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Spin Cycle

By Aug 01, 2009

Automating communications about new leads to sales reps and integrated tracking of visitors’ Web site activity have helped Zimbra increase the converted lead to closed sale ratio by 50%.

Zimbra, a division of Yahoo, offers a suite of collaboration tools for small to large businesses that integrates e-mail, contacts, shared calendars and documents into a rich browser-based and mobile device experience. The company has over 41 million paid mailboxes across 60,000 organizations including H&R Block, Stanford University and Digg.com.

The company has around 25 reps who close the sales, says Greg Armanini, director of marketing. But aside from trade show presence, all lead generation begins online. “Our company is rooted in the Web, so we don’t really do traditional media.”

Sunnyvale, CA-based Zimbra worked with Eloqua’s lead generation product for three years. However, the product was difficult for many of the reps to use. It required Internet Explorer, and since close to 90% of the reps were on Macs using Safari and Firefox, there definitely wasn’t anywhere near 100% adoption.

Last summer, Zimbra began working with LoopFuse OneView’s system to track Web visits and customer activity. The system integrates with Salesforce.com.

The lead process for Zimbra typically begins after a prospect downloads a trial version of the software. The average sales cycle is 60 days for small to medium businesses, although it can be much longer for enterprises and service providers — Zimbra’s largest deployment is Comcast and that deal took two years to finalize.

Today, Zimbra has been able to shorten the sales cycle by being able to track site visitors’ activity and then contacting the prospects in real time, while the product is fresh in their minds.

“As Web site activity grows, it’s common for sales organizations to be overwhelmed with new leads that are not qualified,” says Armanini. “It’s really hard to scale your business on the Web without sales and marketing automation.”

TRAFFIC PATTERNS

Has the use of increased tracking capabilities led Zimbra to make changes to its company’s Web site? “There have been some ‘ah-ha!’ moments when we noticed pages we expected to generate high traffic not doing so,” says Armanini, noting that user questions also led them to notice where content needed to be expanded or added.