Marketing automation is really a misleading term. The technology behind it wasn’t really designed just for marketing. It was to bridge the gap between marketing and sales to drive high-quality leads from marketing into sales so that sales can focus its finite time on real opportunities.
Aligning sales and marketing can be difficult. If you think about some of the challenges marketers commonly face when investing in marketing automation, is somehow surprising to find that resistance from the sales department is a very common challenge. One of the reasons for that is likely because of the name as it says marketing, not sales. But that’s not the case.
Among its many benefits, the sales department equally has a share of that benefit. Always.
If you’re a marketer, one of the reasons you are investing in marketing automation should be to align the efforts between your marketing and sales departments. These two departments in any organization can be better described more like cats and dogs and the challenge is to get them into one cage to work together.
Some sales reps believe marketing automation is a marketing-only thing. This is not true. Sales can also benefit from the numerous benefits marketing automation has to offer and here’s how.
1. Get rid of cold calling
Your marketing team already has tools to nurture leads until they’re ready for sales or to be dismissed. This process generates well-qualified leads that have displayed buying intent-meaning you spend your time in front of prospects who are ready to buy instead of cold calling.
As a result, you’ll spend less time with inefficient and unproductive cold calls and more time in front of prospects who’ve raised a qualified hand. This is only possible with marketing automation in place and it’s a real powerful tool in the hands of your sales department.
2. Call the right lead
It definitely pays to know exactly which leads to call. Calling the wrong lead can be devastating for your business in every way. Customer intelligence dashboards literally guide you through your prospect’s journey, showing you exactly what each lead cares about, what content they’ve viewed, the keywords they have searched on, and what actions they’ve taken while on your website.
This kind of knowledge lets you effectively tailor your conversations and talk to each prospect about their specific needs.
3. Calling at the right time
Knowing which leads to call and what to talk about is not enough. Knowing when to call is equally important. Marketing automation helps you keep tabs on where each prospect is in the buying cycle through real-time behavioral tracking, lead scoring, and alerts. This means you will know when someone is thinking about your company. Plus, you can even set alerts that inform you when a particular buyer is on a specific page.
At any given time, 97% of your website visitors are unknown.
It’s a good time to get rid of leads who aren’t ready to buy or missing out on leads whose buying windows close before you can contact them. For example, you can get an alert that a buyer you’re working with is studying a page with in-depth information about a product other than the one you’ve been discussing.
All in real-time.
That could lead to a whole new sales opportunity for the sales team.
4. Shorten the sales cycle
Research shows that nurtured leads close faster and generate larger deals. Your marketing team feeds prospects with just the content and information they need, guiding them through the buying cycle.
When a lead exhibits strong buying signals, it gets passed to sales. Marketing automation gives marketing teams the muscle they need to more effectively nurture leads, drawing them through the funnel more quickly and delivering more highly qualified leads to sales. Companies that invest in marketing automation solutions see 70% faster sales cycle times.
5. Use Email more productively
Everything you’ve worked for has been to get to this point. Email remains the most effective marketing channel for both conversion and retention. Using marketing automation, sales reps can automatically send the right personalized messages to the right prospects at the most optimal time.
With this, trigger emails can be customized and launched based on specific actions;
- Signing up for a newsletter or
- Downloading a particular piece of content
All to keep prospects engaged and by integrating with your CRM, all email communications (automated or otherwise) are captured in your activity history for each lead.
A successful path should shorten sales cycles and increase ROI, as sales reps now have the time, energy and resources to close more deals.
Marketing automation is sales’ most secret weapon.
Imagine having real-time visibility of your buyer’s journey and the ability to tailor communications to prospects based on their unique interests and needs. With marketing automation, you can. In fact, there’s no better way to increase the quality and quantity of leads, optimize resource time, and boost revenue.
When salespeople have access to real-time intelligence and a solid foundation for applying it, they can quickly and effectively engage with their hottest prospects (and even their most elusive ones) and close more deals in less time.