After our first demo, I knew there were some basic questions most of the vendors would probably ask us at the start of every call. It’s good that they ask these questions because it helps them understand Capterra and better tailor their pitch to our situation. But, admittedly, I floundered on a few questions in our first demo, so I wanted to make sure I had all of the answers ready before the next one (which is in just a few days)!
In no particular order, these are the questions I would suggest knowing answers to before starting a Marketing Automation search:
- How many contacts do you have in your database? (The majority of Marketing Automation vendors base their initial pricing off of this number, so make sure you have this right)
- What is your monthly web traffic?
- How many new leads do you typically generate in a month?
- What are your main channels/methods for generating those leads? (PPC? Social Media? Email Marketing? Display Ads? Webinars/Live Events? Etc.)
- What’s your average conversion rate for new leads?
- How do you currently measure or track those conversions?
- How many emails do you send in an average month?
- What’s the average open rate for your emails? What about click-throughs?
- What CRM software do you use?
- Do you host virtual events? If so, what web-conferencing software do you use?
- What demographic information indicates a good lead for your company? (Job titles? Geography? Company Size? Annual Revenue?)
- How do you currently qualify leads? (In other words, what signals to a sales person whether a particular lead is worth targeting or proactively pitching?)
- How do you pass leads over to your sales team once they are qualified?
- What does your sales team do with those leads? How do they sort them out and prioritize follow-up? (I will stress: the more you understand about your sales team’s day-to-day processes, the better you’ll be able to evaluate Marketing Automation solutions and how they would fit with your existing workflow. It’s better to find a system that fits instead of trying to recreate your whole company’s work model. That would just lead to a lot of headaches and make your life more difficult, which is definitely not the point of MA!)
Most of these are pretty straightforward questions that most marketers should know about their companies. But, it can be tricky keeping so many numbers and facts straight. Not to mention, some info, like web traffic, conversion rates, and database size change pretty frequently.
Thus far into our search, those would be my best suggestions as far as a demo prep list, but I’m sure as we get further into it there will be more gems to add to this list! For all you Marketing Automation veterans, did I forget anything?