The 5 Pillars of Marketing Automation Success
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Duration: 1 Hour
Establish a Strong Foundation for Your B2B Clients
You know how important your B2B clients are to your agency. Their success = your success. And when it comes to marketing automation, you want to ensure that those clients are getting the most out of the platform.
- How to help your clients identify and acquire qualified leads every day
- Best practices for nurturing and communicating with leads
- Tips for educating your clients’ sales reps on marketing automation
Magee Clegg is the Managing Director of ClearTail Marketing. He helps businesses implement marketing automation strategies that will automatically deliver qualified leads to their sales teams.
Training and Usability Manager – SharpSpring
As Usability Manager, Bryan is responsible for creating content to help users get the most out of SharpSpring. This includes maintaining the support forum and creating instructional “how to” videos. Working in collaboration with Marketing, Support, and Development, Bryan helps create an exemplary experience for every user.
No time to watch? Read the full transcript here.
Bryan: All right. Let's go ahead and get started. Everyone thank you so much for attending today's webinar. We're going to talk about the five pillars of marketing automation success. So today's session is gonna be led by Magee Clegg. He's one of SharpSpring's agency partners with his company ClearTail. He's the managing director over here. So let's go and do some quick house keeping stuff very quickly, and then we're gonna move on to the presentation.
So first if this is your first time attending one of our webinars, thank you so much. Very excited to have you here. Typically the audience is kind of a mixed bag, comprised of existing SharpSpring agency partners who are looking for maybe a new perspective or get some ideas for how to get started with marketing automation, or maybe just take it a bit further. There are folks on the call that are considering SharpSpring. Maybe have worked with Marketo or Hubspot or Act On... Just kind of comparing what we do. But maybe marketing automation is brand new to you. Either way, very excited to have you here and we're gonna have a lot of fun.
Then there are the in-house marketing professionals kind of coming from the perspective of, "How do I take these ideas and implement them for my own company and get the benefit that we're looking at for the purpose of the call today?" And again, why we're here is thought leadership. We're just looking to share ideas. So we really reach out to our partners and say, hey. We've seen you've done some really cool stuff with SharpSpring. Would you be open to sharing that with a larger audience? So we actually have a series called Agency Perspectives as well, which Magee has helped of course with on his side.
So if you haven't read those, please I recommend reading them too. They're kind of good summarizations of what we're gonna talk about today. Again, the idea is providing real world stories and best practices for how we can utilize a marketing automation platform to really help achieve our goals. So one of the big housekeeping things is that we do mute all participants on the line today. But that doesn't mean we want to prevent engagement. We do have someone who is in front of the chat window. So please ask questions as they come up.
We love social engagement, so tweet at us. You can use the hashtag SharpTweet or just tweet @sharpspring. We'd love to hear any kind of feedback. If something happens and you have to hop off, that's completely fine. We do record this and we will distribute these slides as well as the recording after the webinar. Now during the session today, we're gonna have a survey that will come at the end, just asking for some feedback about what you thought about today's session. And if you want any additional information, you can let us know at that time. So I do advocate re-filling out these surveys.
Now for the existing agency partners, if you do not attend SprinBboard Live I absolutely recommend it. It's our weekly how to training sessions. This one is pretty fun. It's about how to best utilize your content, even the boring stuff that we think is boring. So using the media center and SharpSpring to create these trackable asset links. And then depending on where we distribute that content, for using like a multi-channel marketing strategy, or just different avenues that we're distributing content on. Understanding how we can get more clicks, more engagement and continue to drive people through our marketing and sales funnel by using that content.
Super cool, definitely attend if you can. If not, we do record those and put them on our YouTube channel. After this we do have another upcoming webinar about how you can introduce client on-boarding into your strategy to get folks using marketing automation. So really it's not just giving someone a tool, but then taking the responsibility of teaching them on how to utilize that tool and get the best benefit from it. So that will be next week on the 23rd. If you're a partner and you want to join us, please email Nicole. She is our events and marketing coordinator, and she will of course set you up if we can schedule a time in the future for a presentation just like this.
Now to a quick round of introductions. My name is Bryan Tobin. I probably should have started the webinar with introducing myself. I am sorry about that. I do work in the product team here at SharpSpring. I've been here about two and a half years. I've seen the product grow, I've talked to a bunch of customers. If we haven't talked, I'd love to. And my job is really to make sure that the app is usable and we continue to evolve it in a way that provides more value to you all as our partners. And then Magee, I will pass it over to you. If you can do a quick introduction of yourself, then we can get rock and rolling.
Magee: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks a lot for having me, Bryan. I am the managing director at ClearTail Marketing, and we every day are helping businesses of all sizes, mostly B2B but also B2C. And we help them implement marketing automation strategies that automatically deliver qualified leads to their sales teams. And that's generally our main focus.
Bryan: Excellent. Magee, I believe I gave you keyboard and mouse but I think you should be good to go. And if you wanna take us into the five pillars of marketing [inaudible 00:04:40], let's rock and roll.
Magee: All right, great. Let me just take a look here. All right, great, I'm in control. All right, cool. All right. Thank you very much for having me today guys and thank you everyone that is joined on today. I know that we have a few types of people in the audience today and this is, just upfront, this is gonna be focusing on B2B marketing automation and I'm bringing to the table some strategies and some core foundations that we've found very successful in dealing with our B2B clients. And these clients range from having a few hundred sales reps all the way down to having maybe just two or three sales reps. Or maybe it's a one man shop.
But what I'm gonna show you today, it has been successful for everyone that we're implementing this for. And it's been a very, very great process for us and we're happy to be here to show you what we've done. So before we jump into everything, I just wanna go through a few encounters that I'm sure many of you have experienced while approaching marketing automation in general. There we go, all right.
So many people come to me when they're first thinking about implementing a marketing automation strategy. I generally find a few common conversations that come up. Most people are very overwhelmed because there are so many platforms to choose from out there. And they all promise different things and they all promise that they will automate your life, automate your marketing, automate your job, and make it so that you can just hang out and do nothing. And all these leads come in, they get distributed to every sales rep out there and it just works and you guys make a ton of cash.
But what's really interesting about this, that is definitely not the case. I'm sure you're all aware of that. So there's a few things that always happen first. There's generally information overload, which represents this guy right here. They're super stressed out. They've read tons of articles that they're attacking the entire customer lifecycle. And they're promising that you can literally move these guys along to your customer life cycle automatically. But how do you even begin? And there's other people that have big dreams and they also... Especially if you're in charge of a marketing department, you're probably tasked with implementing a marketing automation strategy.
This person that has tasked with it has read a ton of stuff online and they want exactly what they've read. But what they're not taking to consideration is that you might be the only person in your marketing department. Or maybe you just have a couple of team members. And the people that are out there attacking every stage of a customer lifecycle, they might have 100 people on their marketing department and that's why they can do that. I know on Amazon, they literally have people that take care of specific products and handle all the marketing automation for that specific product.
So it's really not practical in most situations for companies out there and we have to take that into consideration of, "What can we work with?" And that's one of the things I really wanna stress for is what can we do today to get this off the ground and start adding value? Now other things is B2B marketers also are most familiar with marketing automation in the hands of B2C marketing. So they think a lot of these strategies that they're personally experiencing while shopping on their own actually apply to B2B. But that is simply not the case. It is a very different way of marketing and we always have to think about that.
It's not a good idea to replicate exactly what you're experiencing while shopping online. Because that is very different type of sale than what you're doing with B2B. So it's different. And the other thing that, whether it's the business owner that's tasking you with it or whether it's the client that's coming to you that is looking like this guy over here, they all want a magical solution and they want you to take this pain away. You have to deliver what it is that they want.
But it's impossible to deliver that magical solution in the way that they're thinking about it. For example, we have the customer life cycle. And like I said, the magic solution is always, okay, great. Just set up marketing automation for every stage of the customer life cycle. Our reach, our acquisition of content, conversion. All the way to retaining them, creating loyalty and then hopefully gaining referrals which then creates more reach. And what happens every single time, it's literally impossible to do that right away. You would need hundreds of emails, that are... And you might need hundreds of emails for each product for all the stages as well or service, and there's a lot of thing that you guys are offering.
So this is a very dangerous way to position yourself in terms of starting marketing automation. So what I always recommend is to start small. Have the big dream. Have the idea that over time with hard work, you will get to a point where you can attack every stage of the customer life cycle. But what we wanna talk about today is, what can we do right now to take advantage of what a tool like SharpSpring has to offer? Because there is a ton right out the gate that you can do. And what will happen if you follow these five pillars that we're gonna go over today is if you're tasked with internally of setting up a marketing automation, you [inaudible 00:09:54] create immediate value which proves the concept of marketing automation. And then you're gonna be able to take more sophisticated steps afterwards. But this is literally the start and this needs to be in place.
Otherwise everything you do afterwards will just crumble and people would be like, "Why are we even spending money on this?" The other thing is you're an agency and you have just sold someone on marketing automation. Then you have to deliver immediate value and you have to have a core foundation in place that gets them what they need right away. If you start with setting up sophisticated marketing automation strategies that are a series of sales funnels that they've spent a ton of money on to actually create the content for and you set that up, and they don't even have guys that know how to receive a digital lead? Then they just spend all this money for nothing. They don't even know the concept of it.
So there's a few things that go into this that sets you up for success right out the gate and we're gonna go through each of them. One is, "How do we acquire new contacts using the surface value tool and VisitorID?" The next is we need to create a system to identify and distribute qualified leads immediately. We need to respond to leads within five minutes. This is a huge problem with business-to-business companies especially. It's response time. In fact, responding at all. The thing is it's very difficult to engage leads, to get them into position of sale. So we need to have a nurture campaigns to educate these individuals as we're attacking them for the sale.
And then most importantly we need to educate and train your clients teams. Or, if you're tasked with it internally, you need to be able to educate your entire sales team so they know what you're delivering to them. And if you do this, it works beautifully. You'll see a cohesion between the sales teams and also the marketing teams for the first time. Where they understand, "Oh my God, marketing is actually giving me good leads. This is amazing."
So if we set this up correctly, you're gonna be in good shape. Let's go through it. So the first step is acquire new contacts using the VisitorID. This is literally... Let me go back. I think I skipped ahead one. There we go. This is literally surface value of the SharpSpring tool and most marketing automation systems. But the reason it's important is because 98% of website visitors are never going to pick up the phone to call your business. Nor will they ever fill out a form submission. So that means that only 2 people out of 100 are actually gonna contact you.
And this is why for B2B this is so important. Because you have guys that can actually call these people up and push them to the next stage of a sale. So if we can find out a large portion of that 98% by name and put them in the hands of somebody who has time to call them... And so I'm gonna show you how we do that. But before we even get to them by name there's a few things that you can do out the gate. And the reason this is [inaudible 00:12:44] is because this delivers immediate value.
If you're an agency and you just sell someone on a marketing automation, or you're the internal team that just convinced your boss that you're gonna go with SharpSpring, then you have to start delivering immediate value. The simplest way to do that is take the tracking code. Put it on every page of the website. Make sure whoever is needing to get these notifications starts receiving a daily visitor notification. It essentially just gives you a 24 hour summary the next day at 6:00 a.m which tells you exactly who visited the website by company name.
They're gonna be like, "Oh wow. This is amazing." And then the next step is gonna be even better. But it's actually just the surface value. That's really, really great, but there's more that we can do with that. The other thing that we also do in tandem with that VisitorID notification which is telling us which companies were on the website is we actually will service some of our clients and call up those companies to find out who those key decision makers are that you would wanna sell to.
And then we take those email addresses, we get them on their email list, and then we start marketing to them as well and start educating them on your brand, who you are, what you do. And that's one thing. But we also have clients that do that internally because they have the staff to do it. So that's another thing that you can do with that which provides immediate value, helps grow your email list and helps you start identifying who that 98% is that isn't taking action on your website. And also gets the buy-in right away so everyone knows that this isn't a waste of time. All right.
But the most important thing in attacking that 98% is we need names. We need a tangible contact that I can send to somebody and they can call. And that's really one of the more valuable things that we're delivering in this core foundation. It's the most basic and simple thing to do and it creates excellent value for B2B sales teams. So the first way is the easiest one. You have that 2% that's already contacting you. They're generally gonna wanna fill out forms. Just make sure that you have forms on every page of the website.
They have to be able to contact you easily and they can't go through multiple pages to find a contact form. Just put a form on every single page of the website. Make it easy for them. This is the first way that you start tracking individuals by name and email address and their device. So basically the way it works is they give you their email address, now we've linked it up and we know [inaudible 00:15:00] every page that they go on the website. Anything that they're doing with your digital materials. We're keeping a log of it all on one place. That's really, really powerful information to hand over to somebody in addition to saying, "hey. This guy just filled out a form fill." But we're also saying, "but look at all the pages that he looked at. And by the way he came here three months ago and also looked at these pages as well."
We're connecting the historical background of that tracking too, which is pretty neat. But the most successful way to identify that 98% that's never gonna contact you is literally sending a consistent email campaign. At the minimum you should sending one a month, for you clients or for your business. And you can feature a variety of things. It depends who your audience is, what your market is. But we always recommend if you can have an email that engages people to click through to your website, that's the best way to identify people by name. Because as soon as someone clicks through this email that you just marketed to them, we have now started tracking their device. We know exactly who they are. We know where they go on the website. We know everything that they do in the future, when they come back. And we could notify automatically people on your sales team to take action on that person.
What's also really important to do in this process is if you're gonna start identifying people, we have to know how active they are. So SharpSpring's got a great lead scoring tool where you can customize every element that you want and how you wanna score your leads. But what I always recommend is let's just focus on the basic valuable actions. What are valuable actions when people start interacting with your marketing? If you're just sending out one email a month, it's they click through into your website. Boom, give them 25 points.
Okay. They filled out form, give them another 25 points. They downloaded this white paper, give them 25 points. They went to a valuable product page. Give them 25 points. And we don't have to get scientific about it. We don't have to be like that guy who's screaming at the top of his lungs on the first slide. We just need to know who is hot and who is not. And I wanna be able to sort the entire database by the highest scored leads to the lowest. And we can then hand these the people on your team and they can follow up with these people who are looking at your emails, clicking through your email, actually downloading stuff on your website and engaging with your digital content.
And trust me, these are really great people to call up as opposed to the person who has never heard of you. In fact their phone number might be wrong and that's generally what sales reps are dealing with on a regular basis. They're calling back contacts all the time. So now what we're doing in this core foundation, is we're giving them good contacts that know who you are and are all over your website and actually taking interest in specific products and services that your company offers, or your client's company offers.
So what's also important in that distribution is you have to understand, okay. We're scoring all these leads. But where do they go? So one of the basic conversations I always have up front is, okay. How do you break out your territories? Is it geographically? Is it product line? Is it a round robin? Depending on certain criteria? You need to understand how they're distributing them so that you can take these qualified leads and make sure they get into the hands of the correct people so that they can take action.
Then as soon as that happens, you'll see a group of sales reps that will actually start valuing the marketing and knowing where their best leads are coming from. And they have so much information, it's pretty impressive. Okay. Onto the next slide. All right. The other thing that's a huge problem in B2B is follow up time. Harvard Business Review did a study that proves that...how important response time is. It said 5 minutes is 100 times more successful than calling an inbound lead after 30 minutes.
Now what I'm talking about is someone that comes to your website and says, I wanna buy something. Five minutes is 100 times greater than calling someone after 30 minutes. And the reason this is is because someone comes to a website, they fill out a form and then they go to the next website and they fill the second form. And pretty soon they have two sales reps chasing them. Insidesales.com did a study that said 35 to 50% of inbound leads will purchase from the first vendor that responds.
So let's make sure that we never lose a lead because we're late for the party. What's also interesting about that Insidesales study is they actually say 30% of all inbound leads in the 2,000 companies they studied in North America, 30% were never even contacted. And that's simply because the other person probably got there first. The average response time was actually 42 hours. And you'll see in this... I don't have it up right now. But there's a graph that shows how successful response time is, and pretty much after 24 hours it just falls off a cliff. You might not ever get in touch with this person, because they're already taken. Someone got there first.
So let's just make sure that we're always there first. I know there's some people I'm talking to like, "oh yeah. We're responding right away." But in many cases most people that I'm encountering, they do have an average response time of 42 hours. Or sometimes even a week or two. Because the lead comes in, it goes to one guy's email. He doesn't get to it for two days because he's at a trade show. And then he finally forwards it to the guy, that guy's in a couple of meetings for a few days. He's traveling and pretty soon you're at five days and he's finally getting to this person.
So let's just always make sure that we have an automatic reply coming from the sales rep responsible with their email signature. And it goes something like this, really simple. "Hi Bob, thank you for following up. Thanks for contacting us through our website. If you need to reach me directly right away, here is my contact number. I'll be following up with you shortly." He gets that after five minutes from the guy that we've distributed the lead to and then all of a sudden, boom. Their opportunity to go to another website has been mitigated because they know someone's on it. And they know they're gonna get a phone call from someone who actually cares about helping meet their needs. And so we always set this up for people right at the beginning and it really, really gets the ball going. It's just a simple automated response, based on the distribution criteria that you set up.
Now the other important thing to note in this core foundation is one of the key problems with sales teams is it takes so much time to actually engage a lead. In fact it takes 7 to 13 plus touches, to generate a sales ready lead. This could be email touches. They open your email. They talk to somebody at your company and maybe they receive something in the mail. But we're exposing them to your message and your brand and engaging them 7 or 13 times or more in order to generate a sales ready lead. That study was done by Online Marketing Institute.
Now, what's interesting also is that the average number of caller times to a sales rep, before they give up... I mean to a lead by a sales rep before they give up is actually 1.3 times. It's not that sales rep are lazy, it's just they have a lot of stuff going on. They have deals that are pending. They have quotes outstanding. They have current accounts that they need to follow up with. They have a large list of contacts that they haven't called, that may have bad numbers. But anyways, there is a ton of stuff that they're doing. And so when they get an inbound lead like this and they're not able to get in touch with them right away it's difficult for them to get motivated when they have a deal that's about to close.
So that's generally what's happening, it's 1.3 times. So let's help them take those touches off the table and can we set up a system that is touching them 7 to 13 times, to help and move them through the sales cycle. In order to do this, we first need to understand your client's sales process. How are they interacting with these people? What do they want them to know? What are the features and benefits? Do they have testimonials? Are they using those instead of case studies, etc.? Just gather all the material that you have.
And then when someone becomes [inaudible 00:22:50] and says, "I wanna buy something." Or if they visit a specific product page for example, what if we can start automatically sending that person emails about their specified interest? And so what we do is... In many cases we call it a hot lead burst campaign. And we just go ahead and in B2B, for this type of interaction, we're usually doing one email a week for six to seven weeks. And it's basically the sales rep is calling up, but simultaneously we're sending one email a week that says, "Hey, here is additional features and benefits" to educate them. Here's a testimonial. Here's a case study, etc, etc.
Anything that you wanna put in there to further educate this person so that you're staying in front of them and showing them why you stand [inaudible 00:23:34] while your sales rep is actually calling them up. Really, really helpful to them. And so by the time the guy calls him up 1.3 times, boom. They've already seen your message about seven to eight times. In addition, they're getting that monthly email as well for further brand awareness and recognition and engagement.
We also wanna know, when we put out a nurture campaign like this, you wanna know... You want [inaudible 00:23:59] to this page to be notified if this lead is actually clicking through these emails and engaging with those testimonials or anything that you're sending them. So set up notifications based on interaction as well, and that will greatly enhance their productivity.
Okay. Now, literally the biggest challenge that I always see with companies in marketing automation is buy-in from the team. What I mean by that is and I know in some cases there is highly educated sales teams that are very digital. They use CRMs, they know how to field a digital lead. They've done it at their last job. They work in tech, etc. But many people that I interact with, actually the majority of companies out there that are first beginning to get into marketing automation right now, they have sales teams that may not even use a sophisticated CRM, or they're all using different CRMs and it's actually kind of disorganized.
But not that that's like the breaking point. But what I'm trying to say is that even if they are using CRM, many sales teams out there haven't been given digital leads. They actually don't even know what a lead score is. Why is a sales rep who has been very successful for the last 30 years, why all over sudden does he have to go into the system and look at what the lead is looking at on a website? That's not really his style. They don't understand it. So whenever someone comes in with marketing automation, there is always this gap of, "I don't really get it and I don't wanna spend the time to really understand it, and you guys aren't doing a good job of explaining it."
This is one of the key reasons why I see marketing automation programs fail so much is because you don't have buy-in from the sales team to actually field the valuable leads that you're giving them. So even you're pouring money into making this happen, you're doing an excellent job. You could be delivering really, highly qualified leads every single day to one guy. But if he doesn't know how to field it, call them up and understand why this person is a good lead to follow up with, your entire marketing automation program will fail.
So we always start with educating management first. We just start slow. We never say, "okay. Get all 50 sales reps on the phone. Let's go ahead and just run through this real quick." First, educate from the top-down and make sure that the leaders of the organization understand why this is. Because they're gonna be your champions in moving this forward. Then after they are educated and trained on the portal and understanding how and why these leads are important, then set up training webinars for the sales team. Make them frequent.
Whatever it takes to get those teams educated. Because pretty soon they're gonna be training each other, especially as there's turnover. But the more educated they get, the easier your life is in the marketing department or as an agency. And we also always open the door for one-on-one sessions. Because a lot of times guys just don't show up to webinars, they're [inaudible 00:26:55] and it's just not gonna happen. So we always provide excellent customer support. Because at the end of the day, the more work you do on training in the beginning the more successful your program's gonna be and the less work you're gonna have to do on training later on down the line when it becomes just part of the company's culture to start fielding these leads and everyone just knows how to do it. But this is literally one of the biggest obstacles that every company faces that we see in terms of us [inaudible 00:27:20] for new B2B companies.
All right. And then once you have this core foundation, these five pillars in place, which are really attacking a quite a bit of this customer lifecycle. Where reaching a customers and acquiring that contact. We are converting them through nurture campaigns and keeping in constant touch with these individuals as the sales teams are moving them towards sale. And then we're also retaining people by staying in front of them with a monthly email and further building loyalty as well. And then you can go ahead and start attacking these buckets more specifically and start building out your automated marketing campaigns and nurture campaigns as well.
But each one of these, you can think of a thousand ideas for each stage of the customer life cycle. But at the end of the day, let's just take one step and let's get a core foundation in place so we can deliver immediate value, make your team happy and start getting real results. Because just this alone, I've seen massive growth in companies just putting in these five pillars that we're talking about today. All right. I think that is the end of it Bryan. There you go.
Bryan: Magee, thank you for taking us up to this point. I think I do wanna focus on a few things that Magee went over that I think...from what I've seen really help folks get marketing automation in place. So the first thing is really getting the buy-in from the stakeholders. And you'll have different stakeholders depending on what parts of the application or what part of marketing automation is important. But getting that buy-in is important because it helps front load that process. And once people are committed to making it work, they'll make it work in the nice part of the marketing automation tools that it starts showing value very quickly.
Kind of going back through the presentation, there is different sections that talk about the different areas of the marketing funnel that we go through. So this kind of like awareness base. So we're talking about that idea of the vendor, that first response is the one that typically can start that deal and start communicating with the customer. So to help understandably or really optimize awareness, we use campaign attribution to understand which campaigns are getting traffic and driving leads. The consideration stage, so once someone... We have the fish on the hook as far as an analogy goes. How do we start reeling it in?
So those nurture campaigns that Magee spoke about, these emails once a week for whatever duration of time that you wanna set up. Or twice a week, whatever it's going to be. We'll continue to pull leads into our funnel and push them to the bottom. Then once we reach that decision making phase, we want our sales teams to be ready. So those notifications that go to sales net under five minutes response. Which is really applicable to every phase of the funnel, but more so at the end to make sure that we're capitalizing once someone is ready to say yes.
It'll show its value very quickly. But unless we get that buy-in from the stakeholders, it'll be more difficult to get the kind of transition because people just don't like change and that's completely understandable. So make sure that we focus on that education and buy-in perspective and that will help us in the long-term. Now we're gonna open up for some Q&A stuff. If you have questions that you've been holding, please go ahead and ask them at this time. You can ask either SharpSpring related questions, so how does this work in the tool? Or questions for Magee in regards to strategy and maybe some more perspective.
So we have some questions that have come in and Magee the first one is for yourself and it's one that you kind of talked about at the end as far as your strategy for education. But in general do you have any kind of best practices on approach that you take when educating a sales team versus senior management on marketing automation, and kind of how to get value from it?
Magee: Yeah, yeah. That's really, really [inaudible 00:30:54] question. So with management there is two things that I'm always truing to figure out when I approach them first. Because you're also gonna learn about how they want to educate their sales team. Because they have their own processes in place as well. But the main point is I always [inaudible 00:31:12] super simple, even with the management as well. Because what's great about these five pillars is people who have a lot going on and don't really wanna think about how marketing automation works, I mean that's why you're there.
So if you can break it down really simply and just say, "okay, this is the type of information that's available. What do you think is important for your guys to be successful?" Some people will say, "well, all of it. Let's give them full access. Let's get them in the portal and let's train them on the full thing." Or some guys might say, "Magee, I really don't have that much confidence in my guys to log into this portal and really understand exactly where they're going." So let's just, for the first step, let's just stick with sending them a notification with a contact information. And let's just start there, see how it goes.
Really don't try and force any agenda on them. Let them decide, "Hey, here's what's available. What type of information do you wanna start with?" But let's take some baby steps here depending on how capable you think your team is and then expand from there. Then when you get to the team, you do that webinar and you're actually engaging them. I always literally start from the basics. They need to know how to log into the portal. Start there. Then go into what's important. Don't show them anything else that they're not gonna be using. It only wastes time and confuses them. Teach them the steps that they need in order to be successful. Otherwise they will feel overwhelmed and they will not be engaged with the tool. Just give them what they need to take action.
Bryan: So kind of piggy-backing on that, what I've seen work well when we train a ton of folks on SharpSpring too, is there's kind of a two pronged approach too. So the first one is you get someone... You talk to them and you just go over the basics. So kind of what Magee was saying as far as the, what do they do at a minimal level, to get value from the platform? And then what I found is scheduling the next call after that, maybe a week or a week and a half after, where this person has had time to do some self-exploration in the platform.
And I always tell folks to get a Google sheet and put their questions down. Because for them that kind of indicates where they're actually interested in learning more about the application. So when you re-visit that, the next session like a week or a week and a half, two weeks out, you have a road map for where they started gravitating to in the platform. So you know what they wanna start doing next. So really you're not... You're kind of guiding them because you gave them access to the tool. But you're letting be a lot more responsive, based on where their interest live at. And especially with the different perspectives, as far as sales team, what do they care about? How does this make their life easier to close? Management, what do they care about? How do they report on their investment and make sure that's returning what they expect it to? So that kind of self exploration and then education upon that. I found that to be valuable as well.
Another question for you, Magee. So you kind of went a B2B approach in this call. Now in that B2B landscape, are there specific industries that you've seen increased success with marketing automation? Some industries that it just didn't? In your experience, what would you say are the industries that have worked well with who you're working with?
Magee: That's a great question. I work in, there's probably 10 different industries that I'm working in. But what I find, it's not necessarily industry specific. But I can tell you what I think is kind of like the sweet spot of a really great and easy... In terms of my work as an agency, like guys that are really fast to buy-in, guys that are really successful right off the gate. First, it's always best if you have an organization that's like 10 to 15 sales reps or less. That's very easy to onboard. They're all in communication. That's great.
But what I find just in general is the smaller the organization, the faster it's gonna go. But if you have groups of 10 to 15 sales reps that are actually sitting at a desk making phone calls and are using their computer, if that's the way that they're selling, then it's very easy to feed them leads and very easy for them to get on the computer, research these leads and take actions. So there is people that we work with in manufacturing all over the world. There is people that we work with in packaging industry. There is people that we work with in...yeah, equipment dealers, distributors of those products.
Generally the most successful people are always gonna be able to... They're sitting down and making phone calls from the desk. And then guys on the road, they're a little bit more sporadic with it. But when I run into a group that says they have about 10 to 15 sales reps, and this is how they sell and it's very from the desktop, that's a really good position to be in in terms of the sales organization to go after.
Bryan: That's what we've seen as well, so really anyone can use a system for their marketing and then use technology to kind of accelerate that. But the niche that you've just identified, we've seen a lot of success there too. It doesn't mean there can't be success elsewhere. Again, it's an absolutely ubiquitous solution that can be implemented across any organization. But if we're looking to where to start, I think that's a good starting point for the folks that are on [inaudible 00:36:25].
Magee: I'll just add one more thing there Bryan. And definitely that's not all I work with, like there is... Literally I have one group that I think they have like 270 users on the SharpSpring platform or something like that, and they use it and it works great. I wouldn't say that all of them are just as educated as the groups that I'm working with that are 10 to 15. But we've had massive webinars with them and they all jump on, and we just make sure they're educated. But there's a lot less you're gonna be able to cover but what you'll see what happens is the champions, the guys that are really active within the organizations or it's [inaudible 00:37:01] all over the world. What you'll find is that you'll start to see champions get up and start educating those guys in the larger groups, which is also very helpful.
Bryan: The cool part of the larger groups too is we kind of talk about like scaled solutions at that point. Where if you have 200 plus users logging in, if you solve one problem for 200 people, it's really the equivalent of solving 20 problems for one small company. Because they have the resource and the bandwidth elsewhere to solve these problems. But for these guys, it might be... Life of the Lead's [SP] one of my favorite parts of SharpSpring. The fact that from a sales perspective you can go in and just see all the communication history across a lead's profile. And then our goal as a salesperson is try to build their relationships to cause a transaction.
So if we can just use that information that's organized on that lead record... We've all been the subject of a poor sales conversation where they just don't understand our wants, our needs, our desires. And what do we do? We [inaudible 00:37:55], we don't talk to that person again. So by enabling our sales team to just have a bit more information on their leads and prospects, we can have more personal conversations that increase conversion. So it both helps the consumer because their needs are attended to, because it's more realized on a very simple way, and it helps the organization. Because you're having better conversations, that then drive those conversion.
So the last question that we have in right now is actually a SharpSpring questions, about the VisitorID and getting names at the company level. So the question is that they have VisitorID setup, it's coming in the door. But they're not sure they're targeting the right folks. So there's a few things I'd recommend. I'm actually gonna send a... I'll have the coordinator of the session today send out a blog that we just wrote about identifying personas and using some social tools that we have to help build your persona market.
But in general, for the VisitorID section, what I would recommend doing is going into settings within SharpSpring and setting your configuration for the roles and titles that you wanna see. And then setting up an important page as well. Then of course when people visit those pages, we can use the get contacts, start reaching out to those folks, add them to our mailing list. But by using those segments within the tool to actually say, all right. I'm looking for people in the engineering space, with an engineering title.
It'l make sure that the visitors that you get back based on that anonymous VisitorID are only the visitors that really are important to you. It's really who your sales people need to speak with. So I will make sure that we include that blog post that we just wrote about identifying a target market and the alt materials for today's session. We just had one more question come in. So give me a second as I read it. So that's actually a question for SharpSpring. So this a question about HIPAA compliance with SharpSpring.
So SharpSpring doesn't need to be HIPAA compliant. We're not one of the tools that falls in that bucket because being a marketing automation platform, it's more so the data that you're putting in. So this question's about healthcare industry and the type of data. So there is certain data that should not be stored in a marketing automation platform because of HIPAA compliance. But as far as email address, first name, last name, that's fine to store in the platform. But for this one specifically, if you'd like to...
This was Aaron who asked the question. Reach out to our support team, we can give you a kind of a more thorough walkthrough of exactly the HIPAA compliance with the application and we can make sure that we're getting that answered in real-time. Again, we have a couple of more questions coming in at the end. Thank you guys for asking. So the last one and this one is gonna be for you Magee. So what are your tips for prioritizing leads to make sure that you're actually reaching out to the high quality ones? Is it a combination of lead scoring? Is it website visits? What is your strategy for making sure that the high quality leads are being attended to?
Magee: So again, this is one of those things where people come to me, they're very stressed out about it because they don't know where to start. Because there's all sorts of different stages in which lead is coming through. And what I mean by that is, okay. What if they're a current customer and now they're becoming hot? Like [inaudible 00:41:09] they came through this type of interaction and how do we score that. As opposed to the other direct marketing campaign that we did when capturing information.
But what I always recommend if we're just sticking to these five pillars, this core foundation is the most... Basically the hierarchy goes like this. Obviously if they are coming in and filling out a form submission, you follow up with those immediately. If they are coming off your email, what we find that the best guys that are coming through are... That are clicking through the email and actually going past that one page. They are going and looking at more detailed product or service pages on the website, and let's put some points towards that so that we can quickly sort your database and understand who's scoring highly.
If they're downloading stuff additionally, excellent. That's kind of a soft inquiry, they're just information gathering. That's a very, very important lead to follow up with also. Now secondary to that you're gonna be looking at email opens. Before marketing automation, we were doing, counting the email opens. And we would recommend going after people that are opening the email three or more times. But that's even softer than what we're experiencing as people are coming through. But that's generally the hierarchy of how do it. I go with any sort of form submissions, then any sort of download, information gathering on your site.
Then any sort of your high engagement through the website, where they're actually going into detail and reading more about what you have to offer. And then go to click to external sites that you might be promoting those emails and then down to opens from there. But that's pretty much how I prioritize. And what's gonna happen is you will have a group of people that are fitting those higher brackets, and that's gonna be enough for people to follow up with. But the further down that hierarchy, the softer they're gonna be. So the goal is always what I find, if you can get them to click through and start being scored by activity on your site. That's pretty much where I put the breaking point at because if they're taking action like that, that's valuable action to follow up with.
Bryan: It's [inaudible 00:43:16] now we can iterate from too, so for the agencies that are on the line this is a great opportunity for you to talk to your clients and say, "Who do you sell to?" Like what makes an important lead to you, and there's gonna be assumptions that will be made and we'll configure lead scoring or configure rules based on those assumptions. But then it's always important to whether your marketing review is monthly, quarterly or annually, whenever it is to look back at all this data and look at the deals that have come in and closed. Did the individuals that were the primary leads or the leads that found you, do they match these ideas of what make a good lead to you?
If they don't, then we iterate and we go back and say, "All right. We assumed that we're targeting males 18 to 22," or whatever it is if we're in the B2C to space or what have you. But you can then go back and change that and change the configuration of things like leads scoring rules. You're not locked into it. So it's extremely flexible. Now for the in-house marketing professional, the same exact thing, scenario, excuse me for you all too. Your job is to make sure that your company's messaging is the most effective.
Meaning that you have the correct target audience and that you're sending compelling content to them to drive clicks and drive engagement. But if we don't spend the time to go back and evaluate, "Are we targeting the right segment?" Then we can very quickly fall down this trail of we are marketing, we're spending all these dollars to talk to an audience. But that audience doesn't wanna hear our message. So we're wasting those hours. I'm a huge fan of do something, deploy a process of tracking it. And then once we have some data, whether it's a month or three months in or six months, evaluate it and make sure that the stuff that you value as a hot lead is actually stuff that lines up with the attributes and behaviors of leads that have closed for your company.
With that, those are the questions that came in. Folks if you have more, please feel free to reach out. My email is really simple, it's just firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to chat and talk anything SharpSpring with you all. Again, if you're a partner and you stuck with us through the Q&A thank you and we'd love to have you join, if you have a success story that you'd like to tell. Magee, thank you. Thank you, thank you so much for the great presentation.
Bryan: Any closing remarks before we go ahead and close the call?
Magee: No, absolutely, yeah. Thank you for having me. It's been a great pleasure. I love working with a platform and always here to help. So if you guys have any questions, feel free to get in touch with Bryan and collect my information.
Bryan: Awesome. Thank you for saying that and you guys have a great week and hope everyone has a fantastic remainder of the week as well. Bye-bye.