It would be helpful to see a screenshot of your RCM. That said, you mentioned a couple of things that would imply you may not be using the RCM how it was intended to be used, which means that the reporting capabilities it can provide are of limited use. Looking at you, "non-linear" and "complex detours"
Can you tell me a little more about what you mean by a non-linear progression? Detours are fine, but the lead gen example you gave would be better answered by a different report, like looking at an attribution report in RCA to know which programs are acquiring leads. Your RCM doesn't necessarily need to know how the handraise occurred, just that X number of known leads became MQL. There should always be basic stages that move leads towards closed won, and generally an RCM is something you don't want to overcomplicate with a lot of extraneous detours.
Thanks for taking the time to get back to me. Yes, a screenshot might be helpful.
I think I understand what your saying. I've created a couple of smartlist reports to find out the number of people that are members of this model and have gone from Known > Marketing Inbound. And then another smartlist report finding the number people that when from Known > New MQL. Checking a sampling of the results prove to be find the right people.
Those smartlist reports are great for total numbers, but amount of time in each stage is important and I liked that aspect of the Path Analyzer. Though I think I've found a solution through my time stamping and reports in SFDC.
A detour that will most likely always happen is the "contacted" stage. After our sales team receives a New MQL they need to attempt to talk to them. If they are in the process of attempting, then the stage is Contacted. If they are in the middle of a conversation (they've talked on the phone, emailed back and forth) then they are in Working stage. Ideally, someone would go directly into Working from New MQL. But I think what is more realistic is that they first go to Contacted stage. Perhaps I should adjust my path to have Contacted directly on the success path? And then create a detour that someone can skip Contacted sometimes?
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I would not design it that way. I would use a secondary/sub process to manage the sales team 1st contact with the lead, but I would leave the status as MQL. This sub process would be set as a secondary field in the CRM, and I would create it with some dependencies with the main status field. Therefore, the lead would remain in MQL until a decision is made either to process further, to disqualify it or to put it back to passive nurture.
As a matter of fact, we often have to remember our customers that statuses need to be linked to a DECISION. Any status which meaning is "pending" ends up as a dead end in which leads are piling up.