Demand-generation marketers are kind of like magicians. They juggle all sorts of enabling technologies that jostle in and out of favor. They take bold, often risky, moves to create revenue opportunities. And when they target enterprise SaaS sales, like Acrolinx does, they harness right-brain and left-brain powers to make sure opportunities don’t go invisible and get stuck or die in those long funnels.
“Demand-gen is as challenging as it is exhilarating. You need a ton of creativity, discipline, and accurate data to push the needle in the right direction. Our global marketing team was moving at the speed of light to create opportunities, but we had major roadblocks because our Pardot and Salesforce systems were rife with redundant fields, broken workflows, and old, incomplete data,” said Mariana Just, Director of Revenue Marketing and Operations, Acrolinx.
The fact that a lot of information resided only in marketers’ heads made it even more difficult. So did Just’s circumstances. She joined Acrolinx right when a key member of its marketing operations team took extended leave, and six weeks before a big campaign launch.
“I needed to get my arms around our Pardot implementation but didn’t have the time required to audit it myself. And I had to quickly fill the opening left by the employee’s parental leave so we’d have no gaps as we prepared for the campaign,” Just said.
Acrolinx considered hiring a marketing contractor but, according to Just, “didn’t want someone who would come in and do business as usual. We wanted to take the opportunity to rethink our lead management process and Pardot implementation.”
Instead, Acrolinx engaged OpFocus’ managed services team for ongoing marketing operations support. “OpFocus had helped companies in similar situations countless times. They understood the nuances of Pardot and Salesforce, with all the systems’ opportunities and limitations. They also came highly recommended. We were confident OpFocus could add value quickly and put our systems, and us, on the right track,” said Just.
As part of its four-month Pardot Managed Services engagement, OpFocus did a comprehensive audit of Pardot including analyzing all forms and completion actions. They made sure Acrolinx’s emails were mobile-responsive and compliant, audited and built new Salesforce Sales Cloud workflow rules, created new fields and eliminated old, unhelpful ones. OpFocus’ team also worked with Demandbase to integrate Smart Forms with Pardot and automate the flow of marketing-qualified leads (MQLs), ensuring information was correctly captured in Salesforce.
Equally important, OpFocus helped Acrolinx define standard operating procedures based on best practices. “OpFocus went well beyond just filling in for an absent employee. They encouraged us to take a step back and question why we’re doing what we’re doing. They helped envision how to make our demand-gen processes and workflow better, not just for today but also for the future, and made it happen. Then they thoroughly documented everything,” said Just.
Hit the Ground Running
OpFocus added value right from the start of their Pardot Managed Services engagement so Acrolinx had no gaps in its marketing operations. “OpFocus hit the ground running. In a fast-moving SaaS business like ours, this was critical. They were a trusted part of our team, operating without a lot of direction and getting things done right. Without OpFocus, we would never had been able to launch such a big campaign so quickly and effectively,” said Just.
More Time Focused on Generating Sales Meetings
In the past, because visibility and data accuracy were poor, Just used to spend 60 percent of her time manually checking lead quality and flow. That’s no longer the case. “I’m confident the mechanics behind our lead flow are working properly and our data is accurate. So instead of spending most of my time manually verifying and shepherding leads, I can focus on building strong campaigns that generate quality leads for our BDRs (business development representatives),” said Just.
Thanks to the improvements OpFocus made to Pardot and Salesforce, Acrolinx saw a 47 percent increase in marketing-generated meetings the very next quarter. According to Just, “Everything we do is based on the funnel and conversion rates. OpFocus turned our vision of how the funnel should work into a reality in Salesforce. This was instrumental in helping us achieve such great performance.”
Accelerated MQLs to BDRs
Acrolinx’s marketing team now knows exactly where leads are in the nurture stream as well as the type of leads they are. Only truly qualified leads go to BDRs and, due to workflow and automation fixes, they get there much faster from Pardot. With BDRs acting on fresh, targeted leads, Acrolinx can close more deals.
Preserved Marketing Standards and Knowledge
OpFocus’ documentation helped unite the global marketing team’s operations and made for a smooth transition back to the employee who had been on parental leave. “OpFocus brought discipline to our marketing operations. They also shed light on the important role documentation plays in enabling success and protecting against knowledge loss,” said Just. “The high-quality documentation OpFocus created ensured our global team could follow standard operating procedures, and that future hires and returning employees would learn from the same best practices.”
Accurate, Trusted Reports
Using a custom Salesforce dashboard, everyone from marketing and sales to the CEO can instantly view funnel movement, including lead creation, meeting creation velocity, and more. Better still, they trust what they’re seeing because they trust the marketing data in Pardot.
Acrolinx accelerated their marketing with Pardot Managed Services.
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Customer Spotlight: Acrolinx
Acrolinx provides a SaaS platform that helps enterprises better align content strategy with execution. Strategy aligned content tends to be more impactful in the areas of customer acquisition, customer retention and risk reduction. Built on an advanced linguistic analytics engine, Acrolinx is the only solution that actually ‘reads’ content and shows writers how to improve it. Companies like Adobe, Boeing, Google and Philips use Acrolinx to create compelling, brand-boosting material.
“The improvements OpFocus made to Salesforce/Pardot freed up 60% of my time. Now I can focus on what really matters: generating many more meetings for the sales team.”
~ Mariana Just, Director of Revenue Marketing and Operations, Acrolinx
Meet Mariana Just
Role: Mariana leads global marketing efforts to identify and create revenue opportunities for Acrolinx. She makes sure the right campaigns are developed, targeted leads are funneled into their systems and the mechanics needed to demonstrate ROI are in place.
Career Musts: Mariana believes demand-gen marketers need to be equal parts right brain/left brain. “Creativity, curiosity and a head for analytics are key. I was fortunate to have all those qualities plus data-driven mentors. Marketers are on the line for providing results so you’ve got to love and be very proficient with data,” she said.
Advice: “Develop strong data and analytical skills. Be creative and take risks. Find companies doing cool things and make yourself into a great candidate for them.”