When you file your taxes online, you probably print out a hard copy for your records. You probably have offline copies of your insurance policies, your lease or mortgage, and possibly your employment contract. You keep track of these documents because that’s what a responsible adult does. You keep copies of them in case you need to review them or make a change. (Pssst…if you don’t, you should!)
The same is true when it comes to marketing automation and sales force automation (SFA) platforms. By maintaining documentation on all automated programs and other repeated processes, organizations can more effectively facilitate knowledge transfer or make changes.
The last thing a new associate should be doing is clicking around in a marketing automation platform (MAP) to see how a data hygiene or lead scoring program is built. When you hire new people or your organizational structure changes, accurate documentation can be used to get new team members up to speed. In addition, when ongoing changes and maintenance are needed, accurate documentation allowing you to tinker with different criteria and configuration before any changes are made in the production environment. Use productivity software to document programs and criteria, and make sure the documentation is easily accessible for each member of your team.
The following areas should be accurately documented at all times:
- Automated lead management programs. Automated workflow programs in MAP and SFA system are used to accomplish many aspects of lead management (e.g. lead and account scoring, nurturing, lead assignment). Offline documentation of the programs that accomplish these functions – including naming conventions, workflow steps, field and filter criteria – should be comprehensive.
- Reporting process and inputs. The demand creation report generation and socialization process can be an amalgamation of many steps from several database inputs. The process and cadence for generating demand creation reports should be documented to facilitate knowledge transfer to new associates and to include new business units when required.
- Stakeholder segmentation. Every organization has critical stakeholder audiences, which may include customers, partners, shareholders and influencers. The demand creation function is responsible for accurately segmenting important groups of stakeholders without manual intervention. Document the segmentation criteria to allow agile activation of important messaging to these audiences.
- Roles and responsibilities. Document the roles and responsibilities of the individuals that comprise the demand creation function, paying special attention to skills related to marketing and sales technologies and specialized program execution. When organizations grow and change, and new team members are added or removed, you’ll be able to spot and avoid potential duplication in essential functions or impending skills gaps.
Are you proud of your offline documentation? Share your tips and tricks by commenting below, so we can all stay productive!