Lead Follow-Up, a niche solution available on the Salesforce AppExchange, for the past four years, has hundreds of small business customers. We took a look at the app and think it’s a decent entrée into Marketing Automation for a number of reasons: First, it offers a 30-day trial followed by month-to-month credit card billing; second, the billing is at very attractive price points for small businesses, especially sole proprietors ($29.95 up to #69.95); third, it performs basic drip marketing and allows other triggered events; and lastly, it is no more complex than the Salesforce platform it is integrated with. Allinio recently spoke with Colin Goldberg, the President of MacMicro, which developed Lead Follow-Up…
Allinio: How does your product/service allow Marketers to better gather, analyze, share, and act upon data?
Goldberg: Lead Follow-Up is a marketing automation tool that helps organizations achieve much higher ROI by using adaptive business rules to drive results.
Rules gather and analyze data in real time, trigger, and execute a number of types of actions – such as sending sequences of emails – to engage and interact intelligently with prospects and customers. Rules are created independently to gather, analyze, share, and act upon data autonomously, and together they form an integrated whole, executing multiple campaigns and business functions concurrently. Small businesses have used this effectively to keep costs down in this depressed market. And because of its flexibility it can be used in mid-size businesses without disrupting already-installed systems.
Allinio: What is the value proposition of your product/service to Marketers?
Goldberg: We offer what we believe is the best low-cost, scalable, business rules based Salesforce app providing intelligent automation of repetitive sales and marketing functions for the SMB market. A low maintenance tool, it is geared to enhance marketing efficiency and ROI. The company also provides consultative analysis of business processes and strategies during the onboarding process.
Allinio: What is a common misconception that the market has about your product/service?
Goldberg: Some potential customers are not aware of the power and flexibility that business rules bring to marketing automation, and focus instead on the belief that it is complicated to use. But as attested to by valued customers, it is easy to set up and maintain. It is being treated as a vital tool in the marketing and sales arsenals of many long-standing customers.
Allinio: What is the most successful or innovative use of your product/service by a business to date?
Goldberg: One of our telemarketing resellers consider it an integrated part of every one of their customer projects, using it for its main function of nurturing leads, where its interactive capability, enabling real-time feedback, is being used to auto-segment customer databases.
Lead Follow-Up is also being used to send automated reminders of appointments, meetings, and webinars for a number of small businesses who don’t have the resources to do these repetitive tasks themselves. One customer reported that their ‘.. average close time dropped from five days down to four hours’, which increased their close rate dramatically. It also contributed to ‘a higher level of personalization [our] clients feel [we] offer’.
Allinio: What is your greatest challenge as a marketing organization?
Goldberg: It’s a relatively small percentage of the market that ‘gets’ marketing automation – especially in a tool driven by business rules. Ridding people of old perceptions (mass emailing and auto-responders) and raising awareness of the benefits of new capabilities has been both our key and our challenge to driving sales – it would be a challenge to any organization without deep pockets. Sophisticated marketing efforts are needed to reach a higher number of customers who truly understand the potential of Lead Follow-Up.
Allinio: Colin, thank you and good luck in the rest of 2011!