3 Tips for More Effective Nurturing, Outreach and Measurement – TechTarget Priority Engine User Insights
Sales and marketing professionals from the Boston area recently gathered at TechTarget Headquarters to network and share successes and challenges with other TechTarget Priority Engine users. Users discussed a wide range of ways they are using the tool, from Inside Sales to fueling direct mail gift platforms with intent insights. But above all Priority Engine users were most interested in sharing best practices that will take email nurture, sales & marketing coordination, and measuring success to the next level. The following are the primary takeaways that will help you improve upon your own marketing and sales goals:
Pace Your Nurture Campaigns Effectively
Most Priority Engine Users have a nurture system in place, ranging in complexity from one nurture steam all the way up to a multi-stream, multi-trigger approach with intricate lead scoring. Priority Engine users agreed that an effective nurturing campaign will have, on average, between 3-6 touches depending on the task at hand.
That being said, more complicated doesn’t mean better. In order to determine the optimal length a nurture stream should be, Priority Engine users offered the following factors to consider:
- Is your company’s brand awareness high or low?
- If your brand is new or has low awareness compared to your competitors you may need to add extra steps to your nurture to get your name noticed.
- How complicated is the technology that you sell?
- If your solutions are relatively straightforward you may not need as much nurture runway to clarify the concepts behind them. If your technology is markedly niche, you may need more steps to allow prospects to understand them.
- How crowded is your market?
- If you are surrounded by a number of other competitors your prospects are likely being hit by emails from at least one of them. The persistent prevail and so you may need to increase the amount of nurture steps you execute to ensure your voice is heard above the crowd.
- What does your CTA ask of prospects?
- If you aren’t asking much of your prospects, you may not need as many steps in your nurture. If you are asking a lot, you may need to work up to it. For example, offering a free white paper so you can move them along your funnel won’t take much effort for the prospect. Getting them to take a meeting, on the other hand, will take more effort.
Coordinate Sales & Marketing Outreach
Some attendees expressed concern about sales and marketing engaging prospects simultaneously. While it’s important to be mindful you aren’t bombarding your prospects, it’s just as important to engage them however possible while they are actively researching. At TechTarget we regularly witness accounts ramp up their activity, wind down for a time, then ramp up again as they have time to commit to their research. For this reason it’s critical that you act while accounts are active.
In most cases nurture emails come from your brand, while sales outreach most often comes from an individual. Marketing outreach drives brand awareness as much as it drives a response and provides air cover for your sales team. While the messages should be consistent, sales outreach is typically one to one and takes a distinct tone. It’s challenging enough getting prospects to pay attention, so it’s better to air on the side of over-communicating than missing your chance at make an impression.
There’s an endless list of ways to measure success – appointments set, opportunities created, MQL conversion rate, email engagement – the list goes on. Unfortunately, there are just as many variables that complicate and confound your KPIS, impacting your ability to accurately read your performance. Volumes, Attribution, Quality of Content/Call to Action, Average Sales Cycle, capabilities of Sales Teams are just a few of the variables shared by the group. Regardless of how Priority Engine customers measured success there were three key approaches that improved user’s ability to gauge outcomes from Priority Engine:
- Identify KPIs up front. From the start of any campaign or project it is important to identify and communicate KPIs in advance. This ensures you are able to adjust your work accordingly throughout and following its conclusion.
- Ensure that any data being measured is easily trackable. While it is tempting to pick certain KPIs, it is more important to pick data points your company is capable of wielding. The “Lead Source” field in your Marketing Automation and/or CRM system is an easy and useful data point to track.
- Don’t set-it and forget-it. Monitor KPIs closely throughout the life of the campaign. Set milestones and check points to adjust and optimize as need.
To learn more or to join us at the next Priority Engine User Group, reach out to me today.