When Michael Litt started up Kitchener, Ont.-based video marketing platform Vidyard a few years ago, one of the first sales representatives he hired was previously with Salesforce.com. Since then, he hasn’t looked back in terms of charting a strategy for managing his company’s marketing conversion funnel.
“We decided if we were going to build a large sales organization, we’d need a platform we could manage our support requests and manage our lead reps,” Litt says.
The San Francisco-based cloud vendor has also become more than a tool for Vidyard, it’s become part of its business strategy. As a cloud-based platform that is targeting marketers itself, Vidyard has integrated its software with Salesforce and is available to be installed and purchased on Salesforce’s AppExchange. (Vidyard also integrates with Oracle’s Eloqua platform, and Marketo.)
“We understood from the beginning the video marketing platform that we had built would have an integration point with CRM, and what CRM would be best to integrate with other than Salesforce?” Litt says.
Today Litt, who runs the sales organization at Vidyard, has 17 team members – including himself – using Salesforce.com accounts, five of which are in the marketing department. It’s more than just the CRM too, as Vidyard runs on several tools that make up the Salesforce stack. Litt explains how the tools help his team convert their marketing funnel from awareness through to purchase.
Litt’s funnel starts with lead list development using Data.com to identify prospects. This Salesforce service is an enormous database of Dun & Bradstreet information on business contacts. Based mostly on job titles, Vidyard can create a list of professionals to target with its marketing campaigns. It’s main method of developing awareness is content marketing.
“For a company like Vidyard, we’re not a globally understood brand,” Litt says. “So content marketing gives us an opportunity to create valuable information for potential customers.”
Vidyard nurtures its prospects using content, using their own videos, blogs, and white papers to draw them in and learn about the company, and the benefits of a video marketing strategy.
Litt uses Pardot, a marketing automation tool that was acquired by Salesforce in 2013 along with ExactTarget, to send content to the list acquired from Data.com. Pardot creates a lead score for each target based on their interactions with the content.
“Based on what those contacts do – if they watch certain videos, read certain content, we’ll send them more to give them added understanding,” Litt says.
When a lead reaches a score of 300, it’s time for a sales development representative (SDR) to make a phone call or sent a personalized email. At this point, the lead is referred to as a “market qualified lead.”
Using the Salesforce.com CRM to track their leads all along the way, the SDR reaches out and gauges the response from the lead. If the lead isn’t yet ready to purchase, the lead is closed and put back into the content marketing cycle for a few more months. An SDR can reach out again when the time is right.
“It’s based on activity,” Litt says. “It’s all based on how they’re interacting with our content.”
If the lead is ready to see a demo, then the SDR hands them off to an account executive. The demo is scheduled and delivered. Hopefully for Vidyard, after that the lead is ready to purchase.
Conversion and beyond
“It’s not over after that funnel closes,” Litt says. “you have to onboard the customer, that customer needs to be supported in using your software.”
To support its users, Vidyard’s team makes use of Chatter, communicating about any support issues that might arise with a ticket system. Litt says that his team members always have Chatter open in a window on their desktops, right alongside email.
Even customers are still included in the nurturing process, and sent content via Pardot. The idea is to help customers be more successful in their video marketing activities.
“We love educating our customers,” Litt says.