New Integration Improves Engagement for B2B Marketers

BrightFunnel this week announced the integration of its BrightFunnel Revenue Intelligence Suite with Microsoft Dynamics.

The integration will let enterprise B2B marketing teams analyze the impact of marketing investments on their companies’ business, BrightFunnel said. They’ll be able to accurately measure marketing attribution to pipeline and revenue across every marketing channel, campaign and initiative.

BrightFunnel provides analytics tools that assess how programs impact a business.

The integration will let Microsoft Dynamics CRM customers leverage BrightFunnel’s advanced global filtering capabilities, machine learning, and account-based functionality to optimize and accelerate the buyer’s journey.

Microsoft Dynamics customers also will be able to better optimize and plan marketing budgets quarter-over-quarter.

“By having more visibility into how marketing programs perform across a variety of data segmentations, the marketing team can more effectively help the sales team increase deal velocity and [average selling price], and target key accounts with the right message and program,” said Dayna Rothman, BrightFunnel’s VP of marketing and sales development.

Providing key data and marketing performance results to sales reps “helps align marketing to the metrics that matter most for the business — pipeline and revenue,” she told CRM Buyer.

“Knowing more about the buyer and their interest leads to improved win rates,” noted Cindy Zhou, principal analyst at Constellation Research.

BrightFunnel’s Microsoft Dynamics CRM integration is currently in private beta.

Making Microsoft Dynamics Work for B2B Marketers

“Attributing revenue back to marketing programs has been historically challenging for B2B companies, as there are many marketing-driven touchpoints that don’t get linked to revenue reporting downstream in SFA and CRM systems,” said Joe Andrews, VP of marketing at InsideView.

“Today there are many more influencers in a buying process that need to be touched,” he told CRM Buyer. “With more B2B companies focused on account-based marketing, it’s even more critical to understand what engagement tactics work best to move customers along the buyer’s journey.”

Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s reporting doesn’t work for B2B marketers, according to BrightFunnel, because the application was developed for sales teams.

It associates only one buyer with an opportunity, while most accounts have 13 influential buyers, BrightFunnel pointed out. On average, 8.1 orphan leads and 4.5 contacts on an account are never recorded on the opportunity they helped influence, which means the marketer doesn’t get credit for them.

“With CMOs increasingly being asked to prove revenue contribution, the ability to have a comprehensive view of the customer’s engagement journey is critical,” Constellation’s Zhou told CRM Buyer.

How BrightFunnel’s Integration Will Work

The BrightFunnel platform provides a feature called “Orphan Lead Finder.”

“Our fuzzy matching algorithm does lead-to-account matching in order to associate all leads and contacts to a specific account,” BrightFunnel’s Rothman noted. “Therefore, even if your sales team doesn’t associate all of the account contacts in your CRM, you can still see engagement across the full account within our platform.”

However, BrightFunnel doesn’t write back to Dynamics CRM, so the attribution has to be assigned within the BrightFunnel platform.

The platform “provides visual, easy-to-understand reporting, so that the rest of the organization has access to how marketing investments perform and impact the business,” Rothman said.

“We want to help marketers uplevel their roles and conversations within the organization, and believe that attribution is a key way to show the strategic value of marketing,” she added.

What BrightFunnel Gets out of the Integration

“A lot of great marketing organizations run on Microsoft Dynamics, and we want to make our capabilities accessible to those marketers,” Rothman said.

Still, many marketing departments use marketing automation software, and they “can pull attribution from that solution versus CRM,” Constellation’s Zhou suggested.”For example, Adobe’s tight partnership with Dynamics can enable cross-channel attribution reporting.”

Richard Adhikari

Richard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including Information Week and Computerworld. He is the author of two books on client/server technology. Email Richard.

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