How to Get Data From your CRM System that is Actionable
This program interviews Bonnie Crater on CRM Radio. The verbatim
transcript follows, however, it may be as easy to listen while you
work! You may quote the guest or the host but remember this is a
verbatim transcript, so please edit accordingly.
Paul: It’s time for CRM Today; the only show that takes a look at CRM systems and brings you the latest and greatest ideas, information and interviews on this rapidly changing space – with your host Jim Obermeyer!
Jim: Thank you Paul for the nice introduction. This is the inaugural program for CRM Today Radio and our first guest today is Bonnie Crater. The program title today is how to get data from your CRM system that is actionable. As it turns out, until I met Bonnie and her company, I really thought all the data was actionable, I just thought it was difficult to get but I would be able to find it. Well as it turns out, what I suspected is true… and Bonnie’s company has made this data actionable because she’s created a company that can do this for us.
And as it turns out, after 20 years of CRM solutions, the data we all thought was supposed to be easy and accurate to extract from a CRM system turns out to be less than advertised. In this program our host today, me, Jim Obermayer, I’m going to talk to Bonnie a little bit about this and she’s going to answer some nice questions.
It may be a surprise but prior to joining Full Circle Insights Bonnie was a five year vice president of marketing and executive at many software companies in Silicon Valley. She held VP and senior vice president roles at Genesys, Netscape, Network Computer, Salesforce.com, Stratify Realization and Voice Objects. She is a 10 year veteran of Oracle Corporation and its various subsidiaries and she was a vice president at Compact Products, vice president at Work Group products division, really a lot of experience.
In 2013 she was named one of the 100 most influential people by the Silicon Valley Business Journal and in 2015 at Sales Lead Management Association named her one of the 20 women to watch. She holds a BA in biology which I find interesting considering what she’s in from Princeton University. You’ve been on our program many times for the SLMA live program. Bonnie welcome!
Bonnie: Thank you Jim, it’s good to be here. Thanks for inviting us.
Jim: Tell us a little bit about Full Circle Insights before we get into our questions.
Bonnie: Well we started Full Circle because we really wanted to help our friends who are marketing people and as you mentioned I am a former five-time VP of marketing and I really wanted to measure my marketing; not just how many leads I was generating but what was the impact of those leads on our businesses and the various businesses I worked for. And I had a really hard time doing that and it was largely a systems thing it turns out.
But my sales reps were running Salesforce and my team was running a marketing automation system and it couldn’t get the data to match between those systems. So I partnered with some ex Salesforce people and technologists who are experts on Salesforce and we decided to start Full Circle Insights so that we could really help our friends who were really struggling with this problem that they could actually see what the impacts of their marketing campaigns was on their various businesses.
Jim: So you started with all of these former employees and you’ve been at it for how long now, since 2013?
Bonnie: We actually started the company in December of 2010 so we have been at it for a little over five years.
Jim: A little over five years, I should have remembered that from our previous interviews. Now you specialize in one… you really specialize in the largest CRM software product in the world and making this more accessible and more understandable and more actionable, is that right?
Bonnie: Yeah. So we leverage the Salesforce platform and we love Salesforce of course and feel very passionate about how Salesforce is a fantastic system to just create the system of record for sales and marketing. Some people can think about it as the financial system or the accounting system for marketing and sales because that’s where all the sales information is and that’s where all the marketing information should be as well so you can actually match up all the data together and get… so everybody is seeing the same data.
Jim: Isn’t it the basic selling proposition from CRM companies that they will deliver accurate marketing and sales information? And this is a big deal on your website. But isn’t that your basic proposition?
Bonnie: Well I think the basic proposition is to provide a platform that can store the information. Now there is different usage of these different systems and so I don’t think any company can promise the data that you put in is going to be accurate, right? It’s up to you to make sure that the data that you put in is accurate. But how the data is actually managed inside the system can take a lot of different forms.
And we are dealing with an age old computer science project problem of okay you have data in one system, the marketing automation system and you have data in a CRM system and it’s really hard to get that data to match and then making sure that all of the work, the various flow between sales and marketing so you end up getting an accurate picture and that’s the value added that we wanted to help our prospects and customers to figure out how to do. If it is that the data is reflective of how campaigns are being run and the impact of those campaigns on the business, then marketers can make much, much better decisions. I would love to have had this system when I was the VP of marketing because frankly I was just guessing about which campaigns were actually driving revenue, I just didn’t have the facility for that.
Jim: Well couldn’t you just look at the closing ratio of the inquiries and take it back to the original source for the campaign and make some prediction there?
Bonnie: Well it’s interesting and it’s really a question of how many… largely about the number of touches that customers have or prospects will have in order to close a deal. So in the simplest case, the customer responds to one campaign, the response to that campaign gets passed on to a sales rep and the sales rep closes that, it’s a very linear kind of model, right? But that’s actually not how the real world works, right? That’s not how it works.
What really happens is that the customer is doing a lot of education and is learning about your company or my company or anybody’s company by responding to a lot of campaigns and really participating in a variety of different activities to actually learn much more about these different products and this is very typical in the B2B world so it’s not just one touch, it’s five to ten touches.
So then you have this sort of multidimensional problem of okay, you’ve got 5 to 10 touches, you’ve got a sales rep following up, you may have another group; a telesales or sales development reps that’s actually qualifying the customer. So you have lots of different groups actually touching this deal and so the complexity actually becomes fairly high in actually being able to track this data through the sales cycle. And on top of that, typically most companies have two systems; they have a marketing automation system and they have their CRM system. So tying all of this data together is actually quite a complex proposition.
Jim: Well it’s not unusual, let’s say that one responds through an email campaign, direct mail or whatever the case might be or they go to a trade show and then the inquiry is created and then people begin to follow up. The person may be invited to a webinar, their name ends up there. They may go back to a trade show, stop in and leave their name there because very often tradeshows to develop qualified leads because the person is stopping by to get questions answered. It may or may not be the same person; it may be a different company.
By the time you add these things up people have asked me when I have given seminars for years, what do I do? And I generally say well I generally give credit to the initial inquiry but certainly you don’t know really what push people over the edge.
So you take a look at this somewhat of a holistic look at it. And what does the final report show? Does it show all the touches? Or does it really show the original campaign that created it? Or does it do both?
Bonnie: Yeah, it actually does both and there is lots of ways to cut the data of course. But once you have the data in place, there is really two approaches that really work well for marketers to understand the impact of the marketing on the business. And the first approach is to use the funnel metric and funnel metrics are designed to keep track of the volume and the velocity and the conversion rates from stage to stage from inquiry to close.
And the reason that funnel metrics are really helpful is because you have this complexity of five to ten touches, you may have multiple purchasers inside the same company, then you have multiple groups touching these same leads; you have marketing and maybe you have SDR or telesales group and you have sales. Because of that complexity, you really need to understand how well your process is working. So are there delays or gaps in the process? Are all of the leads being followed up on and why or why not? And so information about your process is really well measured using funnel metrics and I can talk a little bit more in detail about that.
The second set of metrics is campaign attribution. And campaign attribution, the concept is that you have your revenue that you’ve closed and you want to figure out which campaigns have actually impacted that revenue and you want to make sure you are tracking all of the campaigns. And there is different types of campaign attribution that give you information about… and different kinds of information about how your campaigns are performing and we can talk a little bit about these different methods; the single touch methods, the multitouch methods and the weighted multitouch method that give you a really good picture about how your marketing is actually impacting the business.
So the first metric is based on funnel metrics and that is… and funnel metrics tells you about your process. And then the second complementary set of reports fall into this area of campaign attribution which can give you a really good picture about how your campaigns are impacting the business.
Jim: Is funnel metrics part of the response management module that I’ve seen up on your site?
Bonnie: What we’ve done is we’ve actually packaged both; funnel metrics and campaign attribution in the same module, we call it response management.
Bonnie: And then we have a second product which is our campaign attribution product so you can just buy campaign attribution separately.
Jim: Okay, now all of this is baked into Salesforce. I’ve started up Salesforce for a dozen companies as I’ve been a consultant…
Bonnie: Oh, that’s great.
Jim: … maybe more than that. And I’ve gone to them because I’ve got a great guy who helped found the Sales Lead Management Association and he brings me into this and he sets all of these up for us so I know when they are being set up that they are proper. He works with a company out of San Diego, Red Sky, that installs these. So I can rely on him doing it properly so that when we get launched I know what we have but this is baked in. So I get Salesforce up and running and then I bring Full Circle Insights in and how does that get installed into the Salesforce product?
Bonnie: Oh yeah, so pretty straightforward applications actually built as a native application on the Salesforce platform. So what that means is that there is no code outside of Salesforce, it all lives inside of Salesforce and it appears as extra fields on a lead or contact or opportunity. It appears as additional reports and dashboards inside the application and then there is a configuration screen for advanced to adjust the configuration of the application.
Jim: So after I get Salesforce on board then I contact Full Circle Insights and then you help me get this installed into a Salesforce?
Bonnie: Exactly, yeah. So again it doesn’t… it’s not a separate system; it’s you are working in Salesforce and you have this extra application that just lives on top of your existing instance of Salesforce. So that’s really useful because you don’t have to learn a new reporting system, it’s all Salesforce, you don’t have to go on new dashboards, it’s all Salesforce.
Jim: Okay. All right when we come back we are going to take a quick break here to hear from some of our sponsors. When we come back and we talk about Opportunity Gatekeeper and then tell me why… are you opening this up to other CRM products out there eventually? And that may be a very short answer and then do you have any case studies? So we will be back in just a moment; Paul over to you.
Paul: And now back to our show and the second half of Jim’s interview!
Jim: Thank you Paul. It’s nice to hear from our sponsors today. We’ve been speaking with Bonnie crater, CEO of Full Circle Insights. She’s been explaining how the Full Circle Insights helps get real information, funnel metrics and campaign attribution so I can actually get accurate data out of my Salesforce installations in such a way that I can actually make decisions from that in order to close more sales.
Now Bonnie, I asked Bonnie when we came back if she would then talk to us a little bit more. Well, one of the questions is if you do this or if you plan to do this, just between you and I, for anybody other than Salesforce?
Bonnie: Well we may in the future but right now we are on the Salesforce platform. Salesforce is the number one CRM system in the world and so we are big fans of Salesforce and believe that they have the top CRM system for our customers.
Jim: Not much of a deal to go someplace else. You know going to run out of customers I don’t imagine.
Bonnie: Yeah, Salesforce has a lot of customers.
Jim: So we’ve talked about the response management and campaign attribution. The Opportunity Gatekeeper caught my attention. Can you explain what that is?
Bonnie: Yeah. So one of the challenges that folks running Salesforce has is the issue of connecting marketing and sales information together. So we developed, it’s a small utility and that is actually part of the response management that response management functionality; it’s a small utility so it’s a small piece of functionality. And what it does is it requires that when a sales rep creates an opportunity or is creating a deal inside Salesforce, it requires them to attach a contact to the opportunity. And because it requires the contact on the opportunity, it’s much easier for marketers to associate campaigns to every deal so it’s an important piece of functionality that, purchased separately, can really help marketers get better and more accurate campaign recording inside Salesforce by simply forcing salespeople to have a person on every opportunity.
Jim: Okay, so that’s very trackable. And I’ve listened to your… I’ve seen your two minute videos up on the site to better understand how all this works because I am interested not only because I am a host of the CRM Radio program but because obviously I run into this program all the time and this is a question that constantly comes up. Can you give me a case study of someone, how they started and what they are like now that they are actually managing their marketing and sales functions because they are using Full Circle Insights?
Bonnie: Yeah. We have a customer, actually our very first customer which is a company called [19:48 JobBite]. They are a wonderful company that provides recruiting software for companies. About two years ago they were in the process of raising their Series C so it is a startup company that needed to raise additional financing for the company so they could continue on their high growth trajectory.
And so the CEO, Dan, I went and talked to his folks at the company and said okay, we’re going to raise our Series C but we need to reach these particular revenue goals. And so what the marketing guys took really seriously and they went to the executive team and said okay, we have this software, Full Circle CRM, that was our name at the time, and then we were called Full Circle Insights. So we had the software, Full Circle, and what it does is it helps us keep track of all of our funnel metrics.
So we can tell you now what our baseline volume velocity conversion rates are right now and we can also set some goals, revenue goals and then figure out how many leads we need to generate and what our conversion rates need to be as a marketing and sales team in order to reach those revenue goals. So they set up these target revenue goals, they did a reverse funnel – that’s the process of actually figuring out what the volume, conversion rates and velocity that is required to meet these revenue goal.
And they put that out where the exec team and the sales and marketing teams to really focus on. And the results were actually quite… were amazing. In the following year they actual ended up having the same marketing budget as the previous year but they were getting twice the number of leads and twice the number of deals out of that same marketing budget because they had this focus on okay we have this baseline, we are trying to reach these goals and consequently they became incredibly efficient with their marketing dollars, actually twice as efficient with their marketing dollars as the previous year so that’s an incredible result. They were able to reach their revenue goals, they raised their Series C.
I am very happy for the two gentlemen that were working, leading this project for the marketing team; they both got promoted [22:00 inaudible] director of demand generation. So that is a really super happy result from my point of view; the marketing team gets more efficient, the guys get promoted, they raise their funding that they need and are exceeding their revenue goals. So that’s an ideal happy customer for us.
Jim: Well, we couldn’t end the program any better than to hear that and we are very pleased that you are on the inaugural program. As I mentioned to you before, Phil Fernandez was on the inaugural program for SLMA Live our first radio program six years ago so and look he just raised 1.7 billion I think it was or sold the company so I hope you have the same success. How does someone reach you?
Bonnie: Well you can go to our website of course which is www.fullcircleinsights.com. Love to help you, our listeners with the marketing measurement questions that you might have.
Jim: That would be great. We appreciate you coming on today. This is CRM Radio. This is Jim Obermayer the host for the program and we are part of the Funnel Radio Channel. This is our first program and Bonnie we look forward to having you back again and again and again on our program. Thank you very much for taking the time to be with us today.
Paul: You’ve been listening to CRM Today! The only show that takes a look at all the ideas and interviews happening in this ever-changing place, part of the new Funnel Radio Network. Broadcasts live every Thursday from 9 to 1230 Pacific Time. Tune in again next week for more shows on Funnel Radio!