Marketing Automation Isn’t Just for Marketing: How Sales Can Benefit, Too

Let’s clear something up: “Marketing” automation is a bit of a misnomer.

When the first marketing automation technologies entered the market, they were built to solve specific marketing challenges—sending email campaigns, managing social media accounts, tracking customer journeys, creating a blog, etc. But as marketing’s role evolved, the lines that divided sales and marketing technology began to blur.

marketing-automationToday, those lines are no longer blurred—they’ve fused together.  

Marketing is still sending email campaigns designed to add leads to the top of the funnel—and sales still wants those leads. But it’s not about quantity: It’s about fit and quality. It’s about visibility, intelligence, measurement, and real-time optimization. And for any of that to happen, sales and marketing must align not just around process and strategy, but also technology.

Where Does this Leave Marketing Automation Technologies?

To adapt to this world, modern marketing automation platforms must become bigger pieces of a larger solution that’s designed help everyone—sales, marketing, leadership—make more informed decisions.

Many marketing automation platforms have attempted to solve this challenge with robust integrations, Salesforce connectors, and partner ecosystems. While that approach has certainly helped in some areas, even the best integration strategies can’t address the realities that disparate sales and marketing technologies don’t always play together nicely.

Lead scoring models can be different. Attribution can be spotty. And analytics aren’t always accurate.

This leaves marketing automation platforms in a weird spot. While they continue to add value to marketing teams, a clear gap exists if those platforms are unable to marry the intelligence they generate with the insight hiding in sales technologies.

The Solution: A Single, Fully Connected Technology Stack

By contrast, a fully-integrated platform—one that fuses sales and marketing automation with other sales technologies into one seamless package—closes that loop. This ensures data is pure and revenue can be easily tied back to specific marketing investments and activities.

The clear benefits of this approach include:

  • Cleaner, more actionable reporting and analytics: By seamlessly integrating customer transactional data, predictive models, and behavioral lead analysis, it becomes far easier to identify which specific channels and investments drive real value.
  • Simpler collaboration across teams and tools: When sales and marketing teams speak the same language and live in the same set of tools, sales reps can see (and use) content and messages with a proven track record, and marketers have the visibility to see which campaigns are accelerating the sales cycle.
  • Lead scoring that’s actually reliable: Most marketing leaders today understand the importance of lead scoring, but many are still struggling to create models that align with the criteria sales teams use to “quality” leads. When your technology stack is fully integrated, this conversation becomes a lot easier—largely because every system is speaking the same language and treating leads the same way.

At the end of the day, marketing and sales teams—and the technology they rely on—succeed or fail together.

To thrive, sales teams need all the data and behavioral analytics marketing can uncover about each prospect. At the same time, marketing teams need visibility into the sales process, so they can adjust their efforts and investments based on what’s working (and what’s not).

For that relationship to work, sales and marketing teams can’t live in silos, and neither can their technologies. So, as you scope out marketing automation vendors, pay close attention to their integration strategies with core sales technologies. The tighter the connection, the easier it will be to deliver the most possible value to your friends on the sales side of the business.

By Erik Kaiser | April 11th, 2018 | Marketing Automation

About the Author: Erik Kaiser

Erik Kaiser

Erik Kaiser has been working in the marketing automation space since 2006 with a focus on driving customer success & adoption.  His clients say he has a knack for taking sophisticated/complex tools and making accessible to his clients. When he is not driving customer success, he enjoys photography and playing cooperative board games.