Corrao Group Partners With Data Management Leader, RingLead

We’re excited to announce our Platinum partnership with RingLead, the leader in data management, with over 300 million protected records worldwide. RingLead is dedicated to creating the most productive, feature-rich, easy to use platform to consistently improve lead quality, allowing sales and marketing teams to operate more effectively. RingLead provides tools to help prospect new leads, standardize contact records, cleanse your database and more.

You can read the full press release here, in addition to a free implementation of their products.

With data management being crucial to success, it is even more imperative for an Account-Based Marketing strategy. We are offering a free analyzation of your records with RingLead’s product, DMS Cleanse, which will reveal areas in your system that are at risk of poor data. The end result of using DMS Cleanse to its full extent is letting the tool update your data to the most accurate information.

If you are interested in DMS Cleanse, or any of RingLead’s many products, please fill out the form below.

Pardot Introducing Engagement Studio Timers and SSL for Vanity Domains

Don’t look now but Pardot is back at it with even more advancements! They’ve recently added SSL for Vanity Domains and customizable business hours for Engagement Studios. Let’s dive into these new features Pardot has released for us.

SSL for Vanity Domain
Tired of having to use go.pardot.com for your secure HTTPS connection? Now you don’t have to, SSL is now made available for your vanity domain. Giving you the ability to host your Pardot marketing assets under the HTTPs of your vanity domain.

Set up is really simple. From Pardot, go into Admin > Domain Management > Tracker Domain.

After that, go into your tracker domain to set up the SSL status. After clicking on the action icon, click “Enable SSL”, and from there. Typically, it takes 10 to 15 minutes to get your SSL certificate from Lets Encrypt. Once your SSL Status has been flipped from “Processing” to “Enabled” – your marketing assets will be accessible through HTTPs.

SSL for Vanity Domains

Important Notes: Have your tracker domain validated first prior to requesting the SSL. Also, please double check your marketing assets to ensure they are not mixed content cases (where they load over HTTP and the page is HTTPS, this can cause your page not to render and visitors to get security warnings).

Customizable Business Hours to Engagement Studio
Have you ever wanted to adjust the business hours that Pardot allows for Engagement Studios? One of the more commonly asked questions about customizing Pardot engagement studio’s work hours is no longer a question. Your wish has been granted!

Now, you have the ability to customize the business hours that you want your nurture programs to run on, and you will be able to customize it to fit differently for every engagement studio. So, how does it work? You are able to pick the days of the week and how long your business hours window lasts (i.e from the minimum of 6 hours to the max of 23 hours.)

Customize Engagement Studio Business Hours

Additional features for Engagement Studio Reporting (NO WAY!): In the past, the .CSV Engagement Studio reports still be sparse, with basic email reporting. But now, in addition to the basic email metrics, you will get:

  • Engagement Studio Summary – Which prospects have started and completed everything?
  • More Advanced Email Metrics – Who had emails sent, skipped, unique clicks, CTR, total of hard/soft bounces, etc.
  • Form + Form handlers + Landing Pages – Who completed and submitted them.
  • Custom Redirects – Which redirect was clicked, by who, and when.
  • File Downloads – Who downloaded which file and how many times.

With including all those reports into one export, this will allow you to leverage that data more readily and easily. No more trying to look at 100 different reports in order to find all the exact stats of your engagement studio.

Once again, Pardot has been listening to it’s community through its Ideas Exchange. This is the first of many improvements to come in 2018!

Traditional Marketing within Account-Based Marketing

“Will ABM completely replace my Traditional Marketing strategy?”

One of the first questions asked when looking into Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is, “Will this completely replace our traditional marketing strategy?” While it may seem that way at first, traditional marketing is actually getting absorbed into a time-tested marketing strategy that focuses on understanding the customer. In this post, we’re going to go over how traditional marketing is consolidated into an ABM strategy, as well as how they’re different.

Traditional Marketing and ABM Overview

Let’s start with defining what’s involved in our traditional marketing method. It’s one of the most commonly used marketing strategies (for now) involving marketing methods such as digital, direct mail, telephone and more. The type of content involved in this strategy is more generalized than custom to the recipient, and is sent to all different roles and titles, so you’re not sure of their potential, should you ever hear back from them. When utilizing an ABM strategy, you’re sending hyper-personalized content created for a specific decision maker at a company in which you are fully aware of the growth potential with them. This allows your content to resonate with the recipient and actually provide them value in their role, helping their company overall. Do this for the decision makers at a target account and you’ll have a great chance of closing the deal!

This is where we see one of the differences between ABM and traditional marketing’s strategies, in the content type; this is also where traditional marketing is absorbed into ABM. In ABM, it’s irrational to think that a company will have the bandwidth to create hyper-personalized content for each of their decision-making leads. Due to this, we recommend a tiered strategy where only those tier A accounts will receive the hyper-personalized content made for them. Tier B accounts should receive personalized content as well, but you can make the content custom to their industry so you’re not recreating the content each time as you would for the tier A accounts. Tier C accounts are where traditional marketing comes into the ABM strategy as this is where the majority of your leads will be.

Why should I tier my accounts?

There’s a reason behind the different personalization levels between all of these tiered accounts, and it’s a few things including bandwidth and growth potential. The tier A accounts are your “cash cows” that have the maximum possibility of growing with your solution. Tier B accounts would be the nice-to-haves, while tier C accounts are the remaining and where the majority of leads fall into. There’s no magic number of target accounts to place into each tier as it comes down to bandwidth at the company. If a company has 21-50 employees, they’re probably not going to have 30 target accounts but they may have 5-10. Since tier A accounts are the big deals you really want to land, the work and effort that is done to try and close these deals are well worth the ROI.

So, not all traditional marketing methods are lost when adopting an Account-Based Marketing strategy. Even beyond traditional marketing’s methods, some metrics are still applicable when tied to target accounts. For example, you’d want to measure how engaged your target accounts are with your company, so you would use a traditional marketing metric, such as how long they’ve been on your site, to check if it’s increasing, which would show a growing interest in your solution.

Fill out our form below to see if Account-Based Marketing is right for you.

Building a Successful CRM with Salesforce Consultants

Imagine self-implementing a system as vast as Salesforce to find out 6-8 months later that you cannot prove its ROI. Meanwhile, you’ve already spent quite the investment already so that your budget is locked up for the rest of the year. For the past 10 years we’ve seen this all the time, and it is all caused by self-implementation.

Whether you have decided to pick Salesforce as your customer success platform or are strongly considering to do so, what usually follows is, “Can I self-implement? Why do I need to hire a consultant?” Yes, you can do implement Salesforce yourself, but it’s not recommended unless you have a Salesforce admin with over five years of hands-on experience. Although, we highly suggest against self-implementations as it usually does not lead to the proper transfer of business processes onto the platform. This comes from the Salesforce client not having the knowledge of what Salesforce can do as a platform when implemented company-wide.

In the big picture, having a successful implementation with the help from a Salesforce consultant will set you up with a solid foundation and get the most from your investment. Here are a couple of the top reasons why you should hire one:

Time:

Learning and building the Salesforce platform will take time. This means you will be up against a steep learning curve, while trying to implement your business strategy. Not to mention, you have your normal tasks to take care of – so adding more responsibilities may cause your internal staff more stress and potentially be distracted as they try to self-implement the platform.

This can take your team days, weeks, or even months to get up to speed and have your implementation up and “running.” Whereas Salesforce consultants do this for living – day in and day out, they know what they are doing without any distractions and will be able to get you up and running in no time.

Assistance

Instead of troubleshooting for hours and maybe days to fix an issue, Salesforce consultants will be able to provide solutions right away and get your up to speed about your Salesforce platform. They are there to help you be aware of key metrics and notify you about any important updates about your system.

Having help from a Salesforce consultant will allow you to increase your user adoption because users will have a professional to turn to when needed. Your Salesforce will be built from your users’ preferences rather than the other way around.

Quality

Another lovely perk that you get from leveraging a Salesforce consultant — you get the best and current business practices. They will be able to steer you away from potential pitfalls and expensive mistakes that aren’t clear to first-time users during self-implementing.

Having a consultant will provide years of knowledge to ensure that your platform is optimized and performing to its full potential rather than spending even more money to fix potential bugs and issues as they come up.

ROI

At the end of the day, ROI is what matters most. Companies that choose to self implement often are focused on getting their Salesforce platform up and running. How hard can it be? Not only does this lead to potential issues but also leads companies to forget about the additional features Salesforce has that can bolster your system. They want to be able to use it as soon as they can rather than being focus on getting the most out of it in the long-run. Why pick one over the other — a Salesforce consultant will be able to do both of those things for you.

In addition, they will be able to measure your ongoing ROI to see how your growth is. They’re there to ensure you are getting the most out of your investment as well as what areas need help or need to expand.


If you had all the tools and guides to build a house for the first time, would you do it yourself or hire someone? If you do it yourself you’ll be paying in the long-term for minor fixes that a professional would have saw and fixed from the start.

The same ideology applies here, hire a Salesforce consultant to make sure you maximize your Salesforce investment.

The Differences Between Buyer Personas and Ideal Client Profiles (ICPs)

When discussing Account-Based Marketing, the strategy that almost 85% of marketers measuring ROI say outperforms other marketing investments (ITSMA), there is usually some confusion between Buyer Personas and Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs). Since they both represent characteristics of your company’s ideal target, they do have some similarities but are focused on two different objects: companies versus people.

Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs)

ICPs describe the best types of companies for your organization to market and sell to. The criteria and qualities help your company determine if an account is worth going after. Such criteria can involve the company’s industry, company size, department, responsibilities and more. To obtain this information, you can evaluate your current customer base along with additional info revealed through research or client conversations.

Buyer Personas

Buyer persona

Buyer Personas are detailed analyses of people, usually with decision making influence at a company. They include information such as the person’s background, objectives, pain points, who they report to and more. This type of information allows companies to adjust their messaging, which in turns proves to the potential buyer how an offering can help their company and more specifically, them in their everyday role. Do this for the decision makers within a company and when they have an internal meeting to review an offering, they will be more likely to go forward with the solution as they know exactly how it will help them as a company and individuals.

Where to start

Knowing the difference between the two, the next question is, which one to start with? Which came first, the ICP or the persona? It’s a lot easier to start with the ICP as that insight will give companies an idea of what goes on in the daily roles of each persona. For example, if we’re trying to create a Buyer Persona first, we wouldn’t know the specifics of what they do every day. Sure, if they’re the head of accounts receivable we can associate some typical, general solutions but it’s not going to grab their attention. If we know information about their company such as they have trouble tracking invoices, we can message to them that our solution will help cut their DSO up to 50%! (Check it out here, EZ-AR™).

If you need any assistance on creating a Buyer Persona or ICP, fill out the form below and let us know! If you’d like to learn more about Account-Based Marketing, download our ABM guide for B2B marketers here.

Know Thy Customer: Buyer Personas

Only .75% of B2B leads generated become revenue through a traditional marketing strategy (Forrester). Why? One of the many possible explanations is due to a batch and blast email campaign approach where marketers don’t take the time to identify who their audience really is. We may think we know our customers and be able to give a good generalized idea of who they are, but generalizing will get us in trouble. Generalizing is one of the main reasons for this statistic on B2B leads. Your clients expect personalized marketing these days, and if you don’t know who your customers really are, you won’t be able to personalize the content to what they’re actually interested in. While you may still be sending generalized content, your competitors are doing their research and using personalized content. That personalized content is seeing 6x higher of a transaction rate than content that is not personalized to the prospect (Marketing Land).

To beat out your competitors, you need to start personalizing your content based on who your prospects are and what they’re interested in.

Do you really know your customers?

Knowing your customers’ industry, # of employees, annual revenue, geography and similar characteristics isn’t exactly knowing your customers, it’s knowing who their company is. To get to know your actual customers, buyer personas are the way to go. Buyer personas are representations of your ideal customer built through market research and real client data. What personas do is reveal what your prospects are doing and thinking as they make a decision on your product or service. Buyer personas are not descriptions of your clients, they go beyond that and include pieces such as actual decision-making criteria that your client went through when reviewing your solution. Utilize Buyer Personas to help build personalized emails that drive 18x more revenue than broadcast emails (Market Research). Expand that into your website and more to see even more of an impact.

Buyer persona
Section from a Buyer Persona

What are your customers actually interested in?

Using a marketing automation tool such as Pardot can give you insight into which product/service web pages of yours they’ve visited, for how long they stayed on the page, which whitepapers they downloaded, and much more. You can use this data to then create dynamic content based on who your prospect/client is and what they’re interested in. This way, when you send out email campaigns, you’re not sending the same product/service value props to a sales rep that you are to a CMO. Instead, you’re sending content about your product/service that would specifically benefit the CMO with their everyday tasks and sending different content to sales reps on how it would benefit them with their tasks.

Buyer Personas + Client Interests

Buyer Personas and personalized content based on the client’s interest fall under the umbrella of Account-Based Marketing (ABM); a strategy for B2B companies that is reported to have a higher ROI than other marketing activities, according to 97% of marketers in a survey (Alterra Group). Buyer personas are one of the pillars of ABM as your entire strategy is centered around these personas. ABM is a strategy combining Sales and Marketing principles to target key accounts and deliver hyper-personalized messaging to the decision makers through the channels they communicate on.

If you’d like to learn more about ABM or buyer personas, please submit our form below to receive our Account-Based Marketing Guide for B2B Marketers where we dive into what it is, how it’s different from traditional marketing, how to start, and more.

Salesforce Campaigns versus Pardot Campaigns: Which one to use?

If you’ve used Salesforce’s Sales Cloud prior to using Pardot, you’re most likely familiar with how Salesforce campaigns function. They are objects used to manage and track outbound marketing campaigns, ranging from a simple email campaign to large, in-person conventions. Contacts and leads can be associated with multiple Salesforce campaigns as part of a multi-touch outreach. Pardot campaigns are similar but think of them more as the first outbound marketing campaign that the prospect (contacts and leads are called prospects in Pardot) interacted with from your company. Prospects can only be associated with one Pardot campaign; acting in more of a ‘source’ field type of way here.

So when should you use a Salesforce campaign? When should you use a Pardot campaign? The truth is you should use both, but the takeaways should be different.

Let’s take a look at an example where ACME Corporation is planning their annual convention expecting thousands of attendees, inviting both existing clients as well as new prospects. We’ll see how they could incorporate both Pardot and Salesforce campaigns. On the initial event registration form, there are completion actions to add all event registrants to a Salesforce campaign, “ACME 2017”, whether they are new prospects or existing clients. The form also assigns new prospects to a Pardot campaign, “ACME 2017”, but does not overwrite any current client’s Pardot campaign. The reason why you do not want it to overwrite anyone currently associated with a Pardot campaign is that the existing Pardot campaign is the true first touch they had with your marketing efforts. And since leads/contacts can be associated with multiple Salesforce campaigns, there is no overwriting of Salesforce campaigns, just addition of new ones.

The Pardot campaign. This object will allow you to keep track and manage where your clients are coming from marketing-wise while allowing you to take either manual or automated action with them. Since those associated with this ACME 2017 Pardot campaign are new prospects, ACME automatically has a list for new prospects compared to existing clients. Additionally, any opportunities that become associated with these new prospects at any time will be automatically tied back to this campaign for immediate ROI reporting.

The Salesforce campaign. This object contains most of your campaign information including information such as costs, ROI, leads/contacts and more. This campaign will contain everyone who registered for the ACME convention, both existing clients and new prospects, which can be grouped by attending status. All Salesforce campaigns associated with each lead/contact can be made viewable from the lead/contact record, allowing instant insight into any marketing-assisted opportunities that are created.

Salesforce Campaign
Salesforce Campaign

Take it further. ACME could then utilize Salesforce’s Einstein Analytics to view one dashboard to show which leads and contacts are associated to which Salesforce campaign(s) in addition to showing their Pardot campaign, or marketing source. If ACME were to add Opportunity information onto this dashboard, they could use the created date field to see which recent Salesforce campaign was run that may have greatly influenced this opportunity to be created. This can greatly assist anyone using, or wanting to use, a multi-touch attribution model. Einstein Analytics makes it easy for users to add/remove insight onto the dashboards between objects that previously were not able to cross and display this type of information.

At the end of the day, the question isn’t “which campaign should I use”, it’s “what do I want to know”? Salesforce continues to add to the answer of this question with new products and feature updates. That’s why it is critical to fully understand what the Salesforce platform can do for your entire company, not just one department. Understanding this will not only help your company internally and externally but also help maximize your Salesforce investment.

Overnight ROI and Sales Alignment with SalesHood

Imagine an environment where sales managers don’t have insight into how each individual on their sales team makes the company pitch. Managers don’t have the time to attend every sales call, leaving them to only hope that the company’s onboarding program paid off. This causes problems such as disconnected sales, overall company value not being communicated effectively, and many others.

Enter SalesHood, a sales enablement tool that reinforces your sales team’s knowledge by allowing them to share and collaborate on content, including their sales pitches. SalesHood allows you to train, test, and certify your team to ensure everyone is on the same page. It even has a large library of videos to view ranging from Sales 101 to advanced selling techniques. In addition to the video library, SalesHood allows your team to create their own videos to enable feedback from your entire team.

Take a look below to see what our team has to say about SalesHood!

Management

“One of the biggest challenges most high-growth firms encounter is managing onboarding new Sales and Support staff. Ensuring your branding and value proposition is consistently delivered can be challenging and costly when staff is deployed in remote locations. SalesHood has delivered a mobile solution that delivered ROI overnight! Their templates for Sales best practices allowed my complete sales staff to either learn or refresh their knowledge immediately. Our Sales and Sales Operations staff has been adding collaborative content hourly as collaboration and feedback have been in real-time. I would highly recommend this solution for companies who struggle with consistent solution selling while decreasing your cost to train new staff“. Jack Corrao – Managing Partner

Sales Department

“This is an awesome tool because after 30 years of sales experience, you can always learn new techniques and SalesHood provides those. You can also mentor others on your team that may need help or guidance. Every sales team should be using this tool“. Tom Bersch – North East Sales Manager

“The collaboration and team building are huge for me. Being able to increase our unified story across our sales team has lead to better pitches, and a better closure rate. The mobile app lets me listen to my peers’ sales pitches and general training while on the road from client to client”. Adam Grandle – Eastern Reginal Sales Manager

“Being able to record myself, gain feedback from my peers, and be able to watch myself give my pitch is eye-opening. It’s one of those tools where you ask yourself, “Why didn’t I have this before?” Nick Samouris – Marketing Cloud Sales Manager

Nick SalesHood
         Rating Nick’s sales pitch and providing feedback

“As a sales manager, finding time to onboard new sales reps was extremely time-consuming. With SalesHood, we have a training, testing, and certification program that each new member of my sales team goes through, saving me time every week”. Ellis Murrow – Sales Operations

“Having a collaborative platform to practice our pitches and stories have helped make them more natural and holds the team accountable. The team building aspect SalesHood provides is second to none, not only across the sales team but including other departments as well”. Vincent Velasquez – Western Sales Manager

“It’s those tiny cracks in the sales pitch that I’ve seen people struggle with and it can ruin the overall pitch. SalesHood’s training videos focus on each stage in the sales cycle patches those cracks right up. Visiting a prospect on the verge of signing? There’s a training video for that. Visiting a lost prospect? There’s a training video for that too!” Tyler Keil – Sales Operations

But it doesn’t stop at Sales…

Marketing

“SalesHood allows me to ensure that our company shares the same mindset as I did when creating product sales sheets. I love being able to record my in-depth sales pitch for each sales sheet only once and hear our sales team build on it with their expertise. SalesHood not only helps align sales and marketing but it also helps reps become more knowledgeable on our services“. Jack Corrao III – VP of Marketing

If you would like to learn more about SalesHood, or go further with how Corrao Group uses the tool, please fill out the form below.

Dashboards that Boost ROI: 6 Examples and Characteristics

The Benefit of Dashboards

A Dashboard is a data visualization tool that displays real-time metrics and executive KPIs for a company. They’re implemented company-wide, displaying data from your Sales Cycle, Marketing Campaigns, CSAT scores, and much more. Dashboards are crucial for a company to grow and succeed as they give real-time insight into how your departments are performing, aligning some departments along the way (e.g. Sales and Marketing).

Great dashboards take time and patience to perfect as they require collaboration within your company. At the end of the day, you’ll want your entire company to love these dashboards so much that they keep them open all the time. This post contains dashboard characteristics that will guide you towards doing just that.

1) Departmental Dashboards

These types of dashboards consistently remind your departments of their performance, allowing for adjustments to be made wherever necessary. You may be thinking of Sales and Marketing at this moment, but don’t forget dashboards for your Administration, Accounting, Production and other departments too!

ez-ar
Tracking invoices with Salesforce’s Einstein Analytics

For example, our Accounting Dashboard tracks and displays outstanding invoices by their age, amount, and expected payment date. We utilize a fully automated AR solution, EZ-AR™ to automatically follow up and collect expected payment dates and actual payments until they are received.

2) Aligned Dashboards

In addition to their individual dashboards, you should have one single dashboard for Sales and Marketing specifically for tracking revenue. It will keep them both aligned and should be reviewed on a weekly basis with everyone in those departments. Add key metrics to have insight into those opportunities that were driven by marketing campaigns to see which ones are working, and which ones need optimization. With everyone looking at the same dashboard, they are more prepared when entering a meeting.

In Account-Based Marketing (ABM), alignment is everything! So much that “70% of ABM users report that their sales and marketing organizations are mostly or completely aligned, compared to 51% for non-ABM users” – ABM adoption report, Sep. 2015. Whether your team utilizes ABM or not, dashboards are a stepping stone in completely aligning your teams.

3) Sales Cycle Dashboards

Take the stages in your Sales cycle and track them through a dashboard. There are multiple ways you can display this information; by each stage, you can populate it with the opportunity’s amount, the number of leads/contacts, and even the number of opportunities. Then display metrics for opportunities or leads/contacts that were closed-won, completed, closed-lost, etc.

Go even further with an advanced reporting analytics solution such as Salesforce’s Einstein Analytics to drill down into these metrics. Drilling down saves you time and provides you with additional insight into the progress throughout each step of your sales cycle. It allows you to be proactive instead of reactive.

Updated_Image
Sales Cycle tracking with Salesforce’s Einstein Analytics

4) Task Management Dashboard

These types of productivity dashboards give you insight into any open or closed tasks by project, project owner, etc. Rather than going through open projects one-by-one to view the tasks associated with it, have a dashboard that visually lays out all the projects assigned to a user, with the perspective tasks underneath each one. This dashboard keeps your project managers extremely prepared, and usually turns into their new best friend.

PM
Project Management with Salesforce’s Einstein Analytics

5) Dashboard Optimization

Your newly created dashboards won’t be perfect when you first roll them out, they never are. Work with your team to receive feedback and optimize their dashboards. This process will be ongoing as dashboards are a continuously growing platform, with new reports to add and adjust. More feedback from your team means they are consistently using them!

After deploying your dashboards, these updates are usually minor tweaks that take a few minutes. The Salesforce platform has easy to create dashboards where you can quickly drag and drop reports around to best fit the viewer. You’re also able to add visual components to each report, displaying them in tables, pie charts, funnel charts and much more.

6) Make it enjoyable

No one wants their new, exciting dashboards to look like replicas of what they were using in spreadsheets. If you really want your team to use these dashboards, you need to add some design to it. Aesthetically pleasing dashboards will see a higher use rate and get your team excited about reporting. Add some color, and we recommend using graphs, pie charts, and more when utilizing dashboards.

The bottom line is, the more your teams use dashboards, the greater your ROI will be.

If you’d like to learn more about how dashboards can benefit your company, please contact us below: