Business is about creating solutions and selling them. Marketing is finding buyers that need the solutions and sales is selling the solutions to them. That's it in a nutshell! This primer article is about the software that smart companies are using to make this work!

The prospect to customer journey can be summarized as attract, amaze, convert, and retain:

  • Attract: Systems to drive traffic to your website using offline techniques, likes road shows and targeted events, and online web and social media platforms like blog posts, videos, and podcasts. To be seen in Google searches, optimize your website focusing on good content and ensure the site is as fast as possible. Enlist respected companies to add links to your website
  • Amaze: Build trust on your website with content, webinars, white papers, and ebooks to demonstrate your expertise. The objective is to share their experience on your website with others and submit a lead form
  • Convert: Use tools to qualify new leads and connect with them to determine their exact needs. You can then provide sales collateral, like case studies, testimonials, and videos, and track their sales status as they progress towards purchasing your product
  • Retain: Keeping customers is all about communication. Maintain interest in your brand with regular email newsletters and social media updates so customers will keep coming back and recommend you to others

Three industry recognized technologies are used amaze, convert and retain:

  • Content Management System (CMS): Your website, or digital front door, that showcases your brand and products, collect leads, and more
  • Customer Relationship Management system (CRM): Used to manage leads, coordinate the sales process across your team, and help retain customers 
  • Marketing Automation System (MAS): Used to create marketing campaigns and automate tailored responses based on prospect or customer behavior, needs, demographics and preferences

So how does this work? Let's look at two extremes:

Simple Extreme

  1. A prospect finds your solution on a social media site and clicks a link to open your website
  2. They explore the site and complete a web form
  3. The form details are saved to a new lead record in the CRM
  4. At the same time, the details are also pushed to a subscriber record in the MAS 
  5. The sales team communicates with the lead and progresses them through the sales process tracking their status in the CRM and using the MAS to send emails
  6. The prospect purchases and the sales team convert the lead to a contact record in the CRM
  7. The MAS is used to regularly update the new customer with new and related solutions

Enterprise Extreme

  1. A prospect finds your solution on a social media site and clicks a link to open your website
  2. While exploring, the website dynamically builds up a profile of the visitor and starts personalizing the content based on the behavior so far 
  3. The visitor completes a web form
  4. The form details are saved to a new lead record in the CRM along with the accumulated profile data
  5. At the same time, the details are also pushed to a subscriber record in the MAS 
  6. The sales team communicates with the lead. They have the advantage of seeing the website behavior of the visitor. As the sale is progressed, they track the status in the CRM
  7. The sales team can adjust the website profile data in the CRM which causes the website to re-personalize content if the visitor returns to the website 
  8. The personalization data is also available in the MAS so different emails can be sent based on the visitor's profile
  9. The prospect purchases and the sales team convert the lead to a contact record in the CRM
  10. The MAS is used to regularly update the new customer with new and related solutions

An Industry Example

Industry leaders, SitecoreSalesforce, and Salesforce Marketing Cloud, represent enterprise-grade CMS, CRM and MAS systems respectively. S4S is used to integrate the systems.

Visitors on a Sitecore website have their interactions collected in a Sitecore Experience Database (xDB). Over time, a profile of the visitor is created, including visits, content viewed, intent signals, demographics, and needs. To heighten their engagement, the visitor's profile is used to show web content more aligned to their specific interests. 

When a web form is submitted a new Salesforce lead is created which includes the profile information held by Sitecore. From this, the sales team can easily understand the mindset of the visitor while they were browsing the website, and better prepare for a sales call.

To automate the sending of highly personalized emails to prospects (and customers), Salesforce Marketing Cloud is used. When a new lead is created in Salesforce, a new subscriber is created in Salesforce Marketing Cloud by Marketing Cloud Connect. The Sitecore profile data, stored in Salesforce custom objects and fields, is also synced and this is used to personalize the emails.

During the sales call it is likely that new information about the lead will be discovered. This can be added to the Salesforce lead record and used as a basis to personalize both the website during the lead's next visit and email content on the next scheduled mail-out.

Visitor workflow in an integrated system

Visitor workflow in an integrated system 

This highly automated and personalized approach ensures the prospect is more likely to purchase your solution. The sales team can choose to give new customers (converted leads or contacts) access credentials to Sitecore portal pages where they can log in to view confidential offerings.

The S4S integration surfaces a complete history of website visitor interactions in Salesforce and Salesforce Marketing Cloud. This can be very useful, for example, if a visitor to your website downloads a whitepaper then submits a web form, as this information is sent to Salesforce. A few days later they return and register for a webinar, which is also sent to Salesforce. The sales team now score the visitor higher and realize there is greater potential to convert this visitor into a customer.

Conclusion

If your business sells solutions, and you have customers, you should already be using a CMS, CRM, and MAS - your competitors certainly will be. What is less likely is that they are using clever integrations with automated web and email personalization capabilities to maximize their sales revenue. By using these systems, you can seamlessly manage interactions over the entire sales and marketing lifecycle. 

Our niche expertise is integrating Sitecore CMS websites with Salesforce CRM using S4S. To learn more about how to add value to your business in this way please contact us for more information.