Do you use your marketing automation platform simply to blast emails? While this is a glaring underutilization of a powerful and feature-rich platform, Gleanster says, this is what 75% of new users do.
That said, marketing automation is an essential part of the lead to money process that works to help sales close deals as effectively and as quickly as possible.
According to Gartner, companies that have a well-defined lead management process see a 10% increase in revenue. Marketing automation can help you get this bump in revenue provided you use it right.
Also, marketing’s primary task of lead generation is ever more important at a time when 80% of website visitors stay anonymous and 57% of the buying process occurs before the traditional sales cycle kicks in. Whether you are considering a marketing automation platform or are a new user, here are three things that can help make marketing automation a success in your company.
Train and Develop Power Users
Often marketing automation platforms are under-utilized because you don’t have the right resources. Employ from the growing pool of specialized demand generation professionals. Top performers are 15x more likely to hire demand generation professionals to bridge the gap between marketing and sales, says Gleanster.
Make your demand generation team the key stakeholder in marketing automation. They should own it, be responsible for deriving value out of it, and work towards bringing about greater marketing and sales alignment. Ultimately, they should use the platform to deliver truly qualified leads that sales can immediately qualify as sales opportunities, through a combination of lead nurturing, lead scoring, and lead qualification.
Train and invest in power users: utilize vendor training and consultations, send them to workshops, user group events, vendor conferences etc. Also, expose them to customers so that they better understand the customer buying cycle, customer pain points, and customer needs.
Sales Teams Should Absolutely Be Given Access to Marketing Automation
Marketing automation delivers empowering information on leads; accurate, real-time, and never before has it been so readily available. Many marketers fail to pass on this real-time lead intelligence to sales. Marketing automation can increase sales productivity by 14.5%, says Nucleus Research.
Marketing automation when tightly integrated with CRM becomes a robust part of sales enablement, giving sales reps a constant source of lead intelligence they can leverage in a reliable, repeatable, and predictable fashion.
For this, sales teams should be granted access to marketing automation. Sales reps can then glean rich information on the prospects they are pursuing such as:
- Complete lead history and intelligence that help connect the dots about each lead through the entire sales cycle.
- Lead actions such as activity on your website, email actions, and social actions.
- A lead’s renewed interest in a certain product.
- The number of times a certain lead checked out your pricing page.
- Manage hyper-targeted campaigns with zero dependence on marketing.
- A sudden surge in search volume of certain keywords.
Sales can leverage this powerful information to immediately connect with hot prospects who actively seek information. According to InsideSales.com, 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first.
Measure ROI Metrics
Marketing automation platforms can be overwhelming at times, given the number of functionalities and reporting metrics available. The key is to focus on a handful of top metrics that showcase marketing’s dollar value to the C-suite.
More than ever before, marketing departments are being urged to shoulder revenue responsibility and bring about accountability. Unless marketers start to deliver ROI to the enterprise, they will see their budgets cut. It’s not enough to just invest in marketing automation; you need to focus on ROI. 69% of companies using marketing automation and ROI metrics registered an increase in total marketing revenue contribution, says research from the Lenskold Group.
Measure potential revenue from each lead, marketing’s overall contribution to the sales pipeline, and campaign ROI. These metrics will get your CEO’s attention, help showcase marketing’s contribution to revenue, and legitimize your company’s investment in marketing automation.
Considering an investment in marketing automation? Check out this pre-purchase checklist for marketing automation.