Security software giant McAfee is overhauling its business development and marketing operations, so that marketing and sales are more closely aligned to take advantage of new opportunities. This includes migrating the marketing department away from Adobe Campaign Manager to Salesforce Pardot, in a bid to remove complex integrations with the sales team's use of Salesforce.
Chief Marketing Officer at the company, Brett Hannath, explained to diginomica that the shift to Pardot is allowing the vendor to rethink its marketing processes with user-centred design as the focus, and will allow McAfee to take advantage of more advanced Salesforce features, such as its AI Einstein capabilities.
Hannath said that the aim of marketing automation is to deliver as much tailored and close engagement with prospects as possible, to not only boost engagement and the health of the customer relationship, but also satisfy better pipeline outcomes. This dual approach is particularly pertinent for McAfee, where its sales are driven by 50% renewal and 50% new business.
McAfee has been using Salesforce for its sales division for approximately five years, but marketing had previously jumped from using Eloqua to Adobe Campaign Manager (as McAfee's web assets were running on Adobe Experience Manager). However, the company has a belief that the better integrated its platforms, the better understanding it will have of its customers.
With this in mind, the gap between Salesforce and Adobe was proving inadequate. Hannath explained:
We realised that if Salesforce starts doing all that integration for you, why not start to make active use of it? The interesting thing is we had already licensed Pardot, but we weren't using it. So there were financial reasons to move off one platform and start using something that we were already paying for. But I think what really excited us was the opportunity to retire a piece of redundant infrastructure and start to integrate the entire customer relationship - marketing and sales, in one environment.
Hannath was aware that by running the customer relationship across multiple systems, the full value of what Salesforce had to offer wasn't available to McAfee to take advantage of. He added:
Previously Adobe was acting as our response aggregator. We would be scoring responses up to a certain level. If it was ‘request a meeting' it would of course get propagated straight across. But we had MDM technology in the middle, so it wasn't even a clean integration between Adobe and Salesforce.
The MDM technology would check and see whether the individual on the response was a known contact. If it wasn't, it would then attempt to attach it to the right account. So everything in the middle made it slow.
You'd have a one to three day delay to allow these systems to run batch processes, to attach them to the right entity. And finally when something landed in Salesforce, it would sometimes end up with a field rep who didn't even know necessarily how to manage a lead. So we not only had delays and complexity because of lead flow information through the multiple systems, but we also had the human side not being as bolstered as it needed to be.
People and process
Hannath said that by integrating marketing and sales on the Salesforce platform, this will allow McAfee to take advantage of more out of the box features and will enable the use of deep analysis tools. McAfee wants to be able to take advantage of the value the Salesforce platform brings, which wasn't available to it when running across disparate systems.
He added that the UI on Pardot is simple to use compared to other marketing automation tools out there, which is important for scale. Hannath's view is that in order to gain traction in teams beyond just a few reps or individuals, an intuitive interface is crucial.
McAfee has been using some features of Pardot already - namely allowing a sales person to communicate via the tool to a group of accounts - but is hoping to go fully live with the system in April. However, this isn't just a technology project, it's a people and process project too. Hannath explained:
As soon as you start using Pardot as the response aggregator, it has a natural connection and affinity to standard objects inside Salesforce. Data flows become a lot faster, which as a marketer you need to happen. But there is a need to stand up a stronger BDR function to triage those leads as they come in. And if they have an initial look, and it is valid, and it has been attached to the right account, they will then pass it on to an approved field rep. So we're excited by not only the tech, but the people processes that we will wrap around this, which will deliver a much better experience for our customers.
This is especially true for McAfee's business, which is heavily reliant on renewals. Hannath added:
It's all well and good to have the tech working for you, but the roll out to the reps is as critical. A good 50% of our business is renewal business, so a lot of our contacts are known entities. The traditional lead, to convert, to contact, to create an opportunity, to create an account, standard model doesn't work for 50% of our business.
So we are having to investigate creating tasks, as opposed to leads, because the person or the individual is already known. It's working out not only all that infrastructure logic, or information around a lead through the system, but then ensuring that we're training the BDRs, the field reps, the task reps, that if a task lands, you've got to follow it up. If a lead lands in your queue, you've got to follow it up. Because there are a couple of ways that this lead can come into vision and therefore need following up.
Hannath said that there are a number of outcomes by which McAfee is measuring the success of this project. Firstly, there are the financial benefits, as the company will be saving a "material amount of dollars" that it will then reinvest into its marketing programmes. Secondly, McAfee will be looking to see how much new pipeline it is creating, whether that be cross-sells, up-sells, or new business and logos added to its customer portfolio.
However, the key metric for Hannath is engagement. He said:
We've got three very distinct segments of business - we've got enterprise, we have majors (our biggest customers) and we have commercial. I've set targets for my team for what percentage of those accounts are constantly engaged with McAfee. If people are engaged with us, there's an opportunity then for marketing to influence the creation of pipeline.
Finally, Hannath had some words of advice for others that may be thinking about marketing automation, or the closer alignment of marketing and sales. The first thing is that when people are thinking this, they need to understand that it's not just technology, but people and process that will be the key to success. Hannath said that it's a "dual responsibility" and sales and marketing need to work together from the start.
Secondly, leaders of these projects need to quickly demonstrate the value that digital channels can bring, as so much of a buyer's decision making process is now done without the interaction of an actual sales rep. Marketing needs to articulate that the world has changed and highlight what can be achieved through digital, in order to bring the company along with it. However, finally, it's about those measures of success. He said:
When all is said and done, how are you going to measure success? Knowing this really helps the whole marketing team understand their role day to day and also gives them permission to bring new ideas around those metrics. Just be very open to peoples' good ideas.