In October of 2014, I wrote a post about how marketing automation can improve sales effectiveness. My beliefs certainly haven't changed over these past 2.5 years, if anything they have gotten stronger. Here are my updated thoughts on how marketing automation can increase sales effectiveness.
Marketing automation acts as a sales assistant
As a salesperson, wouldn't you love to have an assistant that constantly sends helpful content to all your leads before, during and following the sales process? Marketing automation can likely even one up an additional sales hire.
Working in a complex sales role, it takes a lot on my part to educate the prospect regarding what we do and what they need to know about it. For any new prospect that converts on our site, our CRM of choice, Hubspot, is automatically nurturing them without any involvement from me. It also gives me hundreds of blog posts, dozens of download offers and more for when I want to follow up manually with custom resources just for them.
*Luckily I write some of the content myself and am involved with marketing strategy so I know what content we have available, even posts from years ago. This is KEY to ensuring marketing automation effectiveness.
Lead scoring and context to keep you focused on what's important to your business
When using marketing automation software, you can set up certain levels of criteria based on demographics and behavior that then score your leads automatically. For example for ArcStone, any leads with an IP address in Minnesota that read 2 blog posts and click on one email get a high score. Then, Hubspot sends a trigger email so that I know to reach out.
Marketing automation software also provides you with the complete history of that lead's behavior on your site, which gives you an incredible head start in terms of what types of content and case studies they are interested. I am constantly going back and reviewing leads to ensure I understand their relationship with our company.
Content and social media efficiencies
We talk a lot about the importance of content marketing for your business. As alluded to above, a tool like Hubspot keeps this content all in one place and allows you to track how specific leads are engaging with it.
What's more, expanding your social network and connecting with others is a valuable sales tool. With marketing automation, you can schedule as many posts as your want across any channels in just one place. You can even have other marketers do it for you if you don't have the time.
Developing and sharing content to your prospects shows you care about them. Beyond that, having data on that content, you get to know what they do and don't care about, allowing for a more informed relationship.