I mean this is a pretty big question you're asking and it's really going to be up to your instance on how it's implemented. Consider looking into consultants for this but here's how I'd do it.
Basically, the lead stages are going to be determined based on your own action criteria. I haven't used RCM, I've built the lead funnel using Marketo fields and SF. Here's my advice:
- Identify the qualifying criteria for each stage, and the rules to flow through each.
- This presentation - slide 5 for you, is really useful - Infrastructure Down & Dirty: Architecting Best Practices In Marketo (also https://jennamolby.com/3-steps-to-implementing-mql-tracking-in-marketo/ is good)
- Determine how you want the lead lifecycle to implement itself into Salesforce
- Remember you'll want these to be SFDC fields in order to account for any changes SDRs or similar may make on the account
- Any of those changes should be adaptable in your operational programs as well
- You may need to implement sales structure changes in order to track further sales interactions and how they affect your funnel
- Build the operational programs and test them using test fields (very important to test this a lot).
- Launch and watch carefully. Let both (if you have an existing one) run concurrently before switching your Salesforce fields over to the new ones.
Just my advice, might not be the best though!
Thanks for taking the time to respond, I appreciate it. I've worked on them in the past, just not implemented or used RCM. Since we have RCE, I'd love to make use of RCM. We do have qualifying criteria for it all, as well as rules. I do think I'd be interested in time stamping as that slide suggests- this is in the Champion section here as well which is super useful.
We do want people to be able to change the stage after they've spoken with a lead, so we do plan to have it integrated to a Salesforce Field.
Since we don't have anything like this yet, we don't plan to adjust too much until we've begun using it and see what issues we're coming up on or where we can do better.
For Test fields, can you create test fields in Marketo? We don't want to muddy up our fields, I've only ever heard of testing in Sandbox.
Thank you for the help!
For testing - I duplicated my draft campaign, same folder structure and everything, and added a filter for a test email for all the operational programs. I used the bare minimum test fields (only 1 or 2) and then ran myself through the stages using the behaviour I wanted to qualify with. Since it was really only one big campaign folder and a few test fields (always label them as such) the whole thing was very easy to do. Once I tested it, I cleared any fields which had been used, deleted the folder and the associated test fields.
The goal of testing is to ensure that you don't find any sort of loopholes in your program flow so people don't end up without a status or get stuck in some weird sales loop.
If you want to take it a step further, just run these programs on live users, and watch how it works, since they are marketo fields, attached to nothing, they will simply run them through field changes.
This is just how I've done it, I don't have access to a sandbox.
Oh I forgot as well, you should consider implementing lead recycling, which is another status you can add at the end of the funnel to recycle leads which were previously rejected back into the lead funnel (as MQLr in our case). Using a field you can track how many times they are recycled in order to run them through the funnel only once or twice more (or set them to run through your recycling program once).