, the behaviors and bringing those into a truly scored lead is one of those wins that we can see in a very short amount of time if we have the data to import upon purchase. We have that model established, we can build that model pretty quickly and run that against our existing database and say, “Okay, here, we defined those buyers and here is actually who we know about that fits those criteria.” And often cases here is who doesn’t.
It’s some sort of large database that we are kind of email blasting over and over again. We may find that a pretty large portion of those just aren’t relevant to our buying process and that tends to be a pretty quick win as we’re talking about that here today.
Jim: Okay. So this also helps align sales and marketing. The market ation process creates the need to get these questions answered which pulls the sales and marketing closer together in understanding what the inquiry, the scoring process really is. What are some of the other quick wins that a marketing manager can use as the justification to buy these programs?
Justin: Yeah, so we talked a little bit about getting to know the buyer, the second step is getting to know the organization, getting to know the company. That’s not only sales and marketing but that the entire customer revenue cycle has it exist within the company.
So that normally begins with a regular top of funnel elements, how do we acquire new leads? How do we bring them into our marketing for now, how do we speak to them over time, how do we qualify them? What does our sales staff do in relation to that qualified leads? And then how do we service them as a customer and able to get them to either buy more of our solution or additional solutions that we sell.
That’s what we call a revenue model and I truly do believe, I’m always speaking kind of a Marketo angle but really any marketing automation system out there should have some sort of a representation of the buyer’s journey, the sales and marketing fun and if you will and Marketo’s revenue model does just that. So it allows us to map out that entire process and determine we are each lead is going to… Where they are going to turn it next in that funnel, that traditional sales and marketing funnel.
And then we can make that available to the rest of the company that, “Here, here is how we envision this journey to function and here is how we’re going to measure it.” So just that view alone again, it’s a huge quick win to get your Board of Directors or C level directors into a room and say, “We now have a defined and measurable process to determine where people are at in terms of buying our solution. And when you’re going from nothing to 60 miles an hour is a huge jump and again a huge win.
Jim: Now, that’s fine for a big company that’s got a lot of stuff that can concentrate on this and run off and figure out all of these basic processes. What about the smaller company that might only have one or 2 people in marketing and 30 or 40 salespeople, and indirect group, they just don’t have the staff, how does all of this get done?
Justin: I think what’s really interesting about this entire process is that element of it is truly scalable. Marketing automation gives us the ability to, with a few number of people, executing within the tool, still to take advantage of these concepts. So a revenue model doesn’t take that long to build. It’s really just defining what happens at each stage.
So whether you have one person or 10 people or 100 people in your marketing department, the key there is really interfacing with the rest of the organization and knowing how we’re going to engage with the buyers, where they are going to go next within that step and then documenting it. It’s that documentation step that often falls through the cracks. And frankly, it doesn’t take a huge staff to document something like this and it is such a core process to everyone’s marketing cycle needs to have a home and for us, that home is marketing automation.
Jim: It seems to be so prevalent today. We talked to marketing departments all the time for our own sponsorship and they go, “I would just love to do it but I just don’t have the time.” And you talk to other vendors and they say, “Well I can have them, I can do great things for them but all they tell me is, “I am so busy doing something else I don’t have the time to put into the marketing automation tool. I don’t have the time to buy, I don’t have the time to evaluate it and put it in.”” It is also frustrating!
Justin: A really core concept around that for us is you don’t need… I guess what are you busy with if it’s not defining your revenue model? Because if you are not currently being measured on how many net new leads you’re bringing into the organization, how many of those are being qualified, how many of those sales is accepting and turning into opportunities and ultimately winning, then I don’t know what you are inside if the buyer is gone.
If it’s something different than that revenue model, chances are in the next 12 to 18 months, your job performance will be measured directly in relation to that regardless. So if you’re not being measured on this right now you will be and having these steps in place is just fundamental because if your boss, if your CEO or a CFO isn’t asking you to justify the spend that you are initiating each month, that is not a company long for this world. So whether you are incredibly busy executing campaigns or your existing marketing cycle and just making those things happen, you have to think about how you’re going to measure the returns from those activities.
And frankly, it comes back down to defining this revenue model. So you have to make the time obviously, there are plenty of organizations you can turn to out there that will help you accelerate your growth on marketing automation, obviously B2B being one of those. But frankly you have to make it a priority because this is the only way we can really measure the return for marketing and again, just no longer is that an option when it comes to the modern-day marketer.
Jim: Okay, so you have been a big help today in understanding these, what’s necessary to get those quick wins up. Now before we leave, I would be remiss in not saying please tell us a little bit about Lead MD. So if I wanted to initiate Marketo or one of the other programs and possibly with Salesforce, what does it take to engage Lead MD? Are there initial set up fees? Is it ongoing? Do you start of these programs fresh or do you go in after they are already set up? Or are you kind of an extension of their staff and what is the cost?
Justin: Yeah, so a lot of good questions there. So I think that we work with customers as I said before we work with just over 2400 market of customers to optimize and build their revenue engines using marketing automation tools. And we start with each customer a little bit differently. Normally you’ve got some degree of some self prescription whether it’s wanting to implement this tool or whether it’s, “We’ve had for a while and we are just not seeing the returns that we need to,” we are going to judge each one of those potential customers based on their own position within that maturity curve.
Jim: We’ve got about 60 seconds here Justin so are there monthly fees, basic set up fees? Is it ongoing or one time?
Justin: We are a completely hourly organization whether it’s one time project where we are getting something stood up and we are training your team and turning over the keys or do you need ongoing support, we can help with both of those instances. We always start off with… What I would invite everyone to do is listening to the show today which is by completing a benchmark, telling you how well your current sales and marketing cycle is functioning and you can do so by going to leadMD.com/capn for captain lead MD our nice little mascot.
It’s a free benchmark, we will tell you exactly how you are doing and it will help you develop.
Jim: You’ve been very helpful today. Justin Gray, chief marketing strategist at Lead MD, one of the SLMA sponsors to be totally honest here; great company and I know you have been doing a lot of good with 2400 installations, unbelievable numbers! Justin, come back and visit us again. Thank you!
Justin: Sounds great, thank you! Appreciate it.
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