Lead Lifecycle in Marketo – How to set yours up

As we roll-out new marketing activities it is easy to focus solely on the production part and not putting as much focus on minimizing your workload when changes are necessary. Thinking a few steps ahead will save you loads of time in the future. A more long-living process to maintain and optimize over time is the Lead Lifecycle and Revenue Cycle Model.

Here are some tips on how to set yours up:

Setting up a Revenue Model in Marketo

Creating a new Revenue Model in Marketo and defining transitions may take some time depending on how your organization is set up, how your sales department handles leads and also because the tool for creating the setup in Marketo requires defining a trigger for every stage change.

To minimize the production time you can define each transition with the trigger Manual Stage Change. This means that you are manually changing the revenue stage with a Smart Campaign. I would recommend this as it gives you a better overview of your campaigns in Marketing Activities. It also makes it infinitely easier to tweak smart campaigns rather than having to go back to the RCM.

Setting up a Lead Lifecycle program in Marketo

Once you approve your Revenue Cycle Model, you are ready to set up the brains of your program. This is done in Marketing Activities with a Default Program used solely for Lead Lifecycle. The flow steps for stage changes should not be used anywhere else in your instance.

Define one Smart Campaign for every stage change. To simplify the overview use a clear folder structure:

  • Success Path (Main horizontal green line in your Revenue Model)
  • Fast Tracks (Sending a lead faster up the line based on specific triggers that determine sales readiness)
  • Detours (For example: disqualification, recycling and lost deals)

More on Naming Conventions and Program Structure here

Pro-tip: Custom channel for Lead Lifecycle

Most of these program types (Lead Scoring, Data Management) should be under a default channel Operational. These should excluded in reporting of your Marketo programs.

Try setting up a Custom Channel under Admin for Lead Lifecycle and define Program Statuses according to your Revenue Model. Use an identical step number for each stage to allow leads moving backwards when changing status (e.g. when recycled). This process allows you to define success, usually when a lead:

  • Becomes a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL): Marketing hands over a qualified lead to sales = Success for Marketing
  • Is Won: Sales closes the deal = Success for Sales & Marketing

To minimize long flow steps (and manual work), I would recommend using one Smart Campaign with a trigger for Revenue Stage is Changed to change Program Status with choices corresponding to the stage, like this:

This allows for a quick overview of your leads in the program view of your Lead Lifecycle program:

That is all you need to get going, feel free to let me know if you have any questions!