MTI-Interactive uses Validar solutions to improve lead collection, justify marketing budgets, and effectively assign leads to sales reps.
For the last 30 years, MTI-Interactive (MTI) has developed SKU-activated merchandising that helps both retailers and manufacturers sell complex products by letting consumers interact with products before buying them. When Helen Stonhill signed on as the marketing communications manager at MTI, she quickly realized that the company needed to jettison manual, paper-based lead capture processes and import leads more effectively into Salesforce.com. By adopting Validar Lead Capture, Validar Lead Source Manager, and Validar Lead Import with AnySource, MTI has been able to:
- Ask leads qualifying questions at the point of capture
- Develop web forms that collect and categorize qualified leads
- Pass leads to the appropriate sales person
- Justify marketing budgets by quantifying initiative impact
Losing Lead Intelligence
In the past, MTI collected a lot of unqualified leads at large trade shows such as CES and GlobalShop using wands that swiped badges to capture contact information. The wand also printed paper the MTI sales person could use to write notes. “After the show, all the notes went into a box that nobody ever touched again,” says Stonhill.
At some shows, MTI used lead management software provided by organizers, which at least allowed employees to electronically capture notes. However, importing these into MTI’s Salesforce.com application wasn’t straightforward. “There was a lot of duplication and other problems when records didn’t match up exactly,” adds Stonhill. “I knew there had to be a better way to collect qualified leads and get them into Salesforce.com.”
Qualification Through Questioning
When MTI began using Validar Lead Capture software, the company gained the ability to ask prospects questions at the point of lead capture. “We find out if they’re familiar with us, what type of product they want to merchandise, whether they already use an MTI product, and what exactly they are looking for,” explains Stonhill. “Do they want to resell our product? Are they looking to integrate our technology into their fixtures? By getting answers to these questions, we know how to follow-up.”
In addition, asking these questions helps MTI put leads into the right Salesforce queue. Because Validar Lead Capture lets MTI add notes from the show floor, no intelligence is lost—allowing sales people to follow up appropriately with the prospect. Furthermore, sales people know that when they get leads, they are worth pursuing.
When asked whether companies that don’t qualify leads at the point of capture are at a disadvantage, Stonhill doesn’t hesitate. “Absolutely,” she says. “You should be asking prospects questions when they approach you for the first time. If you don’t ask, you don’t know whether you should follow up. And, if you call prospects who talked with a sales person at your booth for 20 minutes, but you don’t know anything about it, they’ll likely feel you’ve wasted their time.”
Getting qualified leads into Salesforce.com was no longer a huge headache once MTI implemented Validar Import for AppExchange with Anysource. It interfaces directly with Salesforce.com, identifying duplicates and simplifying distribution to sales teams with lead categorization functionality. “I love the fact that Validar lets us customize our import process and decide how we want things imported,” says Stonhill. “And we can have the process happen automatically—we don’t need to get the Salesforce.com administrator involved.”
Stonhill continues, “Getting our leads into Salesforce.com is seamless and easy now. At CES this year, we loaded leads into Salesforce.com the same day we collected them.”
Not only were leads passed to the sales team quickly, Stonhill had an immediate view into the show’s performance thanks to Validar Lead Source Manager. “Every night at CES, I could send a report to the CEO about how many leads we gathered and which products interested them,” notes Stonhill. “I even had bar charts that made it very easy for me to illustrate the show’s performance.”
More Than Events
Noting how easy Validar makes it to capture and qualify leads at events, MTI began using Validar software to create AnySource forms to capture qualified leads on its website. The company has a basic form on the contact page and another for a video demonstration. People can click on the video when they see something that captures their interest. “The form lets us know right away how we should follow up with the prospect,” says Stonhill. “We not only know which part of the video was compelling to them, we ask them questions about the type of product they want to merchandise. As a result, we can send leads to the right sales rep.”
Justifying The Marketing Budget
Stonhill also appreciates the fact that Validar solutions have helped her quantify the value of events and other marketing initiatives. “Measurement is very important because marketing can be one of the hardest line items to justify to the board,” explains Stonhill. “Validar lets us assign our leads to a campaign or event when we import them into Salesforce.com. As a result, I can show how different campaigns have influenced a sales opportunity. If a prospect visited our website and came to our booths at CES and GlobalShop, then I can easily say that these three marketing touch points influenced the opportunity. It also helps me amortize my web and event costs.”
“I can even attach a dollar value to the leads we’ve generated through various campaigns,” continues Stonhill. “For a given event, for example, we could show that we gathered 250 leads, which created 15 opportunities with potential revenue of $10 million.”
Stonhill concludes: “Validar has helped us capture qualified leads, get them into the hands of the right sales people, and quantify the value of our marketing efforts. There’s no downside to Validar solutions.”