One thing's for sure: If there's a company with an appropriate tool to analyze project performance, it's Jaspersoft. And the most recent project the San Francisco-based open source business intelligence software provider chose to track was its own effort to increase its lead conversions.
That's because in summer 2007, Jaspersoft turned to Austin, Texas-based software-as-a-service marketing automation firm Manticore Technology to qualify prospects and feed them into Jaspersoft's sales funnel to increase sales. First, Manticore's technology had to be integrated into the third-party customer relationship management tool Jaspersoft already was using, as well as incorporate Jaspersoft's reporting and analysis.
The first part of the process took several weeks, says Nick Halsey, Jaspersoft's vice president of marketing. "Developing the business processes to effectively harness the power of marketing automation within Jaspersoft took two to three months of thought and configuration," he adds. Since then, the company's experienced a triple-digit percentage sales increase.
Here, Halsey explains how Jaspersoft uses the marketing automation software to nurture and score leads, manage e-mail marketing programs, peruse real-time campaign analysis, and manage its lists:
Target Marketing: What sort of challenges does Jaspersoft find in the B-to-B world regarding unearthing qualified leads for direct marketing purposes?
Nick Halsey: ... Our biggest challenge has been separating sales-ready leads from those that aren't likely to buy, as [well] as from those members of our open source community who are not interested in our commercial products. Sales-ready leads obviously go directly to sales. The remaining leads [are engaged] in lead-nurturing campaigns. [The marketing automation software] enables the lead nurturing.
TM: How did marketing automation software transform Jaspersoft's lead generation and qualification process?
NH: Marketing automation has enabled [us] to wrap a business process by which leads are generated, qualified and passed to sales if they meet qualifying criteria. Without management of this process, it was difficult if not impossible to manage the flow of leads to sales. Because of the size of [our] community, the sheer volume of contacts alone is overwhelming. With the help of [the marketing automation software], our goal is to ensure that sales [personnel] are only talking to opportunities that are ready to buy. Through implementing this process, we have realized a 190 percent increase in the conversion of qualified leads to closed deals ...