B2B Marketing Automation Implementation Best Practices

So now you that you have purchased a marketing automation platform you are ready to implement and it’s not as simple as you were led to believe.   As an outsourced sales and marketing company we have already helped to implement several platforms (as well as implementing our own) and helped companies with several stalled implementations. Here are some best practices in marketing and sales automation because,  as one vendor recently told us,  ‘we can sell them the car but we can’t drive it for them’.  Here are some basic tips and some best practices to help you avoid some headaches and to learn from our mistakes and success. If you have not checked out what these platforms can do here is a quick overview from Pardot 5 Minute Overview of Marketing Automation and this post will make a whole lot more sense.


Think about your Content in a Different Way


The whole point of a marketing automation platform is to drive more business in a more effective way.  This starts with how you are speaking with your buyer.  If your content is still all about your product – tech sheets, features and benefits etc. its -time to think about being customer centric rather than product centric.”  Your drip campaigns will drive more business if you talk to your customers about their problems and their needs.  You may need to look at the “voice” of your messages and refine your language a bit.  As a starting point look at how may time you talk about “Our’ product, “our” team vs.   “your” needs, “your” business and “your” customers.  Stop being product centric and start being customer centric. Here is a series of blogs on how to shift your content approach and get sales and marketing on the same page.

Organize your Content Ahead of Time  

For a marketing automation platform to run effectively it helps to do two things with your content.  First you should isolate all your webcasts,  white papers, blogs, videos on individual website pages. This allows you to easily understand what your customer specifics needs are which in turn allows you to score your leads more effectively as you track their digital interest.  Secondly, it really helps to also create landing pages that offers your customer content for all three stages of their buying cycle so you can track when your buyers are moving from educating themselves (kicking the tires) to being ready to buy (e.g looking at pricing or testimonials).  Gabriel Sales has created an easy to use sales content management technology – Gabriel Sales Digital Demand Center™ that can help you do this in a matter of weeks. The image on the right is an example of one of those lead scoring features.

Involve Sales and Invest the Time Integrating with your CRM

What we have found is that even a basic integration can take an IT professional too much time.  Most of the marketing automation platforms we have seen have huge volume of really cool features and bells and whistles so you can tend to over design before you know how you want to use them. Ultimately this is about empowering your sales team and recognizing your IT teams expertise is not sales.  Probably one of the biggest bottle necks we have seen is that IT folks get proprietary and a project that they thought would take weeks can take a developer three months or more . The challenges are not with the system’s API or stability; they were with our client’s requirements, process definitions and prioritization. Like most development work that starts “easy” it quickly gets complex when they don’t understand the underlying business processes. Unfortunately as the time line  expands it ends up being sales and marketing that are on the hook for results and not the developers. Salesforce.com has been the easiest integration for all the platforms we have seen.

Keep your Initial Drip Campaigns Simple

This is probably one of the biggest lessons we learned.  When we first started we came up with a very complex IF/ then workflow so if they opened this piece of content on a topic area we would send them another piece of content on topic area B and then if they didn’t open that we would send them content Z.  It was too much and just writing about it confuses me. What we found is about 80% of the value you are going to get from your initial drip campaigns is going to come from simply implementing them.  It takes time to learn a new software and the biggest value the software provided initially is simply keeping your brand and solution in front of your buyers over time so your reps don’t have to.  A simple five to seven touch campaign without any IF/then work flows was enough to get more deals flowing at less cost.  Don’t frustrate yourself.  You will quickly learn from your wins. If you are a smaller company, as a best practice, we recommend that you start by talking to your sales reps about their sales process and simply take that sales process map and create your initial drip campaigns for about three target markets.


Tap your vendors (and other vendors) knowledge centers

This industry is not that old.  Eloqua, Pardot and Marketo (to name a few) all have fantastic knowledge centers that can teach you the basics of lead scoring and nurturing etc. Our vendor Pardot has been a huge help but we have also found both Marketo and Eloqua’s knowledge centers to be valuable as well.  Obviously as an outsourced sales and marketing company we also recommend that you strongly consider working with an organization like ours.  We have the advantage of having worked in the space across multiple enterprises so we have made a great deal of the mistakes already so you don’t need to.


We hope this blog has been helpful.  Marketing Automation is a relatively new concept for most marketing teams and we have found that once you start to gain some momentum you will quickly realize that it’s clearly how business will be done for the next decade. We are just at the beginning of a new paradigm starting with marketing automation and then,  as we are quickly discovering, if your marketing automation implementation is done correctly this will  drift towards sales automation.  Ultimately this will begin to drive more deals fast at less cost.  We are experiencing some fantastic initial success reducing cost of sales percentages for both ourselves and our clients. The learning curve is exponential. So have fun.


If you have not checked out what these platforms can do here is a quick overview from Pardot 5 Minute Overview of Marketing Automation. If you have a stalled with your marketing automation implementation or if you would like to know more about best practices in marketing and sales automation, feel free to contact us for a quick consultative call.

Top B2B Demand Generation Requires Sales and Marketing Alignment

b2b demand generation This blog is the second part of a three part series that discusses the difference between sales content marketing and other types of marketing and how you can approach creating a successful B2B Demand Generation Sales Marketing Alignment solution (with or without outsourcing) by aligning sales and marketing. In this blog we provide a simple framework for driving successful B2B Demand Generation Sales Marketing Alignment. CLICK HERE FOR PART ONE.

B2B Demand Generation Sales and Marketing Alignment

As an outsourced sales organization we firmly believe that every outsourced demand generation B2B effort needs “to start with the end in mind.” That “end” is closed business.  As a company we build High Velocity Sales Machines for B2B Demand Generation. The marketing services we provide to support the sales efforts are focused on improving two areas: Demand Generation and Overcoming Specific Sales Objections. Our focus when executing marketing services in these areas is to create the feedback loops required for the marketing team to create content (or in many cases to produce the initial necessary digital content ourselves) to ensure that the sales content meets the need of the buyer exactly where they are in their buying cycle. You need to match your sales function to the customer buying cycle. Typically:

  • B2B Demand Generation – helping the customer define their problem and establishing your credentials as a thought leader to help them.
  • Sales Engagement and Qualifying – helping the customer to compare your solution to other solutions in the market. And to evaluate their alternatives.
  • Closing – sales starts when the customer says “No”.   This content needs to overcome specific objections so that the customer can verify the ROI and confirm what you have already told them so they are comfortable committing to you.

For Gabriel Sales, sales content marketing is not strategic, it is tactical and measurable. The job of sales content marketing is measured, providing better B2B Demand Generation Sales Marketing Alignment. And when we make recommendations or create content that content starts by addressing a specific need or objection that we have heard directly from a customer.

Below is a simple framework we use when creating digital content or providing feedback loops to the marketing teams we work with.

We are giving our marketing efforts “A Sales Quota.”  To do this you need  listen and document the conversation with the customer. As part of our services we map the entire sales conversation to identify the objections, and then create authentic digital content that addresses those needs and objections specifically to get deals through the pipe.

To summarize, smart sales content marketing is a simple as:

  1. Getting everyone to agree that the Sales Marketing job is to close business
  2. Listening to the Needs and Objections of your customer to understand the “Sales Conversation”
  3. Creating Authentic Content that addresses the client’s needs for where they are in the buying cycle

As an outsourcing B2B demand generation company we are not delusional.  We know what we are the best at, and what other solutions are more effective for B2B Demand Generation Sales Marketing Alignment. We are the best at building outsourced demand generation engines that:

  1. Generate b to b sales leads with cold calling efforts
  2. Take cold call leads and inbound marketing qualified leads, listen to the customer and understand their needs and sales objections
  3. Move deals from marketing qualified leads to sales qualified leads by:
  • Creating and distributing great “Sales” content that move the deals forward
  • Training reps how to use that content
  • Providing great feedback loops to marketing teams so they can expand on that effort once proven

With a full pipe, we then transition to the close by staffing enterprise sales reps or inside reps as the need dictates.

The final blog will discuss how internal “marketing” teams and external agencies can build on smart sales driven b2b demand generation and sales content marketing to put more qualified sales deals in the pipe and provide effective B2B Demand Generation Sales Marketing Alignment.

If you would like to learn more about how an outsourced demand generation solution can help accelerate this alignment and scale, please feel free to CONTACT US for a free initial strategy conversation.  Or visit the B2B Demand Generation Resources section of our Website.

To review Part 1 Top B to B Demand Generation Requires Sales Content Marketing CLICK HERE.

To view the final blog in this series on Successful Demand Generation b to b please CLICK HERE.

Lead Generation Case Study for Social Media SaaS and Professional Services


Outsourcing Lead Generation Case Study for Social Media SaaS and Professional Services

The Challenge

The Technology Company developed a real time analytics technology had already launched into a non-marketing focused vertical with success but limited growth potential.  The product worked well but the market was not big enough. The initial company needed more capital for growth. Series B investors required new vertical and marque client traction to close round. The company had no internal competency in market research, analytics, solution sales or ad agency sales.

The Solution

  • Outsourcing Lead Generation – Staff three lead generation reps for first 120 days to fill the pipe
  • Sales Consulting and New Product Launch –  Simultaneously worked with client executives and  took existing technology and sales repackaged new verticals
  • New Product Launch – Staffed inside rep and sold initial low end intro packages.
  • Outsourcing Sales – Cut lead gen team in half and staffed a full time enterprise sales representative to move into elephant hunting mode
  • Sales and Account Management Recruiting – Trained two senior sales representatives hired directly by company as Gabriel Sales blended team filled their pipes. Recruited a Market Research PhD to manage client servicing
  • Sales Process Consulting –  Functioned as temporary SVP of Sales and Marketing


Pilot Deals Closed

Fortune 500 Companies Renewed

Additonal Pilots

Agency Relationships Scaled

The Results Were Amazing

  • First 180 days
    • 18 pilot deals closed
    • One of the top 3 players in; CPG, Entertainment, Beverage, Office Products, B2B tech, Management Consulting, and Retail closed
    • 2 of the top 4 Advertising Agencies running pilots.  5 other smaller agencies piloting
    • Series B round closed
  • Second 360 days
    • 12 additional pilots
    • 2 Agency relationships scaled leveraging solution across 5 or more Fortune 500 clients per agency as recommended solution
    • 5 Fortune 500 clients renewed and scaled from pilot to annual deals – three to $200K plus, one to $300K plus, one $500K plus
    • Helped to recruit a President to oversee entire business development, client services and sales operations
    • Transitioned Gabriel Sales team over as employees of the company

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