Marketing automation is a term we hear a lot today. But how does it affect the bottom line? Is it worth the investment?
Before diving into those questions, it’s important to establish how automation software ties together your marketing and sales operations. The two often treat their funnels as separate entities, but they’re really parts of one, big process.
Marketing automation software can be the glue that binds sales and marketing and focuses them both on the big picture: turning website visitors into paying customers.
Here are some ways we’ve found that marketing automation helps the B2B sales process:
1. Better data collection. Marketing automation software allows you to build a profile for a website visitor. Not only can you collect a person’s name and email but also his location, title, company, telephone number and budget. Any specific details you believe are important in qualifying a prospective customer for sales can be collected through marketing automation. This is done by providing website readers with content good enough that they’ll give you that information. This means you can build out your customer relationship management system (CRM) with all the information a sales representative needs to have an effective and educated conversation with a potential buyer.
2. List segmentation. Marketing automation helps businesses better meet the needs of potential buyers. First, you need to offer high-quality content on your website that addresses particular industry problems and offers solutions. The marketing automation software can then segment people into lists based on their online interests and behavior. This allows marketers to provide more content through targeted email nurturing. Automated email nurturing provides more content to help the potential customer make a purchasing decision. This segmentation and email nurturing helps keep people who are qualified to buy in your funnel, and segments out those who aren’t.
3. Reduced cold calling. Marketing automation puts the potential buyer in the driver’s seat. Every time a person visits a website that is designed to nurture him through the sales funnel, he is provided opportunities to give signals for when he is ready (or qualified) to move to the next stage. Cold calling is reduced, if not completely eliminated, because the website is feeding the sales representative ready-to-buy leads. All the sales representative will have to do is look at his dashboard and review a potential buyer’s information, as collected by the software. It’s then up to the sales representative to start a conversation. The best part is, by that point, the potential buyer actually wants to talk to the sales representative.
4. Shortened sales cycle. A sales cycle gets longer if you fail to provide the right materials at the right time. Marketing automation provides potential buyers the information they need when they want it. Your marketing team can better learn what materials, times, dates and other metrics convert leads at a higher rate though continuous conversion rate optimization (CRO).
Marketing automation isn’t going away. In fact, automation software companies are continuously adding and improving their features due to the high demand for such products. Most programs are now able to integrate with various CRMs. Some even have a built-in CRM, giving businesses an all-in-one solution for marketing and sales needs.
The longer you wait to start using marketing automation to help streamline the marketing and sales process, the more difficult it will be to adopt later. Besides, why wait to start closing more business?
What are your thoughts on using marketing automation? Leave a comment or fill out the contact form if you have questions about how automation can help streamline your marketing and sales process.