If you think you’re getting satisfactory results with your customer relationship management (CRM) database, then you’ll be really pleased if you add marketing automation software.
This powerful software gives business owners the benefit of timely and personalized messages to simplify and accelerate their sales and marketing efforts.
Sometimes, marketing automation has been confused with spam. Let us assure you:
Marketing automation is NOT spam
According to IDG Enterprise, more than 70 percent of businesses are using marketing automation software. IDG also found that business to business marketers have seen an increase of 20 percent in marketing automation-based sales opportunities compared with leads attained through other means.
If you’re not yet convinced that marketing automation software is for you, then here are twelve reasons you’ll want to invest in this powerful tool.
1. You can set it and then forget about it
Yeah, sure. Your CRM and most email marketing tools can be set up to tell you when someone’s celebrating an anniversary with you, or their contract is ending, and then pre-set an email to launch on that specific day.
But what happens once the customer opens the email, clicks on your link, heads to your website, requests a demo, makes a purchase, shares your product with friends on social media, and then goes on to buy a second product?
Well, aside from you celebrating your success, your marketing automation software will be connecting your email marketing and CRM tools to seamlessly track the entire progression.
The data generated from those emails will now automatically transfer across each of your systems.
2. You can “score” your prospects
Determining whether a prospect is important enough to dedicate valuable resources to will save you time and money, and improve your overall sales performance.
And as you get toward the middle and lower rungs of your prospect database, this feature is especially useful.
If you’re after a big ticket account, your marketing automation solution will gather data from your CRM database to rank that account atop your prospect scoring rankings.
3. You can organize your captured prospects.
Prospects can come from many different channels, such as social media, third-party sites, and others.
Trying to manually gather the leads from every source and pass them on to your sales team is not just time-consuming, but potentially full of human error. On top of that, your sales team has to wait at least 24 hours before contacting the leads.
And if a prospect gets lost in the collation process, then your sales team won’t ever reach out to them.
With marketing automation software, all of those prospects who come in through marketing efforts are automatically updated in a single platform. And there’s no intervention.
And no one gets lost in the shuffle.
4. You can nurture those leads based on where they stand
Marketing automation software is a whiz at developing your prospect nurturing campaign. Especially once you’ve determined whether the prospect is at the top rung, or more toward the middle.
Of course, you can manually send emails, social media requests, and write blog posts that might attract a lead. With marketing automation software, you can pre-establish a cadence, the messaging, and the deadline for when these communications need to deliver results.
In other words, you can track your customer down the sales funnel to determine if he or she is advancing, backtracking, or staying level. From this information, you then adjust your campaign so that future automated communications reflect any changes.
5. You can nab prospects with content
Content continues to be king.
Your company blog is the heart and soul of your content marketing efforts. Every piece of media – paid, earned or otherwise – should end up on your blog. You should be continually creating new content that promotes your brand and speaks to the values of your business.
Your marketing automation software will help you track, share, and design that content in a way that provides the most business value for your team.
6. You can use marketing analytics to your benefit
Don’t underestimate the importance of marketing analytics.
Marketing automation software provides the technology to help you determine things like return-on-investment (ROI), whether the customer opened and possibly forwarded your email, how the customer journeyed through your messaging, and other actions.
Armed with this data, you’re able to tailor your campaigns, increase or decrease your messaging, or ditch your idea completely.
Plus, you’ll use marketing analytics to defend your campaigns, your budget and maybe even your job to your CFO! Make sure you get as much as you can from them.
7. You can establish SLAs and a complete follow-up cadence
Each lead that marketing is driving needs to be followed up on quickly and thoroughly.
Setting up a timeframe through a service-level agreement, or SLA, can be helpful. When used with the prospect scoring in your marketing automation software we talked about above, SLAs can increase your prospect-to-opportunity ratio and enables a systematic process for follow up.
Establishing a repeatable follow-up cadence is also helpful in encouraging consistent lead follow-up. Engage prospects with valuable content, calls and emails for at least 15 days to establish a relationship.
8. You can enhance your customer data
In terms of your campaigns, it’s important to pack as much customer data as possible into your messaging, blog posts and social activity. And not just birthdays and other special days.
You can enhance your sale and marketing efforts with other important information such as:
- How often does the customer share your content?
- How much did it cost to acquire this customer?
- How influential is the customer?on social media?
Through marketing automation software, these metrics can transform your generic marketing efforts into personal and more user-specific messages.
9. Reduce response time
As mentioned above, the faster you reach out once the lead comes in, the better your chances of impressing that prospect and closing the deal.
Another plus with Marketing automation is that once a lead signs up, a personalized and instant automated response can be sent.
This can be particularly beneficial if the lead is trying to reach a specific person rather than just a “member of the sales team.” If that specific person knows each incident when a lead is assigned to him or her, then he/she can connect faster to gain the advantage.
Once the lead signs up, a personalized automated response can be instantly sent to him. Tasks can be also be automatically created for that specific person at a particular time. That way, the opportunity is not forgotten.
10. You can make it really personal (In a good way)
You’ve likely received an email or pitch that doesn’t cater to you at all.
But throw marketing automation into the mix and this is possible.
Plus, you can also pull in rich user data such as a person’s name, title and location to make it appear that the message was sent by a human.
Even better, you can use the software to pinpoint when users are more likely to open, read, and forward a message so you can then set the software to communicate at only that time.
11. You can increase cross-selling or up-selling
Don’t forget that it’s not only new prospects that generate revenue for you. Once the lead becomes a customer, then the key is to make him or her a repeat customer.
Loyalty equals income.
Marketing automation is big on nurturing relationships with existing customers through value-adding emails. These are things like special guides, free e-books, season’s greetings cards with offers; anything that makes them feel they’re getting value.
When they’re getting a value, they feel valued.
12. You can do outbound prospecting through account-based marketing
Keep in mind that business to business sales isn’t just about incoming leads and nurturing existing relationships. There needs to be a focus on driving outbound opportunities too.
With marketing automation, your sales team can identify and target accounts with the highest revenue potential and then engage them quickly. They do this using account-based marketing (ABM) to view any and all incoming leads and their relative account scores.
As noted in the SLA section above, you’ll want to follow up each day for at least 15 days. Don’t push it over 30 though. You don’t want to oversaturate your outbound target prospect.
Research from memoryBlue has found that prospects are more likely to respond after the 7th or 9th try, rather than the 2nd or 3rd. And this is what most salespeople do.
The bottom line is that marketing automation is a great way to drive collaboration and success for your sales team.
If your sales team is already using a marketing automation platform, we’d love to hear about it.