If you work for a high tech company, you might be a fan of the HBO show Silicon Valley. The jokes are spot-on in this moment when it seems like everyone’s trying to live up to the old Facebook motto: “Move fast and break things.” I’ve done my time at a start-up. They do move fast, and you have to be ready to persevere, push boundaries, and yes, pivot. Things move fast here at Marketo, too. Marketo has grown at a pace only matched by some of the best in the industry, and change is still a constant. We move fast; we learn and adjust even faster.
Let me dig into that last statement a little bit. Over the past 10 years, we’ve seen competitors come and go, but we’ve learned that hitting aggressive goals isn’t about what everyone else is doing. It’s about moving forward with your own customer knowledge and refining your strategy as you discover what actually works along the way. And while each high-growth company’s secret sauce varies, one big factor is learning from those successes. Companies that succeed can measure what causes the growth, forecast accurately, and project forward to make decisions accordingly.
I know, I know. Easier said than done, right?
It turns out that the right solutions–and not the Conjoined Triangles of Success–are really the foundation for growth because they allow you to succeed, measure, and repeat success most efficiently. So what are those solutions? Isaac Wyatt’s well-known Best of Breed: The DNA of Unicorns study looks at high-growth companies to understand if there’s a core set of best of breed vendors that are vital to the success of these companies. Marketo is the top marketing automation platform, along with other core marketing technologies like New Relic and Optimizely. It shows the value of starting with core best of breed capabilities and focusing on the critical components of profitability and growth.
So why is best of breed marketing automation core to growth? Because marketing automation enables the following five things for a high-growth company, which helps fuel their success:
1. Engage Potential Buyers Until They Are Purchase-Ready
If your goal is growth, it’s not enough to get attention. Success is measured in revenue, revenue means conversion, and conversion typically takes time. You need to form a relationship with potential customers, which means that you have to do a lot more than sending batch-and-blast emails. Rather, you need to nurture individuals based on their behavior to hit your big growth goals. This nurturing process will help you triage and nurture the right buyers to the point when they’re ready to talk to sales.
2. Hand High Quality Leads to Your Sales or Acquisition Team
How do you determine at what point buyers are ready to make a purchase, though? Lead or customer scoring. Eventually, you may need multiple scores to scale with your growth (this realization, by the way, is where I personally decided to replace a “good enough” solution at my start-up. A post for another day…).
Crucially, for B2B organizations, the buck doesn’t stop at the sales hand-off either. If you’re trying to make the sales process more efficient, you need behavior tracking and deep CRM integration. Sales needs to know what your high-quality leads have done to warrant a high score, and they need this in real-time in the system where sales business takes place. And not all behaviors are equally valuable for sales to see: if you’re trying to assess whether someone is ready to purchase, an info dump that includes every time a lead has visited your blog may mean far less than, say, a single visit to your pricing page.
3. Don’t Neglect Your Customers
While we’re on the topic of purchase, here’s something they do teach in business schools these days (unlike the previously mentioned triangles): it costs a lot more money to land new customers, as opposed to keeping and building your business with existing customers. Happy customers are also the most effective kind of marketing. So, don’t let your nurture efforts end when a customer converts–measure and maximize retention. Listening to customer behavior and responding can also help you cross-sell and upsell. For instance, if a current customer watches a video about your latest product upgrade, it might be a great time for an account manager to make a call. If there’s an upsell opportunity in that upgrade, the account manager has even more to talk about.
4. Know Marketing’s Impact on the Bottom Line
One’s an incident, two’s a coincidence, and three’s a pattern. At least that’s what observation tells us. But if you want to grow, you can’t leave your measurement up to observation alone. Repeating success requires you to rightly identify successes and where they occur in your customer lifecycle. For example, what channels are working for you as a first touchpoint? What works best to move leads along in the funnel? And, here’s the million dollar growth question: how much revenue is marketing contributing to the bottom line? At the end of the day, answering that question means you can ask for the resources to double-down on wins.
5. All This Has to Work at Scale
“But wait!” you say, “this all sounds like a lot of effort for my growth team!” This is where best of breed automation is really set apart. High-growth companies make their marketing automation solution decisions based on what will help them most efficiently achieve all the above now, but they also weigh what will scale as they add successful programs and initiatives to their workload along the way. Put simply, best of breed solutions make daily tasks much easier and have the product breadth to allow you to grow into additional capabilities. After all, you’re growing fast. You need to think big today and lay groundwork to scale well into the future.
Want to learn more and see how other high growth companies have kicked it up a notch? Check out our ebook, How Successful Companies Fuel Growth with Marketo.