Salesforce is flexible, and that is why we love it. It can be used to model almost any business, and almost any sales cycle. You aren’t any business though, you are a B2B SaaS business, and that can make salesforce a bit overwhelming.
BoardMetrics adds a bit of structure to the freedom. It doesn’t tell you how to run your business, but it helps you understand what is going on, and where you might need to make changes.
Even when businesses are too small to have dedicated people for each of these functions, they are still performing all of these activities. One of the biggest mistakes that you can make is to ignore these steps in your process and expect to retroactively define them in analysis.
We add structure around hand-offs between teams. There are a plethora of tools aimed to make sales better at sales, and marketing better at marketing. There aren’t a lot that make it easy to give visibility across the entire pipeline.
Our goal is to give everyone the same view of the world. That way, each individual team can optimize their own tools and processes, and still communicate.
Marketing is responsible for generating high value leads for the sales openers, and indirectly the sales closers. Marketing owns managing three steps of the journey.
Is just anyone who gives you their information (or whose information you buy).
A Marketing Qualified inquiry is usually called an MQL. It’s anything that marketing says is a legitimate person to talk to. Many companies choose to comp based on them. Here lies the tension though – Are the MQLs of high quality, or are they being rejected by Sales? And not just that, as companies grow and better understand their market fit, the definition of an MQL changes over time, so while the definition might start out as “any visitor that signs up with their work email” it might evolve to “someone who signs up with their work email, works for a company with > 50 employees that has $N million in funding/revenue”.
If you count your MQLs implicitly, every system you implement must be updated whenever your definition changes. Board Metrics gives you an explicit record of MQLs, and all of the other journey steps, so that your downstream analysis can be easy and accurate.
Marketing should quickly separate the wheat from the chaff - sales likely will swing through the MDLs, but if they are pulling many deals, something is wrong.
Openers always exist. In your organization, the role might be handled by marketing, or it might be handled by your closers. By adding the structure to salesforce now, you will be very thankful later on.
When sales decides it is going to work a lead, whether driven inbound by marketing or an outbound prospected lead, it should be an opener accepted. If oppeners are not accepting nearly 100% of your MQLs, you have a problem!
Marketing sent it over, but it doesn’t meet the criteria for a sales qualified lead. If this number is high, there’s likely a breakdown somewhere between your marketing team and your openers team.
The point of the openers is to convert leads into qualified leads. What has to happen to be qualified is up to your particular needs. Similar to a marketing qualified lead, this might change over time. It might begin as “Anyone who is willing to have a sales conversation/demo of our product” to “Leads who have this title, have installed our product, etc.”.
Not only does the definition of qualified change over time, it is very common to move how it is modeled between objects in Salesforce. Without Board Metrics, it is incredibly difficult to accurately track your historic qualification rate.
Like the Marketing Qualified → Opener Accepted step, this should be nearly 100%. If it isn’t, you have issues. This is the number one step that we’ve seen issues around, and it is usually not explicitly modeled or reported one.
A win is when we have intent for someone to pay you (and a signed contract)- more on that below!
You won’t get any of these, don’t worry.
An account should include: all contacts from a particular company, all opportunities for new revenue, expansion, and renewal, and act as a central repository for your team’s information about that account.
If you offer a free trial of your product, this can be easily modeled into your sales journey in BM. Typically we see two stages of the sales cycle where a free trial is offered:
As a lead gen mechanism, whereby a prospect is dropped into a free trial of some length after giving you their information.
During the Sales Closers portion of the sales cycle, where a trial is provisioned to validate your product with the prospect.
Every time you engage an Account in any negotiation (whether it’s for the initial net new business, an expansion by selling them volume or complimentary products, or negotiating their renewal), that is a new opportunity.
This is the first time that this company is paying you money or, in the case of an account that has churned, the reselling of your product to that company.
You’ve already won this customers business, now it’s time to discuss them continuing to work with your team. These opportunities are automatically generated at the close of new business for the date of that New Business contract/services end date. This will make sure that your team is on top of renewals (reducing the risk of gap churn) and automate your financial reporting in Board Metrics.
You’ve won business from a customer who now wants to expand the scope of those services. This might include purchasing more volume, rolling your product out to another team within the organization, etc.