AdRoll is a powerful digital advertising platform that helps customers advertise and market across web, social and email channels. With 35,000 customers and 2.3 billion unique digital profiles cookied across the web, AdRoll helps serve up the right ad, to the right person, at the right time. But before they can help market others, AdRoll needed a powerful sales engagement platform to help market themselves, pursue leads, and close deals.
Jessica Cross runs Customer Lifecycle Marketing at AdRoll, building the scalable, repeatable programs that take a prospect from "first impression to happy customer". Working in tandem, the sales and marketing team at AdRoll is a finely tuned acquisition engine that generates hundreds of global inbound leads per day across multiple channels, ranging from webinars and whitepapers to demos and events.
The problem is, how do you track, organize, manage, and effectively engage all those leads, and more importantly do so with a level of personalization that ends up in an actual meeting to close the deal? Cross needed a faster way to break open those leads. Enter, "Project Fastbreak."
As a modern "wizard behind the curtain," Cross has designed and built an in-house MQL follow-up system they call Fastbreak to help SDRs pursue high-intent leads faster and more efficiently through automated personalization. Fastbreak consists of a series of emails, calls, social touches, and even direct mailers sent to marketing qualified leads and contacts with the goal of booking a meeting. And Outreach is the engine that drives and organizes that system.
As Cross explains, "We had an existing email system in place that didn't give the SDRs visibility to the emails going out in their name or ability to edit and personalize those emails. We decided to make things simpler for them to choose what sequence to put people in. So, from a grid in Salesforce they can check a box that says 'add to Fastbreak,' then fill in a few custom fields like title, company name, what content they downloaded. These custom fields then sync to Outreach custom fields that then turn into tokens inside personalized emails."
"Outreach is then set up to trigger prospects into the appropriate sequence based on what piece of content the lead interacted with. The email also has a link to a dynamic calendar where prospects can find a convenient time to speak with the SDR."
For Cross, the time saving efficiency of automating inbound follow-up is a key to the success of AdRoll sales and marketing efforts. Beyond personalizing the follow-up sequences, it frees SDRs to reach out on a truly personal level.
"Maximizing SDRs' time allows them to focus on high-value MQLs who have actually raised their hand and said that they actually want to speak to sales." As Cross states, "What I'm attempting to do is 'personalization at scale.'"
“Outreach has built-in functionality that allows for personalization at scale.”
Outreach sequences are key to sending the lead on the right track for the most effective strategic follow-up.
"With Fastbreak, we've taken care of thinking about which sequence type the lead should go into. We have set sequences for each type of campaign," according to Cross. "So there's an account sign-up sequence, a 'contact us' sequence, an event sequence, a webinar sequence, a content sequence - all with their own dynamic tokens that get pulled in to populate the emails."
"It's a nice automated system because it takes the guesswork out of the SDR's hands. Each SDR gets around 50 inbounds a day and it allows SDRs to parse inbound leads based on type, and assign them to appropriate campaign with defined sequences."
As a self-professed Marketo fan, she had built her first version of Fastbreak using it as the main outbound engagement platform, but found it was falling short of her primary concerns at AdRoll - personalization for leads and visibility for SDRs and managers.
"We used to have Marketo send out automated emails for every single MQL, which defeats the purpose of handing them over the sales team. There was no personalization and no visibility for sales reps," according to Cross.
That's when she decided to migrate the follow-up system to Outreach.
"We decided to move Fastbreak out of Marketo and into Outreach because it gave us the ability to personalize emails, give SDRs visibility, weave in call tasks, social touches and integrate with Salesforce - which was integral. Outreach integrates nicely with all the systems we know, love and already use."
Highly orchestrated sequences for varying scenarios were a big part of Cross' strategy. A sequence might consist of 2 emails, a call, another email, a social touch and even a direct mailer. Multiply that by 100 SDRs and other users and Salesforce integration to track all became critical for Cross' team.
"We wanted to be able to log all that activity in Salesforce so we could see who was reaching out and when. Plus we have all these other systems like Tableau hooked into Salesforce so we can monitor 2-day follow-up and see when replies happen – because Marketo doesn't track user's reply."
Working in tandem, AdRoll's marketing and sales teams deliver a powerful one-two punch, setting and spiking leads. As Cross explains, "In Q1 of 2017, for example, marketing generated 15,000 inbound leads. Of those, 6,000 were added to Fastbreak and we sent those people 16,000 emails. More importantly, Fastbreak booked 257 automated appointments for our SDR teams."
"The crux of story here is that when marketing and sales work together on cadence of messaging and speed of follow ups, you wind up with a better follow-up system for your inbound leads. Outreach allows both sales and marketing to work together to build a more powerful follow-up sequence for greater success."