Recently acquired by TIBCO Software, Jaspersoft is a commercial open source business intelligence software provider that operates on a subscription revenue model. The company’s last venture capital funding round was in June 2011 and the goal was to be self-funded by the end of 2013. That was a tall order, considering that as of April 2012, 85% of the pipeline was sourced by marketing; there was no service level agreement between sales and marketing; and there were wide fluctuations in lead flow.
To fund the business without additional venture capital, the company had to get lean. That meant growing new business by 30% while reducing marketing spend by 12%.
“The marching orders were to get more out of the money we were spending on marketing while lowering our investment in marketing, which is never easy,” said Jim Bell, CMO for Jaspersoft. “That would allow us to reach our business goal of getting the cash flow to the breakeven point as a company.”
Bell and team doubled the inquiry-to-close rate from his baseline with a rigorous demand funnel definition and a disciplined process, earning a Return On Integration (ROI) Award at the SiriusDecisions Summit 2014.
The company engaged DemandGen International to help revamp its processes, including implementing a new funnel model, lead scoring, capacity-based lead assignment, service-level agreements and lead recycling. The two companies began their conversation two years earlier at SiriusDecisions’ 2012 Summit.
“Like many firms that attend, Jaspersoft attended SiriusDecisions for inspiration and insights on how they could increase revenue and better align sales and marketing,” said David Lewis, CEO and Founder of DemandGen International. “We helped them take the SiriusDecisions model and operationalize it.”
Adjustable Lead Scoring Enables Capacity-Based Lead Assignment
Lead scoring was a critical component of the plan, Bell noted. Leads were scored by three components: Data quality, demographics and behavior. Jaspersoft also worked with Lever10, a B2B marketing services firm, on the lead scoring project.
Lever10 conducted “a deep statistical analysis of all of our data in our marketing automation system and in our Salesforce system to look for hidden influences,” Bell said. “For example, if we won a deal and there was a lead in our system that wasn’t connected to that deal but had the same email domain, they would analyze whether that person might have had an impact, and if so, what campaigns did they respond to, among other things.”
A capacity-based lead assignment model helped solved an ongoing challenge of reps having too many or too few leads as volume fluctuated. The new structure keeps reps focused on the best available leads at any given time, Bell said. “Once you implemented the lead scoring, rather than setting a threshold of, ‘Hey, when any lead hits a certain lead score then send them to sales,’ we actually asked the sales team, ‘How many leads can you handle per week provided you follow the service level agreements?’”
When there are variations in lead flow, the the lead score threshold is adjusted to drive a consistent number of leads to the sales team at all times. “The idea is that rather than having them digging around in the marketing queue and trying to find leads when we’re not sending them enough they’re always getting the best of what we have at a fairly consistent rate.”
Bell reported that the company is pleased with the progress. “The improvement was really terrific and everything really came together. It’s a great team, a great relationship between sales and marketing, and, yes, it was fun.”
To build on this success, the company looked at data from the previous year by sales rep. “We showed them how many inquiries they got, and how many deals they closed from those inquiries, and what the percentage was,” Bell said. “Then we showed them how many opportunities they created from partners, how many deals they closed, how many opportunities they generated themselves, and how many of those were closed.”
The company now analyzes three funnels: The marketing funnel, the partner funnel and the sales-generated funnel. “What that did was it allowed us to show which reps were converting better, which got more in the pipeline, which were doing more themselves versus relying on marketing, and which were doing better with partners.”
The new model was introduced at the company’s sales kickoff back in February. The idea, Bell said, was to have the sales reps build their own “franchise plan,” working backwards from their quota. “We call it a franchise because we want them to think in terms of ownership and to garner whatever resources they need,” Bell explained.