The Lead Scoring & Marketing Automation System That Drove Over USD 61.5 Million in New Business Sales

b2b marketing guest interviews Aug 13, 2021

In Conversation with Vinnie Romano, Founder and Director of Dough

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Lead scoring has always been a tricky topic in B2B marketing and often being seen as a process that is being done in a black box. 

In this episode, it was great to have Vinnie Romano, Found and Director of Dough joining me to go through his process of developing the lead scoring model for one of his previous clients and how this marketing campaign was able to drive over USD 60 million in new business sales. 

Time to dive into some of my key takeaways that I learnt from our conversation. 

I know you started off your career being a salesman. How did you transform your career and head into marketing? 

So at the very early stage of my career, I was a salesman. I went from selling mobile phones in a store to selling gas and electricity on people's doorsteps. And that was quite a unique sort of experience because I had to try opening up and building rapport with people within the first five seconds to avoid getting doors slammed in my face. 

Then after a flurry of sales jobs, I found myself joining the advertising industry by working in various different marketing agencies helping some of the world’s largest brands to run marketing for them. 

And eventually after 14 years of that, I decided to start my own agency called Frisbee in Sydney based on all the prior knowledge I had picked up from previous agency jobs. Eventually I sold the agency and here I am now creating Dough which is a sales and marketing transformation consultancy to help companies see better return on investment with their activities. 

How do you think being a sales has helped you in your career? 

I think even though I have joined the advertising industry, I haven’t stopped being a sales rep. Because being in client relationships, account management, liaising with the client, you are selling strategies. Eventually, we sell all the time in our lives. 

An analogy that I like to refer to is that let’s say if you are a child and you're trying to stay up longer than what your parents want you to, you’re pitching your parents saying I think I should stay up a little bit longer because of X, Y, Z. So you are selling all the time no matter if it is in the family or in the office environment.

Everyone is selling and if you are solving problems, you would be selling solutions. So yes it has definitely helped me in my career because it is such an essential part of our lives.  

So one of the previous B2B clients that you worked with, you were able to help them generate USD 61.5 million in new business sales within 3 years. Can you share more with us about that story? 

So at that time, we needed to reach a particularly tricky audience and being in B2B, there wasn’t much budget so we had to be super strategic. 

First, we start off by really drilling down into the primary, secondary and tertiary buyer personas which are basically the ultimate decision makers, decision influencers who are one step down and the people who had some sort of influence on that decision marketing process respectively. 

We needed to know everything about them that goes from their goals, passions, pain points and challenges. So a lot of research was done from speaking to the sales team to doing external researches. 

Based on that, we found that our audience was looking for a one-stop shop that covered all the latest news and content in this field which at the time wasn't being served. So we created a branded online content hub. We packed the hub with research content along with opinion pieces from leaders within the client’s organisation. 

We got those leaders to become authors and contributors of the content as well as having them to share their articles regularly on LinkedIn with each post driving traffic to a gated content. In this case, it was a new ebook that we published quarterly. 

Then they will begin to get nurtured via our automated personalized workflow. And it was here that we got super specific on the work track that each individual will go through. Meticulously testing different creatives, segments, words, timing and also having a social selling program and a very robust lead scoring system in place, we started seeing the results coming in.  

Can you share more about the robust lead scoring system that you put in place for the client? How did you decide what score to give to each activity? 

When we were creating the strategy for the campaign, there weren't necessarily any best practice resources or rules to follow. So we just kept it simple. 

We know that just because someone downloaded the ebook and acted positively towards your brand doesn’t mean they are willing to accept a phone call from sales. So we had to map the whole customer experience journey and understand what activities need to happen to turn a prospect into a customer or a customer into a repeat client.  

We looked at what a successful path to purchase would look like and we decided that a hundred points was the threshold that prospects become a marketing qualified lead. We then work backwards to see what activities they need to do to get to a hundred points. Let’s say the ebook, that’s quite a chunky piece of content. So if someone handed their information over to download the asset, they would have higher buying intent so we gave them like 50 points. 

This action will kickstart our automated email campaign asking if they read it or found it valuable. Yes or no. If they clicked, they would get another 10 points which also get them redirected to another stream of emails to receive more similar content to the one they last interacted with. The old Amazon you may also like this model. 

We wanted them to stay within our ecosystem and they would get points for the interactions that they have with our content. So only once they reached a hundred points, the relevant salesperson would receive a weekly email with the according marketing qualified leads plus activities that the prospects have gone through. 

One interesting thing we did was that we put sales at the forefront of the campaign. They were the authors, content contributors and the email senders. So when prospects became marketing qualified, they would get a call from the person who was the author/contributor of the content they had been interacting with over the last two weeks, months or years. Which ultimately turns that cold call into a warm call. 

But what would happen when the emails weren’t opened or clicked? 

So if no email was opened, no links were clicked or if there was interaction with social media or website visits after 30 days, they would get minus 25 points. After 60 days, minus another 25 points etc. There was a negative lead scoring in place that would deduct scores if there is no recent activities. 

Then what happens is that you would need to make the decision on what you want to do with these contacts. Do we want to send them to the burn pile? Or do we want to retarget them? 



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