Customer satisfaction at its core
You might say that we had a clog in our pipeline. Our sales team knows that converting leads to opportunities is not just about sales figure but is also about providing potential customers with the solutions they need as quickly as possible. So when the sales team saw delays in the lead-to-opportunity cycle, we knew there was room for improvement.
However, there are many reasons that movement through the sales pipeline may have slowed. Instead of forming hypotheses based on gut instinct or anecdotal evidence, we needed a way to identify the root cause with certainty – and then establish a clear plan on how to unclog our pipeline. The answer, we realized, was written in our process data.
After we discussed the options for turning that process data into value, we decided to kick off a process mining project. It would allow us to (1.) identify the root cause of the delays, (2.) find the “happy paths” where we could better automate processes and (3.) compare as-is processes to to-be processes to see potential improvements.
We are fortunate to have an award-winning process mining solution in our portfolio of products – ARIS Process Mining. It works with the ARIS-based business process management we have in place – but also seamlessly integrates with the many systems used by our sales team, including SAP, Salesforce, Marketo and Outreach - with a helping hand from webMethods.
With ARIS Process Mining in place, we started analyzing our process data. The team plugged in more than 750,000 Salesforce cases that could be used for root cause analysis and to model a better solution. It required importing and standardizing data step-by-step, which was made easy by our ARIS and professional services teams.
What was clear from the analysis is the need for speed. We saw that following up quickly on a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) was crucial for success. In fact, fast follow-up to an initial contact is 7x more likely to qualify the lead. However, there was room for improvement. For example in one region, the follow-up time was 5x slower than the global average.
As a result, we created a new global standard, supported by RPA, to classify a lead within 4 hours and then reach out to the prospect within 24 hours.
While optimization of our pipeline is ongoing, we have seen immediate results from the project. In North America, we have increased conversions of leads to opportunities by 20%. And globally we have reduced median handling duration from MQL to Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) by 3 working days, or by 39%.
Across the company, we have been excited by the results. We now have a whole new pipeline – of process mining projects. For the sales team, we will perform conformance checking to continuously monitor ongoing lead lifecycle against ideal path. Anywhere there is an issue, we will run a root cause analysis to identify the problem and find a solution.
We also have projects lined up with Human Resources to improve the recruit-to-hire cycle. And as we see continued success, we expect more and more opportunities to improve through process mining across Software AG.
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