When most people talk about marketing automation, the discussion is usually centered around how this powerful software can help attract consumers, engage prospects, and turn solid leads into genuine opportunities. What often gets left out of the conversation, however, is how Sales can reap the benefits of marketing automation to have more productive conversations with more interested leads who are more inclined to make a purchase and remain loyal customers and brand advocates.
And therein lies the true beauty of marketing automation: At long last, this technology has officially squashed the age-old beef between Marketing and Sales! (Well, maybe that’s a bit generous, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.)
Let’s take a closer look at how marketing automation can help bring Sales and Marketing together at long last!
Improve Data and Visibility
Modern organizations are far more concerned with hard data than old stories and gut feelings, which is one reason marketing automation is such a good fit for businesses of all shapes, sizes, and industries. Whereas data used to be manually collected from disparate channels and then clumsily cobbled together, marketing automation can aggregate accurate and attributable data from disparate channels to trigger personalized campaigns and provide a clearer picture of your holistic efforts. And when you integrate it with a trusted CRM, you can gain visibility into the entire sales cycle — from that initial website visit to the closed deal to customer evangelism.
For instance, you can use marketing automation to collect crucial information that allows you to track user behaviors (page visits, webinar attendance, content downloads, etc.) and then nurture those prospects with remarketing initiatives, automated email campaigns, and increased attention on their preferred social media platforms. If your marketing automation platform is connected to your CRM system, you can filter all of these interactions to your Sales team who can use this visibility to better understand the prospective customer and tailor a more informed game plan that they can leverage when the time is right.
Marketing automation isn’t just for new leads, either. In many ways, your existing customers are actually far more important than any potential business you might land because they, y’know… already exist. You can use marketing automation to collect customer behavior and engagement data and then use that information to coordinate with your account management team to formulate effective retention, advocacy, and upsell programs (always taking care to segment your audiences, of course).
Regardless of whether we’re talking about promising leads or loyal customers, the point is that building a dependable and user-friendly MarTech stack with marketing automation as your foundation helps sales and marketing teams to take a more holistic approach to the sales funnel. So when Prospect A performs Action B they’re hit with Campaign C — and everyone has transparent visibility into those activities for more targeted marketing and productive sales conversations.
Personalize Your Outreach
All of this awesome data and visibility gives marketers the power to create and deliver more personalized messaging and content through advanced segmentation. When you understand your customer’s motivations, you can beat them to the punch by delivering highly targeted campaigns and outreach in anticipation of their pain points and actions. And it’s this level of personalization that brings great customer journeys to life.
Let’s say someone clicks on a Google ad and downloads a specific piece of content, you can then filter them into a topic-based automated nurture email campaign. Once they begin to engage with your emails (opens, clicks, conversions, etc.), you can review those behaviors to gain an even clearer understanding of what they’re interested in and how your products and services might benefit them.
Assuming you’ve integrated your CRM with your marketing automation platform, your sales team can also use the information collected through your marketing efforts to personalize their touchpoints. They might want to share a specific piece of content with them on LinkedIn, for example. Or they might send an email mentioning how they noticed that they registered for one of your upcoming webinars and reminding them of the key details. And, of course, armed with this behavioral and demographic data, they can prepare themselves for more engaging phone conversations.
Perhaps most importantly (at least for content marketers like me), marketing automation helps improve your content strategy because it helps you understand what’s working and what’s not. In the modern age, relevancy is the name of the game, and marketing automation empowers marketers and salespeople to deliver relevant content and information to interested audiences. Is a certain blog, eBook, or webinar not getting great results? Give it an honest look, sunset or update (if salvageable) the asset, and modify your efforts moving forward.
Pass Warmer Leads to Sales
For most organizations, the ultimate goal is more sales and more revenue. But it’s not as simple as placing a product in front of a consumer and asking them if they want to buy it. You have to attract potential consumers with great brand marketing, establish credibility and gain trust through educational and engaging thought leadership content, and then guide your prospects along a compelling and informative customer journey. If you’re unable to accomplish all three, you’re not going to succeed as a marketing department because your sales team won’t have the information they need to convert leads into customers.
This is where marketing automation comes in. The right platform will have all the tools and features you need to accomplish the goals you set forth in your marketing plan. Unlike traditional email service providers (ESPs), marketing automation helps you go far beyond email marketing to execute at every level of the customer journey. Quality platforms like Act-On have everything you need to capture and nurture great leads to fuel your demand generation efforts and get those prospects in the door — including website prospector, the SEO audit tool, landing page builder, adaptive forms for progressive lead capture, and alerts to notify your salespeople when a lead takes an important action.
All of these unique features help provide sales teams with much-needed air cover as they attempt to drive more opportunities, wins, and revenue. They work together to build a relationship between the prospect and your organization, turning cold prospects into hot leads that are more inclined to listen to what your sales staff has to say and become legitimate opportunities.
Save Time, Resources, and Headaches
The bottom line is that marketing automation is extremely effective. It’s also extremely efficient and can help your sales and marketing teams save time and resources — allowing them to focus on developing the creative and persuasive techniques that make them so good at their jobs. And while marketing automation is often linked most closely to email marketing, it’s capable of so much more (like, a lot more).
For example, in addition to automated email campaigns, marketers can use the software to:
- Automate organic and paid social media campaigns
- Track website activity and behavior
- Dynamically deliver personalized content
- Score and segment leads
- Develop and execute remarketing campaigns
- Gather and distribute actionable data
Likewise, marketing automation can make salespeople’s lives so much easier by:
- Eliminating cold calls
- Providing useful information for productive conversations
- Accelerating the sales cycle
- Allowing them to troubleshoot in real-time
- Building trust prior to interaction
- Centralizing lead information
As you can see, marketing automation (especially when integrated with a CRM system) allows one hand to wash the other. Marketing gets to attract and nurture leads on their own terms while sales can do their job with more engaged leads. And it does so efficiently, saving everyone time and resources and eliminating unnecessary manual labor that previously led to added stress.
Integrate Act-On With Your MarTech Stack for Better Results Across the Board!
Well, there you have it. Marketing automation isn’t just for marketers; it’s helpful for your entire organization!
And if you really want to take things to the next level, you should explore all the different ways you can integrate third-party tools to build out a lean, mean revenue-generating machine. While we’re on the subject, Act-On has more than 250 APIs and integrations — including native integrations with several of the leading CRM systems, such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, SugarCRM, and Pipeliner (just to name a few).
If you’re not sure how connecting your marketing automation software with a CRM system can improve your bottom line, please download our eBook, “How to Automate Your Marketing Your Marketing With a CRM System.” It’s full of great information about how integrating your CRM system with a marketing automation platform helps businesses:
- Enable sales and marketing alignment
- Generate, nurture, and pass leads more effectively
- Gain more visibility into the sales cycle
- Achieve greater ROI and track results
To learn more, please book a demo with one of our marketing automation experts!