Selling is dramatically changing and now there are over 7000 solutions with software products in the Marketing Technology space. It's almost impossible to find technology combinations that align with all your needs. The big challenge is you "don't know what you don't know", and don't have the time to find out. Annoyingly no product or product combination will work perfectly so there is no right or wrong decision, just ones that are less painful.

One way to get some satisfaction from chaos is to create your key use cases then buy the tools that execute those cases. In other words, put the blinkers on and fight the scope creep that happens when you learn more. The following example does this to create a dream solution for a B2B or B2C sales team.

The Dream

Looking for something expensive, Adriana arrives on your website. She loves what she sees but is not sure why! Everything seems relevant, just right. Even the onsite advertising is interesting! She gets excited by the content and explores more. She completes a web form to get more information.

Sales guy with prospect

An email immediately arrives and confirms her details. It suggests some times to chat with Mark, a member of your sales team. She chooses, "Right now", and replies. Within a minute, her phone rings and she is talking to Mark.

Mark asks her to look at the website and recite the number on the page footer, "7498" she replies. Adriana notices he is very well informed and has expert answers to her questions. Mark soon has a product in mind for Adriana and the product detail page immediately appears on Adriana's browser. Adriana is impressed as she did not touch the mouse or keyboard. She clicks the "Buy Now" which takes her to the dispatch and secure payment pages. Mark answers some trivial shipping questions.

After payment, a warranty document appears on Adriana's browser screen and Mark helps her complete it. He thanks her and ends the call. Adriana notices her browser page is replaced with the message, "Awesome talking to you Adriana. Call me at 1800-819-5059 if you need any help?"

Shortly after, Adriana receives a confirmation email and every month thereafter, a personalized newsletter with relevant information.

Use Cases

This story can be broken down to a few use cases. Here are the first two:

Use Case Actor Description
Track Visitor Visitor As visitors navigate the website the system will track their behavior. The system will dynamically personalize the website based on their ongoing behavior.
Save analytics to a CRM Visitor When the visitor completes a web form, the system will push the form data and behavior analytics to a CRM which will respond with an automated reply.

Describing a finite range of features in this way (or other techniques, like MoSCoW) helps to narrow the product decision-making process.

Can this Dream Come True?

Use cases will help you find the right MarTech solutions. In this example, it is clear that either a single super system, or a number of integrated systems is the answer (CMS, CRM, and Marketing Automation system).

We've taken the integrated path and chosen Sitecore, Salesforce, and S4S to showcase the key use cases.

  • Adriana arrived on a Sitecore website that cleverly matched her to a preset profile based on her browsing behavior. Sitecore then started showing her content relating to that profile so she became highly engaged.
  • When submitting the web form, her entry data and Sitecore browsing behavior were pushed to a new lead in Salesforce using S4S. An email response is using Salesforce lead auto-response rules.
  • Adriana's email reply is captured by Salesforce and directed to Mark using Email to Salesforce with workflow. Before he calls Adriana, Mark studies the Sitecore behavior in her Salesforce lead record so he is better prepared.
  • During the call, he asks Adriana for the number on the page footer so he can identify her web session in Salesforce. An S4S page shows the current live sessions.
  • When Mark identifies a product, he selects the page in a select list in Salesforce and S4S passes the URL to Sitecore which shows the page to Adriana.
  • The warranty page is displayed to Adriana in the same way.
  • The "Awesome talking to you" message is another selection Mark can make.
  • When Mark changes Adriana's status, she is placed into an email automation plan and this keeps her informed. Any good Market Automation System like Pardot can do this.

Conclusion

Rather than be overwhelmed by thousands of features from thousands of applications, try defining your dream scenarios first. Once you have your list, start looking for systems or integrations that will execute what you need - just remember to keep your list short.

Of course, this "blinkers" approach is just one of many but it will help you achieve what you want in a relatively short time. We encourage your feedback - maybe your ideas are better than ours.