Operations management—whether IT, business, sales, marketing, etc.—has four essential main objectives:
- Develop and maintain an operational framework for the applicable business area
- Monitor critical business processes to ensure accuracy and consistency
- Provide performance reporting and insights to stakeholders
- Strategize and implement enhancements to improve efficiency and reduce cost
And in any industry, those objectives are driven by the most important goal, which is to generate revenue for the organization.
While every single task or implementation may not directly impact revenue, the outcome of small improvements over time can be substantial. After a Google search for motivational quotes, I stumbled on James Clear’s “power of tiny gains” concept. In his book Atomic Habits, Clear states, “If you get 1% better each day for a year, you’ll end up 37 times better by the time you’re done.”
Although the book is geared toward personal goals and success, it’s a concept that supports business application, as well. It might be difficult to identify what a 1% improvement looks like for Operations Management, but I believe that any number of small changes implemented consistently over time will be impactful.
I was recently able to check one of my “1% improvement” backlog ideas off the list. And as it turned out, we were even able to leverage our own IT automation product, which resulted in its own 1% better outcome.
When we noticed that web form submissions for Free Trials and Demo Requests had an excess of free mail accounts and invalid email addresses getting through—despite a single API connection to an email validator—the opportunity to improve the validation quickly made its way to the top of the list.
Obtaining a valid business email upfront allows our Sales Development (SD) team to more quickly qualify an inbound lead by identifying whether they are already associated with an existing customer or target prospect account. This upfront knowledge may help the SD rep have a meaningful conversation with a potential customer tailored to their unique needs, as well as deprioritize conversations that are unlikely to be a good fit.
While discussing this influx of non-business and invalid email submissions on a cross-divisional call, one of our senior sales engineers volunteered to help find a better solution. After a brief review of the problem and what we had in place already, Jim, the senior sales engineer came up with a plan: “I can do this in Resolve Actions. Piece of cake.”
Within a matter of minutes, Jim had set up a basic program to validate an email address against three different email validation API providers.
To give us the flexibility to maintain a list of domains to block immediately, Jim also built that check into the program and set up a UI that Marketing could use to easily maintain the static block list.
Next, we refined the program to set the correct processing order and map each email validation API response to either valid or invalid. I watched in wide-eyed wonder as Jim easily changed the processing step order and settings—literally drag-and-drop. After a couple short working sessions, we had a working validator, and we were proverbially toasting with our own champagne.
With a little help from our web developer to set up the HTTP request, we were live. While the form submit validation has a slightly longer processing time than before, its benefit is already being recognized.
Since implementation in September 2022, 25% of form submissions have been returned as invalid—1% of those were typos that were corrected and resubmitted successfully. , Without this automation, a lot of invalid emails were getting through the blockers.
The detailed, real-time log in the Resolve Actions user interface allows us to monitor the failed validations to ensure that we aren’t blocking valid domains and look for frequently failed domains and email addresses, such as ‘[email protected]’ and ‘[email protected],’ which can then be added to the static block list to avoid hits against the credit-based validation APIs.
While Marketing Automation isn’t a typical use case for Resolve Actions, the functional overlap between Marketing Ops and IT Ops allows for use cases like mine—a true testament to the platform’s flexibility. Parallels can be drawn to the IT operations world where IT must perform activities such as:
- Incident response and auto-remediation to cut through noise to limit impact of outages
- Validate, diagnose, and resolve application performance issues before they snowball and impact customer experience
- Reduce high volume false positives from utilization alarms to enable SMEs to focus their efforts on the alarms that matter
Resolve Actions offers:
- The adaptability needed to automate everything from simple tasks to complex processes that don’t fit the norm—including those that cross IT silos and environments.
- Seamless integration across your entire IT ecosystem.
- Out-of-the-box integrations and prebuilt low-/no-code automations to support hundreds of integrations, including software, hardware, security, networking, cloud, virtualization, operating system, RPA and task automation vendors.
Now that I’ve had a sip of the Resolve Actions champagne; I want more. Stay tuned to find out what other Marketing Automation use cases bubble up that I can uncork with a little help from my friends on the Resolve Sales Engineering team.