Tracking and Moving your Leads Through the Funnel

This blog is part 9 of 10 on setting your marketing up for scale using the Gold Standard – our signature framework consisting of a series of foundational processes and corresponding deliverables focusing on strategic marketing as well as technical and campaign operational services.

Our most recent blog post laid out the Gold Standard Engagement process and the dependency on having good data and targeting, scoring, and funnel placement in order to ensure sending highly targeted content to prospects. We also described the perfect-but-nearly-impossible ideal scenario where a lead enters the funnel, scores to the MQL threshold, gets handed over to the sales team and immediately becomes a closed-won opportunity. While we can daydream about that, it’s important to expect and plan for the many detours that leads take through the funnel.

The Gold Standard Lifecycle is built using Marketo’s Revenue Cycle Modeler as the visual representation and tracking mechanism for prospects moving through the funnel. In order to maximize flexibility and benefits such as date stamping, Digital Pi builds a robust Lifecycle Engine Program using a customized Lifecycle channel and a series of campaigns to process and manage movements through the funnel.

It’s important to note that while the Lifecycle stages have a high correlation to, and often a dependency upon, the Lead Status field values, they are in fact a different entity. The Lifecycle stages represent different milestone stages of the demand funnel such as Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), Sales Accepted Lead (SAL), while a lead or contact status is an indicator of how a record is currently dispositioned (i.e. Raw, Working). Often a change in status can trigger a movement through the funnel, just as a change in score can drive a record closer to the MQL Lifecycle stage.

While there are certainly a series of standard and commonly applicable Lifecycle stages, the Digital Pi Strategy team engages with all stakeholders to gain a deep understanding of the business and its requirements, gaps in the current process, and make recommendations that are in alignment with best practices and business goals.

Since the Lifecycle is what largely, if not entirely, drives the sync from Marketo to SFDC and manages the handoff between marketing and sales, it’s a central component of any Marketo implementation and Gold Standard architecture and warrants extensive discussion, orchestration, and testing. Establishing a sound demand funnel and movement triggers make for an intelligent and highly integrated system. This, in turn, enables easy reporting and insights into funnel volume, conversion, and velocity data.

With all the key puzzle pieces locked in and working together, the final pièce de résistance comes in the form of a series of reports that satisfy the business insight needs for all players from Marketing Ops to CMOs. Stay tuned for the final blog in the series to learn more about the Digital Pi Gold Standard approach to reporting.

Anxious to learn more about the Gold Standard? Check out this info, or contact us at

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At Digital Pi, we use technology to connect revenue to marketing efforts. We fuse marketing strategies, processes, data and applications to make marketing technology solutions work for clients' businesses.

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