Salesforce.com has released the first of two new tools for Sales Cloud that it claims will have B2B sales and marketing departments playing nicer together in the sales funnel. Intelligent Engagement Studio, engineered by the company’s Pardot marketing automation unit, puts marketing capabilities into the hands of reps in the field.
The new tool unites prospects’ sales-stage data from CRM with behavioral marketing data, delivering salespeople from relying solely on email open rates to chart buying cycle progressions. When prospects view a piece of content that moves them into a new funnel stage, for instance, Intelligent Engagement Studio automatically channels them into new nurture path.
“This takes prospects down the buying cycle individually,” says Adam Blitzer, SVP and GM of Salesforce Pardot. “Sales has a much shorter window in which to operate than marketing. This system not only gives them engagement paths, but gives them clues on what next step will work best.”
Once a nurture campaign is launched, a feature called “visualized campaign testing” presents sales reps with a video game-like indicator of where to go and where not to go next to move the prospect down the funnel.
“Paths that are working well are green. Red? Not working well,” Blitzer explains. “It also provides them clues on how to react. It might indicate that the email subject line for a certain prospect was too long and to try a shorter one, or that a response could be elicited from another if you asked for only four fields of information instead of eight.”
Sometime in the second half of 2015, Salesforce will release Sales Cloud Engage, which will put salespeople behind the campaign driver’s seat, using marketing-automatic transmissions.
“They’ll be able to send email campaigns right from Sales Cloud using marketing-approved templates every day, with no marketing approval needed,” Blitzer says. “Marketing cannot possibly respond to all requests they get from the field. All of a sudden, the reach of marketing becomes greater.”