Marketing and sales have to work together to deliver the best customer experience. Together, the groups work to achieve key business goals and help shape your organization’s future and success. This is especially true when it comes to companies driving digital-first strategies with intelligent automation. They’ve recognized the potential AI and Machine Learning tools have to impact business in a positive way, but the processes implemented must be able to scale and enable a smooth handoff between marketing and sales where leads and territories are clearly identified and everyone’s clear on what happens next. It is only through processes and systems driven by automation that marketing and sales teams can optimize lead handoff and create the expeditious yet extraordinary experiences customers have come to know and love.

This was the topic of the marketing and sales automation panel at Biz Systems Magic, the first and only conference for business systems leaders. Heads of business systems who oversee marketing and sales at some of the top tech companies in the West – including Justin Tung of Segment, Mudit Agarwal of Rubrik, and Erik Lopez of Lucid – spoke about the unique challenges they’ve solved across their pipelines with automation and gave overviews of specific marketing-to-sales models that facilitate the automation of handoff, driving both employee and customer experience.

Segment: Supercharging Top of the Funnel Routing

Tung spoke about accurately routing inbound leads from a website or app to the correct SDR with the shortest first point of contact and accomplishing this through automation. He did so by integrating enrichment tools, and predictive lead scoring and calendar solutions with their marketing and CRM apps – all of which can be updated and tracked through simple commands in Slack.

According to Justin Tung, Head of Business Systems at Segment, having two pipelines – the top for enrichment and scheduling, and the bottom for data transfer between their MAP and CRM – ensures that TOFU routing is always running smoothly.

Through the workflows he’s built, he’s made it clear that the enrichment and scheduling modules turn on as needed, but that the act of TOFU (or top of the funnel) routing is always moving forward. “When leads fill out a form, it’s helpful to think of their data simultaneously moving through two pipelines,” Tung said. “The one at the bottom one – which includes the transfer of data from Marketo to Salesforce and then through our automation system for account matching, dedupes, and target account checks – is always open, and the top one for enrichment turns on and off based on a certain criteria.” Their automation platform then intelligently routes leads to the next available SDR based on geographical region, bandwidth and source.

With the “Explain Routing” button included in lead alerts, SDRs at Segment never have to question how or why a lead was sent their way, said Tung.

In routing leads to a SDR in Slack, Tung’s team included a “Explain Routing” button that, if pressed, will explain to the SDR exactly how the lead was brought to their attention. “We actually have a button that explains the routing for you and the tech behind it. It takes you through all the different steps that this lead went through and why it might be going to you,” Tung said. “For example, a lead may have had some delays in lean data. It was then delayed for ‘fastlane’ scheduling, which took a total of six minutes. We didn’t find a matching account, but the entry point was a website demo request, which is really high for us. So, then it went through Round Robin routing, which is how it ended up on your doorstep,” he added.

“It’s super helpful because it limits the amount of questions and gets the SDR taking the right actions faster – which, in this case, is making a call.”

Rubrik: Automating Territory and Quota Management

Agarwal then spoke about territory management (TM) at Rubrik, which helps sales reps get the most out of their day by planning the most efficient use of scarce resources. By granting users access to accounts based on criteria such as postal code, industry, revenue, or other custom fields, you can provide a powerful solution for structuring your accounts and their associated users. Typically, CRMs hold up to four territory models, but only one can be active at a time. From the territory hierarchy — the main point of interaction — you can create/edit/delete territories, run assignment rules, and activate or archive models. 

There are multiple steps involved in creating territories as well as granting the permissions needed to view forecasts for opportunities within your accounts. Previously, Rubrik would perform all of this manually and while it provided visibility within teams, it didn’t allow insights into the total addressable market (TAM) or the territory at large. By integrating the company’s master data with its territory planning and CRM tools, Rubrik has been able to reduce lead time in user onboarding and provide insights across territories, helping them prioritize business opportunities by observing their potential beforehand.

With Rubrik’s new systems view, Adaptive Insights and Salesforce are constantly in sync to ensure territory planning and accounts are accurate.

“The benefits include, of course, having an automated process end to end, which drives efficiency across sales and reduces the lead time for user onboarding,” Agarwal said. “Before, the process was manual and we’d have to tell [the sales team] to go after a certain territory and some more manual processes would follow after that.” 

“But now,” Agarwal continued, “we can automate just about everything and have better visibility of TAM, which is critical. As we grow as a company, we want to sell to the enterprise. We need to understand who our prospective customers are and engage with them in different ways – not just like running a campaign, but what are the ways we can engage with them wholly.” 

“And again, [Adaptive] Insights [their quota and territory planning tool] is very useful in the middle of the year, as well. We might have different scoring criteria [for a certain prospect], but that scoring is going to change as we go into the quarter or the completion of the financial year. So, we have to realign accordingly and having real-time insights year-round helps us with that,” he concluded.

Lucid: Deduping for Lead Accuracy

Lopez rounded out the panel, speaking about enhancing TOFU processes at Lucid, as there was often over-communication from marketing during this period and confusion on or about the customer from sales, which could lead to poor deployment on both sides. Problems with deployment, of course, led to problems with reporting — while marketing also had to consider GDPR requirements with customer data.  

By adopting automation and having systems teams focus on making pipeline processes more efficient, the company was able to have their marketing workflows focus on the user (and any associated requirements with that) and have the sales workflows focus on not having duplicates. For marketing, this puts the “fun back in the top of the funnel,” Lopez said, and allows sales to focus on the motions of the process.

Lucid’s new systems workflow checks all the boxes, so there’s not a duplicate in sight for either marketing or sales, and both teams are clear on what to do next with a lead.

“With a plan to ‘dedupe,’” he said, “you can spread more love to one lead.” 

“Because of this,” Lopez continued, “we now have more consistent data. We know exactly where it’s coming from. We’ve provided definitional clarity around the customer. We streamlined these systems in order to make it scalable for other processes that we may want to add to this in the future.” 

“We standardized the process, which was huge for us,” he added, “as there wasn’t a consensus beforehand. And finally, I think the biggest one for us is that we removed silos. We now had marketing talking with sales in a more clear and direct fashion, having a shared discourse about the customer and what was supposed to happen. We provided a way for them to continue working together in a streamlined fashion vis-a-vis business systems and the systems themselves,” Lopez concluded.

Transforming Marketing and Sales With Business Systems

As automation helped optimize lead handoff between marketing and sales and made processes more efficient for each team, it was only the beginning of many projects to come. “Looking at this from a systems perspective, this didn’t deliver just on few projects,” said Agarwal. “This allowed us to look at the big picture and consider what we’re enabling with this capability, how this drives value to the end organization, and what other things we should develop to support this capability,” he added.

“This [deduping] project was the groundwork that led us to do even more interesting things between marketing and sales, amazing things with automation that I can’t wait to see how it impacts business – given what we’ve done so far,” Lopez said.

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Pamela Seaton
About Pamela Seaton

Pamela is a journalist and technology enthusiast writing for the growing business systems community.