Zak Pines | March 2, 2018

How Acuity Prospered with Pardot & Close.io

 

Background on Acuity


Zak:
Could you start by telling us about Acuity? 

Brooke: Acuity is a modern-day bookkeeping team that helps businesses keep their financial engine running smoothly. We provide everything from basic bookkeeping, payroll and invoice processing to CFO and Controller services. They even offer niche services such as accounting for cryptocurrency. Acuity is fantastic because their services truly scale alongside their client’s business.

Zak: What are your main areas of responsibility at Acuity? 

Brooke: I’m focused on building Acuity’s digital marketing strategy. This includes creating a strong brand and website, along with campaigns and an impactful marketing automation strategy. 

 

Sales & Marketing at Acuity 

Zak: Who are Acuity’s customers? 

Brooke: Acuity’s customers include technology companies, small businesses, legal firms, and fitness, services. Because Acuity scales up or down, we support bookkeeping for organizations large and small. More concretely, Acuity gives many business owners peace of mind about the day-to-day tasks of bookkeeping.

Zak: What is your approach to marketing, both for your company and customers?

Brooke: I believe in having a healthy alignment between sales and marketing. At Acuity our sales team reaches out to leads proactively and our marketing team will nurture and engage those leads. While our sales team uses a lot of outbound methods, we also use a lot of inbound marketing strategies such as offering e-books and running partner webinars that bring value to customers.

Zak: How do the sales and marketing teams support each other?

Brooke: Coordination and alignment are key. When you have marketing handing off leads to sales and sometimes vice versa, you want to prevent overlap in communication.

 

Sales & Marketing Systems

Zak: What are the key sales & marketing applications at Accuity? 

Brooke: We’ve used Pardot for three years because it’s great for marketing automation, scoring, and nurture programs. Pardot also lets you automatically assign leads, which really helps marketing align with sales. 

We were originally using Salesforce as CRM, but in 2017 we switched to Close.io as it seemed to be a better fit for our sales process. Our sales process is often high velocity so the team wanted a CRM that was simple and quick to use. Sales productivity was a key criteria in that decision to switch to Close.io for CRM.

Zak: So as you switched from Salesforce to Close.io, how did you approach integrating Pardot and Close?

Brooke: I knew that integration was a must-have. As a marketer, it’s critical that our marketing automation and CRM systems are acting as one, so sales and marketing team can stay in lock-step.

We really needed to sync contacts, opportunities, and account information between the two systems. We also needed to sync custom fields as a lot of key data that we manage on prospects and customers is housed on custom fields. When you’re cleaning up books, it’s important to establish and maintain trust, and one of the main ways we do that is by staying organized ourselves.

  

The Pardot Close.io Integration 

Zak: What options did you consider for integrating Pardot and Close?

Brooke: We looked at Zapier, Boomi, and other software providers, but once we got into it we chose Bedrock Data for a few reasons. 

Bedrock met all of our requirements, for the breadth of objects we wanted to sync and the support for custom fields. Although Close is a complicated system, we found Bedrock Data’s mapping solution to be a good fit. 

We also wanted software that was well supported, as we knew the integration between these two systems was not going to be super easy. That’s turned out to be the right decision, as Bedrock Data has phenomenal customer support. In software, issues are bound to arise, and Bedrock has been great at resolving issues and dealing with the tricky nature of Close. 

And lastly the price was right. Bedrock came at a price that made sense and still gave us lots of cost savings in switching from Salesforce to Close.

Zak: What are your key integration use cases between Pardot and Close?

Brooke: First off, we sync qualified leads from Pardot to Close. We also bring sales input leads and contacts from Close over to Pardot. Bedrock keeps the data de-duplicated in both directions which is important for a clean sales and marketing database. 

Another key use case for us is sales visibility within Close to key marketing data. To help achieve this, we created a last touch field to identify whether our last touch was a webinar, email, or other marketing channel.

Account data also syncs from Close back to Pardot. This helps Acuity in building smart lists based on status (e.g. customer) so we can deliver the right messages to the right segments of our database. We create different Pardot smart lists based on status, which keeps our sales and marketing communications very well coordinated.

Zak: What are the benefits to you of having Bedrock Data in place? 

Brooke: Accuracy, timeliness, trust, and consistency. Bedrock Data helps keep our marketing and sales teams aligned at every stage of the customer lifecycle. 

Leads get to sales in a timely manner, which is key for follow-up. On the marketing side, we know our marketing automation is using the latest data from the CRM side. We know the information is up-to-date and we’re not getting duplicate records. 

And because of how well our sales and marketing teams are able to work together, Acuity is doing extremely well as a business. Our marketing revenue has increased 266% and the company has nearly tripled in size. 

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