How relevant is the waterfall funnel for current Marketing Operations?

Roy Lee, Martrain’s Marketing Operations lead, feels that the traditional waterfall funnel lacks flexibility and its linear flow from marketing to sales doesn’t work anymore. We need a system that is capable of considering all the digital interactions, and even the face-to-face interactions that will return after the pandemic. Only once all the interactions are collated in a meaningful way, will either marketing or sales, or even channel partners, know how to best follow up the opportunity. It is vital to know what the prospect is really interested in and what they have engaged with most recently, to optimise the next interaction.

Influnced Pipeline

While we do not see clients adopting such a comprehensive approach to Marketing Operations, we do see organisations spending a lot more time on influenced pipeline. Often it is hard to attach an opportunity to a specific campaign when a series of marketing activities prised the door open for the salesperson to engage. Marketing operations, however, are doing their department a disservice if they do not get credit for this opportunity. This can be particularly relevant with channel partners who use market development fund (MDF) and templated OEM campaigns to create opportunity in their client base. In the past, those leads and consequent revenue tended not to get directly credited back to marketing.

Lead Scoring

Recently we have worked with clients to create dynamic lead scoring that updates the CRM record with the most recent marketing activity. In other words, recording in Salesforce that the contact has just clicked through an email or filled out a form that increases the information on that contact. This activity may come from their marketing operations platform, ie Eloqua, or from the channel registration platform. The lead scoring doesn’t just pass this information to Salesforce as raw data. It enhances it by applying a score to things like the contact’s profile; their job role, their industry and how relevant the value proposition is to them; and also to the level of engagement; how many times and how recently they have engaged.

In conclusion, by taking into account how all marketing activity has affected sales marketing will increase its pipeline contribution. What’s more it will also be able to measure the effectiveness of all its activity and refine where resources spent.

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