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Salesforce.com's Pardot Helps Field Nation Work the Field
The freelance-management platform provider feeds its sales team high-quality leads with Pardot's marketing automation system
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Field Nation, a management platform for freelancers and employers, aims to be the "contingent work hub for business," and as such strives to "punch above its weight," says Billy Cripe, the company's chief marketing officer. Founded in 2008, the company reaches 65,000 independent contractors in the North American region and competes with Web sites such as Upwork.com and Freelancer.com.

When Cripe joined the company in 2013 as its first chief marketing officer and 22nd employee, the engineer-led operation, which had gained exposure on the strength of its technology, was carrying out little in the way of marketing. The company had underdeveloped processes in place; salespeople were making light use of SugarCRM and still relying on Excel spreadsheets, which gave them few actionable insights to work with. "Some folks were sending emails, and of course salespeople were doing their own prospecting and demand generation, but that was about it," Cripe says.

Field Nation knew it had to install a formal process to help it target and reach prospects more efficiently, and the company wanted to be able to trace all incoming information to a "single source of truth," Cripe says. "Everything—from the demand and marketing, through sales pipeline to customer nurture and growth—had to be reflected back in one technology ecosystem." So after uprooting its current system and replacing it with a Salesforce.com platform, Field Nation sought a marketing solution with a deep Salesforce integration. After considering solutions from the likes of Marketo, Hubspot, and Eloqua, Field Nation settled on Pardot for the robust capabilities it offers to small, do-it-yourself marketing teams.

With few difficulties surrounding implementation, Field Nation had the technology up and running by early 2014 and was immediately able to begin tracking its marketing operations more closely, with the marketing team testing the success of email campaigns, landing page results, and audience segmentations.

Prior to Pardot, Field Nation had no way of tracking engagement and seeing, through analytics, what did and didn’t work; with Pardot, the results were immediate, Cripe says. "One of our goals on the marketing team and the demand generation team is to increase the volume and value of demand we're delivering to sales," Cripe says. "Before Pardot, we had a lot of pollution and dilution in our demand pipeline—a lot of junk in there that came from old-school spray-and-pray email marketing."

The earliest analytics indicated a pipeline acceleration of more than 100 percent. And according to Cripe, first-quarter results from 2015 compared to first-quarter results from 2014 show that improvements were holding up a year after deployment. Since 2014, the company has had a 123 percent boost in lead volume and a 237 percent growth in converted leads. "That means we're getting higher-quality demand," Cripe says. Furthermore, Field Nation saw a 241 percent increase in the value of opportunities forecast by the sales team. These impressive results were capped by a 20 percent increase in sales team productivity.

Now with a workforce of more than 100 employees, Field Nation in May bought out its competitor Field Solutions and has plans for further expansion. And with that growth comes a demand for more powerful tools: The company is now piloting Pardot's Engage product, which Cripe refers to as "Pardot on steroids." The solution provides real-time analytics surrounding email engagement. "It really drives a granular view of what a particular prospect is doing and when they are ready for a phone call." —Oren Smilansky

The Payoff

Using Salesforce Pardot, from the first quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2015, Field Nation has seen:

  • a 123 percent increase in lead volume;
  • a 237 percent increase in sales-qualified (converted) leads;
  • a 241 percent increase in sales-forecast dollar value; and
  • a 20 percent increase in sales team productivity.

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