Lead Qualification the Adobe Way #leadgen2013
Adobe has transformed the way it sells software, not only in moving popular tools like Photoshop to the cloud, but also the way it approaches its sales teams and how it picks the best leads to follow up with.

Content Approach

Back in 2008, Adobe had a webinar program in place, but it was very disjointed, Shelby Britton, senior product marketing manager at Adobe, said at the 2013 Lead Generation Summit.

"There was no strategy, and we didn't have a strong message out there," she said.

Sales teams needed to understand what customers were looking for before calling them, and Adobe found the job titles of those interested did not indicate what people were interested in, Britton said. However, if they were consuming content on a particular subject, that was a better indicator.

Under the company's old system, customers were getting generic messages, and now those messages are split up based on what customers might be specifically looking for, Britton said. For example, an email subject under the old system might have read, 'Next Generation Web Conferencing,' and now it's more likely to say something along the lines of 'How to be a Great Webinar Moderator.'

Additionally, emails and landing pages didn't always align under the old system, and it had been leading to people abandoning a campaign when once they hit those landing pages. Matching up emails and landing pages with consistent ideas and images has led to much higher click through rates.

Higher CTRs, of course, are not the goal, Britton said, but it got more people into the sales cycle, Britton said. Once people are registered for those webinars, more information is collected about them that could be used for targeting purposes.

Even during a webinar, Adobe continues to collect information on participants via polls. There are a couple tactics to avoid when using polls, Britton cautioned. They shouldn't ask for information that was already asked for in the event registration, for example. Polls also shouldn't come right at the beginning of an event, she noted. 

"Companies should provide some value first before launching a poll," Britton said.

Additionally, if someone asks about pricing during a webiner, that is often a good signal, she said.

Before a webinar kicks off, it's often good for sales teams to chime in on what kinds of questions they want answered by customers as well.

Lead Qualification the Adobe Way #leadgen2013
Adobe's demographic lead scoring methodology.


Not surprisingly, Adobe uses a pretty sophisticated method of scoring its leads. Leads must pass through two filters to be sales ready. One is based on a specific campaign, so when someone responds to a particular email or web event, whatever campaign was assigned to that asset will get passed through.

The second filter is around a score based on three factors to be a marketing qualified lead. The first, as shown in the above image, is based on demographics. Customers are filtered by company size, industry, department and job title. Secondly, customers are filtered by the content they have already consumed. Someone who simply viewed a product page, for example, might not have as high of a score as someone who downloaded a trial or attended product demo.

Finally, a third filter is applied based on behavior, and this would include activity from webinar polls, file downloads or how long they were in attendance during a webinar, for example. Those who meet the criteria become a high priority, and sales reps must call them within 24 hours, Britton said. A followup email must also be sent after the phone call, and all of that sales rep activity is tracked as well.

This strategy has improved conversions by 500%, Britton said, so at least for those companies who have the resources to adopt this kind of program, it appears to be pretty effective.

Image Credit: Felipe Matos Frazao / Shutterstock