Share Your Marketing Stack: How Qorus Software uses martech to drive the customer journey
Qorus Software is a proposal management and document automation platform that plugs into the Microsoft Office suite. Fundamentally, their product was created to help businesses be more efficient when generating and managing content, and they fully understand the benefits of leveraging technology to help their marketing and sales teams be more productive.
Heather Thompson, senior VP of marketing for Qorus, is primarily responsible for managing marketing tools and technology. Thompson says, “[O]ur approach to marketing and business development, and the tools we use, are born from the understanding that technology can help us do more with less; collaborate easily; produce better content; and gather information about, and reach our audience more easily.”
In addition, Thompson says that the sales, IT operations, support and product teams also play important roles in managing the technology they use in their marketing stack:
- Sales is primarily responsible for the CRM.
- IT operations supports key foundation technologies such as Office 365.
- Support is responsible for Zendesk and Qorus.
- Product supports other technologies such as Recurly.
The ease of collaboration through cloud-based solutions is critical to Qorus’s business. With multiple offices in the US, the UK and in South Africa, they way Qorus built their marketing stack allows teams to work with each other, customers and partners seamlessly. It’s also enabled the creation of a flexible and remote working policy, a benefit that’s appealed to the marketing team and other employees.
Layering other technologies on top of its own product to manage business development content assets, the company follows the guiding “principles of inbound marketing and uses tech to ensure a seamless customer journey from marketing to sales.”
The framework of this marketing stack
The following four areas are vital to Qorus, and they use tech to accelerate internal processes in each of these areas, using Scribe to integrate them as much as possible.
- CMS/marketing automation — HubSpot
- CRM — Microsoft Dynamics
- Sales enablement/content sharing between sales and marketing — Qorus
- Collaboration and productivity — Office 365 and Smartsheet
Key tools & products
HubSpot — Qorus Software uses HubSpot to streamline all of their marketing. The website is built in HubSpot, data is stored in it, and all social media is scheduled through it. HubSpot allows Qorus to measure every single activity and enables reporting from several angles, including by audience segment or persona. HubSpot integrates with SurveyMonkey, GoToWebinar and AdRoll, plus all of their social channels and CRM system.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM — The business has invested heavily in Microsoft technology, using Office 365, Azure and SharePoint Online. Qorus is also a Microsoft partner, and their products integrate with Microsoft solutions. The Microsoft Dynamics CRM integrates with HubSpot and Qorus (via Scribe), enabling the Qorus team to streamline and tailor the creation of business development content. Thompson adds, “[I]t also allows us to better manage the marketing funnel and automatically hand over leads to the sales team when certain criteria have been met. The bi-direction sync between CRM and HubSpot enables us to closely manage integrated data.”
Qorus — Not surprisingly, the team reports great success using their own product. Thompson says this about the main features of the product: “We use the content library to store and manage all BD content, including brochures, flyers, case studies, pitch decks, proposal content and RFP responses. The library is accessed directly from Outlook, Word and PowerPoint, connecting our content to the places we work.” (Qorus Add-ins are available from the Microsoft Office Store.)
SmartSheet — The team added SmartSheet to the marketing stack recently. It’s a cloud app for project management and collaboration that enables them to track all projects, campaigns, costs and outcomes.
Thompson raves about its organizational capabilities. “It gives us a view of each quarter and month, enabling us to manage our entire strategy from a single point. We use it to project manage our blog, digital campaigns, events, webinars and social strategies. It gives us a calendar and Gantt view and ensures we are super organized, predictable and able to pivot, adapt, improve and enhance what we are doing all the time — allowing me to spend less time managing people and more time working on strategy.”
PowerBI — Another Microsoft tool, Power BI is a suite of business analytics tools used to recognize patterns and develop insights. “It integrates with the Dynamics CRM and Google Analytics but not HubSpot yet. It’s a great tool to present data visually,” adds Thompson.
Office 365 — Qorus’s entire business migrated to Office 365 earlier this year. This enabled all of their teams from around the world to collaborate on content easily and led to the introduction of a flexible working policy, which has been very beneficial to the marketing team.
Managing the customer journey
At the top of the marketing funnel, Qorus uses a wide range of tech to manage content creation and distribution through social media, online advertising, search, review sites and press offices. These activities help build awareness and encourage initial engagement, such as a download of an e-book or case study.
Middle of funnel
Once a prospect has engaged with content on the Qorus site, they are nurtured through the funnel with a tailored flow of messages, automated by Hubspot. Supporting services are used to create content in the form of surveys and webinars.
As prospects get deeper into the consideration cycle, automatic lead scoring is applied, and campaigns are evaluated for effectiveness and optimized.
Bottom of funnel
As prospects near the bottom of the funnel, Thompson says “it’s vital that our sales and marketing teams can collaborate effectively. We use Qorus to collaborate on and around business development content. It enables the marketing team to retain control of messaging and branding, but empowers our sales team to generate their own pitches and proposals very quickly.”
In addition, says Thompson, “the platform is integrated with Microsoft Dynamics CRM and makes use of data tags and business rules to tailor and recommend the best content. We also use it to store RFP answers.”
To further accelerate internal processes, Qorus uses Office 365 and Smartsheet to manage project deadlines, along with SharePoint Online for collaboration. Recurly is a subscription billing management service. From there, the company uses Zendesk and Amity for customer care and support, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM for ongoing account management.
Submit your marketing stack
Want to share your marketing stack with fellow martech professionals? Here’s how:
- Design a 16:9 (minimum 1920 x 1080 pixels) visual representation of your organization’s marketing stack, and submit it in a high-resolution PPTX, PDF or JPEG format.
- Please include the following details as applicable:
- Include a paragraph or two that describes the rationale behind the way you’ve organized your stack and any guiding principles that you feel are important in its architecture.
- Explicitly name as many tools and commercial products as possible. You may use some generic placeholders (e.g., CRM, DMP) for products that you do not wish to disclose, but fully detailed stacks offer more tangible visualizations for the martech industry.
- Include a brief sentence for each key product that explains how or why your organization uses those tools.
- Name and note the roles of key managers and/or departments involved with managing various components of your marketing stack.
- Email your marketing stack and brief description to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As an extra incentive, every submitted stack will be automatically considered in the 2017 Stackie Awards competition, presented by Scott Brinker at the MarTech USA marketing technology conference in San Francisco, May 9–11, 2017. (We’ll be sharing additional information about the Stackie Awards in the coming weeks.)
By submitting your stack for consideration, you grant Third Door Media and its partners permission to republish and distribute the contents.