[Dreamforce Session Cheat Sheet] Mastering the Direct Sales Model
At Dreamforce on Thursday morning, I had a chance to learn how the marketing and sales engine at Salesforce.com will drive the following impressive numbers this year:
- 500,000+ inbound marketing responses
- 100,000+ opportunities
- $1.5B in global pipeline
- 36,000 closed opportunities
Lauren Vaccarello – Sr. Director, Online Marketing at Salesforce.com
Author of: Complete B2B Online Marketing
Scott Keane – VP Sales Development at Salesforce.com
Mike Wolff – Avp Commerical Sales ESB at Salesforce.com
Web marketing – Lauren Vaccerello
“At the end of the day, it’s all about closed deals” While form submissions and opps created are great metrics, they are only a small part of the process. You need to drive towards closed revenue above all else.
Lauren focused on a very specific take-away from the Search Engine Marketing (SEM/Paid Search) channel.
Salesforce had feedback that users hate forms. They decided to deploy an a/b test to understand the impact of removing forms.
- Landing page #1 required a form submission to view a demo video (incumbent).
- Landing Page #2 allowed the user to view demo video in the hopes they would convert afterwards.
Hypothesis: Form submissions might decrease, but quality of leads and opps will increase
Results: Leads/Opps/Pipeline value all plummeted between 30-40%. The sales and marketing engine was at risk with this result. Form wins!
Key take-aways for Sales and Marketing working together:
Sales and marketing need to create success together
Clear communication on plans and expectations
Regular sales/marketing team calls to outline plans and feedback
Both groups need to have shared goals
Sales Development – Scott Keane
Scott leads the Sales Development Team at Salesforce.com, which is similar to a lead qualifying or inside sales team. There are 170 reps on this team, and their main goal is to qualify inbound leads from a variety of lead generation channels.
Some interesting facts:
- Their SLA for response to a new lead is 24 hrs. In reality, Scott mentions it’s usually about 24 minutes. Speed to lead is key to a sales development rep.
- Rules of engagement for handling new leads. The reps check for duplication and other past opportunities and reroute to direct sales reps accordingly. About 50% of leads are rerouted to other reps.
- Reps follow up in a pattern (Day 1, 3, 10, etc). On the last touch point, reps will let the lead know this is their last attempt. Scott mentioned the response to that message is surprising. (Scott – I’d love more data here!).
Direct Sales – Mike Wolff
Mike provided key insight into the direct sales process for Salesforce.com, including best practices for hiring, motivating the team and owning the sales process. The most interesting concept was the way Salesforce identifies a transactional deal vs. a strategic deal.
Mike outlined that these sales cycles are much different. Transactional deals are like checkers, strategic deals are like chess.
Does the business have a good website? Is it clear they value technology? Is the CRM decision a company priority or just something the lead has been tasked to buy on a whim?
All of these elements determine the way Mike’s team will structure the sales process.
The session was a great view into how Salesforce leverages best practices to drive a sales & marketing engine. I will admit, it was nice to see that even the best of the best are not immune to unplanned presentation challenges – like funky slide formatting issues!