Due to our B2B sales lifecycle, we people (or schools in our case) will travel through the sales funnel (SAL->MQL->SQL) and then we might lose that Oppty and need to recycle the people/account.
I've seen a couple of different approaches to modeling this in Marketo.
The first is a process of allowing the person to re-MQL and incrementing a score counter to track this.
The other was suggested to me by Paul Wilson that we have a lifecycle stage called RE-QL (re-MQL).
I am wondering what people think about the pros and cons of both approaches. Our thoughts were that having an extra lifecycle stage is not that beneficial, but we do need a way to track first time MQLs from Re-QLs, so the counter would achieve this.
Any input on this design would be appreciated? Edward Unthank (ETU), Justin Norris keen to know your thoughts on this too? How would you typically design the lifecycle for people to re-mql in a b2b lifecycle design?
I'm leaning toward keeping the Account Type we currently use to indicate the account stage as "Prospect Re-engage", which is a recycled state and on people who were connected to the oppty, move them to Recycled in our lifecycle model. I think this is pretty obvious, but I'm most interested in the re-qualification?
Thank in advance.
Hey Sean Richards,
It depends on what your specific requirements are.
If it's just about knowing whether someone is a first / repeat MQL, then a simple date field (e.g., "Last MQL Date") could do it.
If you need to know how many times someone MQL'd on their way to being a customer, the score counter idea could make sense.
These are quick and easy solutions that address a single question. But they won't scale if you need more robust and flexible lifecycle reporting.
If you have a truly cyclical and multi-dimensional lifecycle (many products and many trips through the funnel, with the possibility for multiple "funnel trips" to be in play at any one time) then you need to extend your data model and use a separate object to track all this.
For example, I've helped clients use the task object in Salesforce to track lifecycle in a more multidimensional way. The task is instrumented with extra fields and processes to track the lifecycle of that specific inquiry, with its own set of date stamps and dimensions about the product interest and marketing activity that drove it.
You can then report on this flexibly to produce volume and conversion metrics segmented however you need.
Thanks for taking the time to reply. In our case, I don't believe we meet the needs for a "truly cyclical and multi-dimensional lifecycle" but maybe aspects of it.
Our typical sales scenario would be a multi stakeholder long lifecycle. Sales could take up to 5 years and might involve different people at different times, BUT, the school as an account, will only buy our product once (then recurring subscription). So what can happen is that they start investigating us and competitors with the intention of buying, get demos/presentations etc, then they may either loose momentum and not select anything, then wait for another 12/24 months (prospect re-engage/recycle) and then their active sales process begins again as an account. Or the other scenario is we lose the first deal, then 2-4 years later, then look for a better solution and come back into our sales funnel (once again the transition from prospect re-engage to MQL as an account). So We need a way to Re-QL people and we're currently refactoring our lifecycle to create the whole "Contact Status" and allow people who have already moved from lead to contact to once again get MQL'd. So at the point that they do that, do you think there is value having a RQL bucket in lifecycle, or just an MQL counter?
E.g. This first model would include the counter instead of a lifecycle stage:
This second model would include the stage instead of the counter:
I'm not sure there is actually much difference, other than maybe the reporting differences.
Sean Richards, I think you'd be fine with a counter or simple date-stamp.
From a reporting perspective, the benefit to a separate stage in your model is if you use Revenue Explorer and want to see first-time MQL transitions discretely from repeat MQL transitions in the Model Analysis area.
Beyond reporting, you could also consider sales enablement (does your sales team need different info when you hand over repeat MQLs?), targeting (do you serve repeat prospects with different nurtures?) etc. Based on your specific needs, the solution may vary.
Given that we are not currently going to nurture those people any differently, nor do we need any changes to responses from sales team based on it, We'll just do the counter from a data keeping perspective and leave the lifecycle simple.
One thing you may want to consider is synching your lead lifecycle program with a Salesforce campaign and building your "New" versus "Recycled" differentiation in the CRM through a different SFDC campaign member status. This allows you to have the reporting regarding new vs. existing but keep the consistency of having one MQL reporting box in your lifecycle for your Marketo analytics.
Love the counter idea. Thanks, @justin for that suggestion.
Yeah, we do sync our lifecycle program into SFDC and I agree with having a single MQL lifecycle status. I went ahead and solved this with the counter and timestamps. Here are screenshots from the dashboard and report I created to support us seeing MQL's over time, grouped by lead source. What's nice is that we can then see where they have move to in the lifecycle. With the counter visible, this also highlights any re-mql's.
My lead source data is still a WIP, but this is a good step forwards.