Partner Badge_Act-On 2016_partner whiteDuring one of our recent Dynamics CRM User Group webinars a customer asked a great question that we thought others could benefit from.

Do you have suggestions for best practices when using Act-On with Dynamics CRM? In particular, at what point should we consider moving soft or suspect leads into Dynamics CRM? Our RSMs use CRM more-less like an address book, and we didn’t just want to flood the system with top-of-funnel, lower quality leads. Do you agree with our approach of leaving these types of leads in Act-On?

With a lead management program in place, your marketing teams can be nurturing leads and then passing the qualified leads to the sales team for follow-up. The sales team will no longer have to sort through a list of unqualified leads to find the leads that have a higher probability of closing. The challenge can be establishing that lead “criteria” so you know when a lead should be passed to the sales team.

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The first step in doing this (if you haven’t already) is to work with your Marketing & Sales teams to define your buyer personas and define your customer journey touch-points. Your goal here is to determine your audiences, define their wants/needs/desires, align marketing communications to those groups and then understand what “triggers” indicate that they are “sales ready”. There is no hard and fast rule for this as each organization is unique and within each organization the buyer personas are also unique.

By completing this exercise, you will be on your way to then creating your marketing segments that align with your ideal customer group. These segments can be built off of demographic data sets (job title, company size, location, etc.) as well as behavioral data sets such as the # of web visits, forms submitted, emails clicked, etc. It is also recommended that you add sales qualifiers to your web forms to help you collect information such as the time-frame for purchasing, need assessment, etc.

actonYour next step then would be to leverage the lead scoring functionality in your Act-On system. Within Act-On you have the ability to assign a numeric value to both demographic as well as behavioral data sets. With scoring rules in place, you can create segments of your lists based of the scores you’ve defined.

Marketing can use these lead scoring values as well to further segment the database and send targeted communications based on the sales stage they are in. In addition, when a lead scores enough points (the level determined by your team), they can be flagged as ready to be passed to sales.

Remember, Marketing’s job is typically not done once you pass the lead to sales, you can continue to assist the sales team by supporting the lead with appropriate marketing communications that is aligned to this sales stage.

Act-on has functionality to support the process above. The lead scoring functionality is very robust in Act-On as it allows for more granular scoring criteria. In addition, the enterprise version of Act-On provides you the ability to maintain separate scoring rules for different audience segments by using their multiple score sheets. The multiple scoring sheets allows you to run different scoring rules for each of your defined personas, industries, buyer type, product line, etc.

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