Pardot, HubSpot, Marketo, Infusionsoft... the list goes on and on. These inbound marketing / automation platforms all have their strengths and weaknesses, but that is an argument for another day. One thing they do have in common, however, is that they can improve your sales team effectiveness.
This may seem a bit contradictory as they are all marketing platforms, but they also help to close the gap between marketing and sales.
For many companies, it is common practice for a prospect to reach out for the first time via contact form or phone call. Once labeled as a 'Marketing Qualified Lead' they are forwarded directly on to the sales team with nothing more than a name, email address and phone number.
Not having more robust marketing automation software installed can be a missed opportunity for your sales team to gain access to vital prospect details.
Imagine the following situation:
You own a residential solar panel installation company. A new prospect, Andy, finds your site after reading a newspaper article on the money he could save by going solar. He isn't looking to buy at this time but he is interested. While poking around your site he fills out a form to download an ebook called 'Top 10 Reasons to Go Solar'. This action triggers a 3-month email campaign that sends him blog posts and helpful content every few weeks. Two months later he receives a special offer via email and decides to hit your site again, this time looking at your pricing page and installation process. Andy now fills out a contact form to learn more.
Due to the initial content download, automated email workflow, and return visit tracking you now have a much clearer picture of Andy's mindset. Your team will already know he is fairly informed on the benefits of going solar and he has viewed pricing and process information.
So what is the end result?
Your associate's conversation with the prospect will now be more focused and personable as you begin the selling process. This can help speed up your sales cycle and reduce the friction between marketing and sales as everyone becomes more confident in the lead qualifying process.