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Marketo plays a vital role in driving what we do in marketing, sales, and product development and helping us identify the most compelling use cases and the future direction of our products.Eva Tsai
Vice President of Marketing and Business Operations
Marketo enables vArmour’s lean marketing team to create innovative, highly efficient campaigns that deliver stellar results.
- Reduced time to convert leads to a pilot from 10 months to 2 weeks
- Number of qualified pilots increased by 10X
- Engagement from nurture campaigns increased by 100%
Marketo helps vArmour accelerate their growth by identifying which products people are buying and why, and aligning marketing, sales, and product development to deliver the right content and the right products.
vArmour is highly regarded for its Distributed Security System (DSS), an offering that enables enterprise companies to see, segment, and secure their data whether it resides in a data center or the cloud. In addition, independent research firm Gartner, Inc. recently named vArmour a “Cool Vendor in Cloud and Emerging Technology Security, 2016.” Eva Tsai, vArmour’s Vice President of Marketing and Business Operations, and Namson Tran, Director of Demand Generation, implemented Marketo to help them reach prospects in a way that clearly demonstrates just how innovative DSS is. The result: They’ve significantly improved email open rates, driven engagement, and increased the number of trials while reducing the time to convert trials to opportunities. What’s more, they’ve aligned marketing, sales, and product development in a way that guides the marketing team in developing the right strategy and content, the sales team in working the right deals, and the product development team in creating the right mix of products and functionality
- Leverage automation to increase marketing engagement and pipeline growth without increasing staff size
- Obtain insights in opportunity surface and messaging for the disruptive data center security space
- Tightly align marketing, sales, and product development to drive greater revenue and profitability
- Increase lead and opportunity volume and quality and shorten the sales cycle
Ratcheting up the level of automation
When Namson joined vArmour two years ago, he immediately brought in Marketo to improve email marketing. Since that time, Eva and Namson have leveraged Marketo to constantly ratchet up the level of marketing automation so they can get more done with their small demand generation team of three. They started with a webinar campaign and used Marketo’s built-in webinar integration to drive registrations. Early one-off campaigns like this used minimal segmentation. However, the team quickly evolved to more complex campaigns such as the automated nurturing program that leverages Marketo to ensure that prospects receive the right messaging and the freshest content based on segment as well as on the content they’ve already seen. While the original nurture campaign used the same track for all leads, creating four separate, audience-based tracks enabled the marketers to target and communicate content that is highly audience specific. “As we increased targeting and personalization, we saw amazing improvements in open rates and engagement,” Namson explains.
Collaborating with sales to drive success
The team uses lead scoring, which works off behavioral and demographic data, to give sales reps a good sense of how hot a lead is. Marketo Sales Insight helps sales stay on top of what their prospects are doing. One of the most successful programs centers on a free trial and proof of concept (POC) that enables prospects to experience the value of DSS firsthand. POCs are an essential milestone in vArmour’s sales cycle because they provide a compelling on-ramp to becoming a customer. Previously, moving a prospect from the initial interest to POC took eight to 10 months. Eva and Namson turned to Marketo to simplify processes and better align all stakeholders in a deal.
Marketo played a key role in this effort, providing:
- Email marketing to help find prospects with high readiness for a POC
- Progressive data gathering to quickly qualify prospects and their propensity to convert to POC and bookings
- Automation to route leads to the right sales reps
- Automated alerts to notify the vArmour team as prospects reached major milestones
- Email nurturing after the POC go-live to provide ongoing education and assistance that proves the value of the vArmour solution
“The impact of this new approach was remarkable,” Namson explains. “We fine-tuned it over a period of three months, and in that time we reduced the POC cycle to as little as two weeks. What’s more, we’re processing and closing 10 times more POCs on a weekly basis than before.”
Aligning marketing, sales, and product development
The biggest payoff from Marketo, however, has been the ability to completely reinvent the relationship and collaboration across marketing, sales, and product development. Eva and Namson have taken the notion of lead scoring and “put it on steroids”—elevating it to their patent-pending Opportunity Scoring. They’re examining the opportunities created by sales and figuring out which ones have the highest propensity to close. Opportunity Scoring leverages data in Marketo and Salesforce.com, combining it and distilling the information into a rating that indicates high, medium, or low value for the deal. “With Opportunity Scoring, we’re able to dramatically improve win rates and increase sales efficiency using a self-calibrating, adaptive system that analyzes data from multiple touch points throughout the buyer journey,” says Randy Magliozzi, Director of Business Operations.
“By scoring our opportunities,” Namson says, “we are able to align the entire organization behind the deals that we value the most. Our scoring is highly accurate. We’re seeing that 70% of closed deals come from the top-tier of opportunity scores, 30% from the middle tier, and zero from the bottom tier.”
Eva adds that the impact of Opportunity Scoring on the business is profound. “We can accurately forecast what our numbers will be several months and even several quarters out based on what’s in the pipeline. What’s particularly exciting is that we have deep insight into what people are buying and why. We’re sharing that information with product development and they are using it as an input to identify where it makes the most sense to invest development dollars. The bottom line is that Marketo data is guiding marketing, sales, and product development efforts that are critical to driving vArmour’s growth and profitability.”