At Infer, we’re fortunate to work with forward-looking marketers around the world. As more companies join the predictive revolution, we love sharing their great success stories — and marketing automation innovator Act-On is no exception. To support its focus on the mid-market CMO, the company’s marketing team adopted Infer Predictive Scoring and gained a better understanding of how closely each lead fits Act-On’s ideal customer profile.
In a recent conversation with Act-On CMO, Kevin Bobowski, he discussed why his team adopted predictive, how it has changed their workflows, and several benefits that they’ve realized in just their first year of using Infer.
You already enjoy valuable insight into your leads from behavioral scoring. What drove you to add predictive scoring to the mix?
We have a big untapped opportunity in the under-served mid-market space, and needed to transition from handling a high volume of leads to a model where we focus on a third of those leads, but know that they’ll convert two or three times more often to opportunities and closed deals. Before Infer, it was getting harder and harder to score the quality of our leads based on just their behavior and subjective factors like geographic segments. We had a very clear sense of who was our ideal customer, but needed the power of predictive to give us a second point of view — like an expert witness testimony. Infer helps us minimize false positives and tell us for each lead if it’s a company that matches our ideal customer profile.
How did you go about operationalizing Infer Predictive Scoring into your workflows?
We created a matrix that mapped our Infer Fit Scores to Act-On behavioral, or momentum, scores. Anybody who has a high momentum score and is an Infer A or B-Lead represents a very good lead. It tells us that they’re engaged, they’re active, and it’s the right company. That really signals buy for us. We also routed leads to sales accordingly – people who have shown lower activity, but their company is right in our sweet spot are those we want to get to sales right away.
One of the things that’s fascinating is we have many paid marketing programs, like content syndication, paid search and virtual events. What we started doing was scoring those leads using Infer. Then we would go back and renegotiate contracts based on what percentage of A, B, C, and D-Leads they delivered. We quickly found which sources provided the highest quality leads – and ultimately the highest ROI. Now, we’re actually creating more pipeline with about half the marketing budget.
Are there any other benefits you’ve realized from having these predictive insights?
With Infer, we now know how many Infer A, B, C, and D-Leads we can expect from each of our marketing programs and lead sources, and we even know projected conversion rates for each bucket of leads. We’re measured on pipeline creation, and can actually predict our contribution in advance on a weekly basis so we always know how many opportunities we should expect over time.
This changes the conversation at the executive level because we no longer need to wait for the sales team to clean up their pipeline at the end of a quarter to get an accurate picture of where things are. We’ll look at leads that we created three months ago and have a sense of when and how they’ll convert. Now, we can address Q3 pipeline and Q4 pipeline early in Q2 and don’t have to live quarter-to-quarter. We’ve taken a much larger, longer view.
What’s the next initiative Act-On marketing is tackling with Infer?
We have a mammoth database with 5 million contacts – that’s almost one-third of all the marketers in the world – and we’ve just scored it with Infer. Now we’re going to take the best contacts from that list and build out a massive calling program for our outbound SDRs to call into those accounts. We’re doing more outbound sales and marketing, and I want to see more pipeline coming from that versus growing inbound, because it’s hard to grow inbound at scale. Infer will help us get really good at identifying our target accounts, and help sales reps feel comfortable making those calls. Infer Profile Management will be a great tool as we perfect this strategy over time.
Do you have any other tips for early adopters of predictive?
Keep in mind that you have to keep monitoring your predictive models – you will get out of it what you put into it. It’s important to work with your vendor to update them regularly, because your business will change, the market will change, customer needs will change and if you’re not updating your model then you run the risk of missing out on some of its benefits.
Download the full snapshot to learn more about how Act-On is using Infer Predictive Scoring to:
- Improve marketing efficiency by re-allocating spend for greater impact—creating 50% more pipeline from half its previous budget
- Capture incremental pipeline by passing low-scoring leads to an outsourced SDR team, which booked hundreds of new appointments
- Address pipeline needs multiple quarters out as opposed to focusing on only the current quarter