The Revenue Cycle Modeler (RCM) can be said to be one of the more advanced features of Marketo. If you have been tasked to set up a lifecycle process and this is your first time doing so in Marketo, I can understand your anxiety. I went through this recently and decided to write this article so that you can avoid the common pitfalls. This is the first part of a three-part series on the RCM.
By Abdul Hafiz
Lead Marketing Technologist
the first step
In general, there are 3 types of lifecycle processes that you might work on. They are:
- Net-New Lifecycle
- Customer Lifecycle
- Partner Lifecycle
For the purpose of this article, we will focus on Net-New Lifecycle – a process that drives new leads to qualification and eventually a closed deal. You are probably familiar with this. A simplified version is shown in the below diagram.
Before you read this article any further, I will help you with the first common pitfall. That is jumping immediately into Marketo without gathering sufficient requirements from marketing and sales. Below are some questions that can aid you in defining the requirements and eventually the lifecycle process. If you have not worked this out, I suggest that you spend some time doing so.
- What are the different stages in the lifecycle process?
- What are the qualification rules for each stage?
- How do we handle people at each stage?
- What information does sales need from marketing?
- What notifications do we need to send to sales?
- What information does marketing need from sales?
- What reports do we need to generate for management?
Now that you have an idea of the lifecycle process that you wish to implement, let’s get on to the technical details.
the revenue cycle modeler
Assuming that you are done with requirements gathering and have an idea of the stages that you need, then you can proceed with implementation work on the Revenue Cycle Modeler. Note that there is no such thing as a right model as it really depends on your business needs. For the purpose of this article, we shall assume the below model. The different revenue stages and definitions are listed in the table below.
|Marketing Captured Lead (MCL)||Leads with valid email and are not competitors or students|
|Marketing Engaged Lead (MEL)||Leads with a score between 1 and 99|
|Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)||Leads with score of 100 or more|
|Sales Accepted Lead (SAL)||Leads accepted by sales for follow up|
|Opportunity||Leads with opportunity that has not closed yet|
|Opp-Won||Leads with a won opportunity|
|Opp-Lost||Leads with a lost opportunity|
|Recycled||Temporary hold to decide if a lead should be recycled back into MEL or Disqualified|
|Disqualified||Leads that are competitors, students or disqualified by sales due to other reasons|
The visual modeler in RCM looks easy
If you have read the official Marketo documentation on RCM over here, then you might think that it is something really easy to do. You can drag and drop revenue stages, connect them together with some lines and finish off by defining the transition rules between stages. If you were to do this, it will work but it might not run as smoothly as you would hope for it to. There might also be a need for additional actions such as a timestamp on certain fields to help with reporting.
It is for these reasons that I recommend building your transition logic using smart campaigns, in a separate program, outside of the visual modeler. The design that I will be explaining in the next section will bring you in good stead for the long term, allowing you to improve your model over time as requirements grow.
You can read the second part of this series here, or sign up for our newsletter below if you find such content useful for you