Predictive Analytics: Why They Make Your Content More Impactful

This byline by Infer’s Sean Zinsmeister was originally published on the Salesforce blog.

Customers today have an insatiable appetite for information, making content a vital part of how sales and marketing teams communicate, educate and influence prospects throughout the buying cycle. But, there are some clear indicators that we need to get smarter about how we view content marketing and its relevancy to our customers and businesses. The stats are sobering: a recent study found that 50% of content gets eight shares or less; another uncovered that 60-70% of B2B content goes unused; and Forrester discovered that 90% of content is ignored by B2B sales teams. It’s clear that there’s misalignment between the content that’s being created and its intended audience.

Infer Named a 2016 CRM Market Rising Star

2016 CRM Market Rising Star

Infer is honored to be named a 2016 CRM Market Rising Star! The Market Awards aim to recognize leaders in the CRM industry, and are selected based on a composite score that includes revenue, company growth, market share, customer wins, reputation for customer satisfaction, depth of product functionality, and company direction. You can read the full write-up on Infer here, or below.

Infer Scores Now Available in Marketo Sales Insights

We’re excited to share that Infer Scores are now integrated with Marketo Sales Insights to give more reps visibility into their best-fit prospects so they can close deals faster. This Marketo view can be fully integrated within Salesforce records, where it displays Infer Scores as easy-to-understand stars and flames to help sales reps to more quickly identify and prioritize the leads that are most likely to convert.

Once Infer is configured with your Marketo instance, any administrator can edit the standard setup for Sales Insights. Infer’s scoring options appear in the drop-down menu of possible scoring fields for configuring this view into Marketo. Customers like Druva are already using the integration to help them predict their highest potential prospects

Melissa Davies for Infer

Infer’s Automated Form Monitor for Marketing Operations

Infer’s Automated Form Monitor, which is a simple WordPress plugin, helps marketing operations teams periodically test their site forms to ensure they’re operating properly.

How to Use Infer’s Automated Form Monitor Plugin

If you’re unfamiliar with installing and activating WordPress plugins, please see this post in the WordPress Codex.

After installing and activating the automated form monitor plugin, you will see an Admin Menu option called Form Monitor (see left screenshot). To begin monitoring your site forms, click the Form Monitor option, then follow these next steps:

 

  1. Download this CSV template.
  2. Double click the .zip file, and open the CSV file in your preferred spreadsheet or text editor (Excel, Numbers, Google Sheets, TextEdit, etc.).
  3. You will see a number of columns in the CSV file. Create and fill out one row for each form you want to monitor.

Introducing Infer Form Monitor: How a Simple Marketing Challenge Sparked Internal Innovation

As it’s often said, necessity is the mother of all invention. Recently, we decided to re-architect our Pardot Marketing Automation, and as part of this project, we began looking for a way to test all of the forms on our website in order to make sure they were working properly. Any Marketing Operations person will tell you that the last thing they want to worry about is whether they are forfeiting leads because of a broken form.

As we looked to the market for a solution to this problem, we were surprised that none existed — and, certainly not one that worked easily with WordPress and Pardot. So, we kicked off an internal project to find a better way to monitor the health of website forms. The result was our brand new Form Monitor, which is a simple WordPress plugin that comes fully integrated with Pardot and can be downloaded on the WordPress marketplace.

In the spirit of idea generation and innovation, we want to share our learnings with our friends in the broader marketing community. So, we sat down with our Senior Director of Product Marketing, Sean Zinsmeister, to learn more about the inspiration for the plugin, how it takes a big load off MOPS, and lessons learned along the way.

Profile Management Product Updates: Account-Based Marketo Behavior Profiles, “Contains” Operator, and More

cogs-animated

Since releasing Infer Profile Management to general availability in March, we’ve been hard at work collecting and implementing our customers’ post-launch feedback into the latest release of the platform. We’re excited to share all of our newest product features and updates in greater detail below.

Account-Based Marketo Activity Profiles

We’re deepening our integration with Marketo to extend users the ability to build data-rich, account-based profiles using their Marketo Activity behavioral data.

3 Growth Hacks to Boost Revenue Upwards of 10%

This byline by Infer’s Sean Zinsmeister was originally published on the Salesforce blog.

Every sales leader, in every company, is searching for a killer growth angle. We all want to know how to squeeze more out of our pipeline. The best go-to-market managers differentiate themselves by pinpointing key segments where they can close deals quickly. However, this isn’t a code many people can easily crack. Whether you know it or not, your company is sitting on at least some “white space” of untapped opportunities that are already in your funnel. Few businesses realize how much potential revenue they’re actually leaving on the table, but we’re seeing more and more elite sales and marketing shops figure out how to turn pipeline gaps into revenue growth upwards of 10% – and I’ve had the privilege of learning from several of them.

One thing I’ve noticed in top-notch Sales VPs is that it all starts with how good they are at forecasting pipeline. But even when management is great at predicting how much revenue each rep and each channel will bring in, high-growth companies are never quite on target. That’s why identifying gaps is crucial to meeting sales goals. Once you determine where your team is missing the mark, you need to make adjustments quickly to address those gaps. This could mean reassigning territories, changing the makeup of the team, mandating training programs, etc. Good managers go through this cycle again and again to optimize and perfect sales motions until they hit or exceed their number.

The second stage in that sales management cycle – identifying gaps – is the toughest to nail, especially as a company evolves. But I’ve found that the gray area of discovering hidden gems already sitting in a CRM or Marketing Automation system is actually one of those variables that can have a large impact on the topline.

5 Ways to Supercharge Sales with Predictive Lead Scoring

This byline by Infer’s Sean Zinsmeister was originally published on the HubSpot blog.

Even if you’re not the “early adopter” type, you’ve probably heard about the rise of predictive analytics for sales. Perhaps your marketing team has tried out HubSpot’s new predictive lead scoring capabilities and is recognizing the value this kind of data-driven insight can bring. If you’re wondering whether predictive intelligence could make your sales team’s job easier as well, the answer is a resounding yes.

Predictive technology has matured rapidly, and there’s now a whole community of forward-looking businesses that are already showing proven results. Rather than rely on human intuition to guess who your best leads are, why not use advanced predictive scoring models that take into account thousands of signals and employ sophisticated data science to compute accurate predictions?

lead-scoring-1.png

Here are five ways smart sales teams should leverage this technology to double down on the most promising opportunities in their funnel:

4 products Microsoft should build with LinkedIn

This byline by Infer’s Vik Singh was originally published on VentureBeat.

LinkedIN

Last week, Microsoft stunned the tech world with the largest ever software acquisition – the purchase of LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. While early news coverage has addressed plans to keep LinkedIn independent, there’s been little discussion about what exactly the two companies will do together. As someone who’s entrenched in the LinkedIn and Microsoft ecosystems, I thought I’d share four exciting products this acquisition makes possible:

1. Redefined business email

The quickest and broadest impact Microsoft can make with LinkedIn is to redesign its Outlook interface. The companies could easily bring LinkedIn insights, profile photos, etc. into the email experience (similar to whatRapportive offers today but with a seamless, actionable approach). Outlook could even show recent updates and thought leadership pieces from a particular profile as talking point suggestions to automatically populate in an email when selected.

Microsoft could also add automated email filtering and prioritization features with folder recommendations that improve email productivity. Imagine if you could get emails that meet certain criteria — say they come from a particular job title and are second-degree connections with at least 500 connections themselves — to stick in the top of your inbox until they receive your attention.

2. Universal identity

There’s no doubt that LinkedIn’s biggest asset is its social graph with data about virtually everyone in the business-to-business (B2B) world. Ask any salesperson — it’s the business data they trust the most. Social proofing goes a long way. More importantly, when someone moves from one company to another, their LinkedIn identity remains intact. By rethinking the sense of a “user” in theMicrosoft Graph (a focus at the company’s Build 2016 developer conference a few months ago) around their LinkedIn profile, Microsoft could capture more activities about that individual from before and after they joined their current company.

As a result, the Microsoft Graph would become richer, blending LinkedIn information and updates with corporate activities like emails, calendar events, etc. Companies could also leverage LinkedIn credentials for single sign on (albeit there are enterprise security challenges here). This would ultimately be a better experience, because rather than needing new credentials every time you start a new job, you could use the login you already remember (and won’t forget, as LinkedIn will always be a key part of your career). We might even see an evolution in messaging, and the approach of sending emails to corporate addresses that may no longer be valid will become old school. Instead, Outlook integration could make sending messages to each other’s LinkedIn accounts feel seamless.

LinkedIn’s social graph could also spruce up Microsoft’s bot framework, which got a lot of attention at the Build conference as well. More apps that enable personalized, compelling conversations on top of Microsoft platforms would help accelerate the company’s “conversation-as-a-platform” strategy and boost adoption and lock-in for Microsoft’s cloud platform. If the social graph was hosted in the Azure Marketplace and offered convenient API hooks that played nicer with Microsoft’s platforms, developers would want to host their apps on Azure.

For example, a developer could build a bot that analyzes email activity (via the Microsoft Graph), as well as which employees in the company are updating their LinkedIn profiles, and then models that data with Azure Machine Learning to notify managers which of their employees are likely to churn. Of course, this raises major privacy issues that Microsoft and LinkedIn would need to address. Protecting users’ privacy is paramount for a consumer service like LinkedIn that touts “members first,” and this will get more challenging as it moves into the enterprise space.