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Love to Hate You: Bridging the Gap between Sales and Marketing with Marketing Automation

Marketing

With traditional B2B marketing tools, it’s difficult to measure the impact of marketing on driving not only qualified leadsLove to Hate You: Bridging the Gap between Sales and Marketing with Marketing Automation image sales vs. marketing but increasing revenue. One “common” complaint from Sales is that Marketing isn’t turning over “good” leads.

Enter marketing automation, where Sales and Marketing come together in a common and transparent goal. Not only does marketing automation allow both Sales and Marketing to work on generating and identifying the best leads for the company, it can also significantly reduce the lead to sales time and optimize your sales department efforts.

Here are 5 ways marketing automation can help create a collaborative environment between Sales and Marketing.

Note, I’m partial to Pardot as it’s the system used by my company and my clients, but the information provided should be basic to most marketing automation systems worth their salt.

#1 TRACKING THE UNTRACKABLE

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 Google Analytics is great at providing basic insight into your website visitors, but you’d be amazed at the depth of information provided by a marketing automation system.

Marketing automation allows to you see each website page a potential customer visited, how long they were on that page and the path they took throughout your website. This is invaluable information in understanding what products or services a potential client is interested in, making the Sales connection even more meaningful when it does happen.

#2 MORE QUALIFIED LEADS TO SALES

With marketing automation you can set a scoring and grading system for each identified person that your company interacts with.  This allows the contact to go through the lead nurturing cycle at their own pace, giving them an opportunity to learn more about your company without pulling the Sales trigger too quickly.

With lead scoring, you can assign various points for each action a lead takes, from visiting a particular website page to signing up for a webinar to following one of your social media channels. This type of scoring is an easy way to follow the contact along the buying cycle as they become closer to being sales ready. The basic premise is the more a contact interacts with your company the more interested they are in your product or service. With 80% of website visitors not being sales ready upon their first visit, lead scoring reduces the risk of losing an opportunity by making contact too soon.

#3 BRINGING LAPSED LEADS BACK INTO THE FOLD

With the ability to track your leads’ activity, you can identify lapsed leads as they re-engage with your company. Here’s a real life example.

One of my clients tried booking an intro meeting with a contact several months ago, but had no luck. That contact stayed in their e-mail database and we’re able to see that they continue to interact with the company via email content. As the interaction increases and the contact’s score increases, we’ll identify the appropriate time for Sales to reach out to them again. Not only is my client able to stay top of mind with the lapsed lead, they can also track their interest.

#4 DEEP SEGMENTATION

Database segmentation is key to successful email campaigns, but many B2B companies aren’t doing it. Simply segmenting by vertical market / industry can make a huge difference in your open and click-through-rates (CTR). With one client’s segmented database, we see an increase of +10% on open rates when the communication is targeted to that contact’s specific industry.

Since marketing automation allows you to track an identified visitor’s path through your website, you have deep insight into their interest. With this insight you can tailor your communication to that visitor based on their needs. It’s as simple as creating a drip campaign geared specifically to their needs and guiding them through the buying cycle.

#5  LIGHTNING SPEED RESPONSE TIME

I’ve read statistics that lead to close ratios can increase by +70% if a sales enquiry is responded to within 10 minutes. With marketing automation you can set up a system where your Sales team is notified immediately when someone completes a Contact Us form.  Not only does sales receive the lead’s profile in real time, but they also have a view to exactly what pages the lead visited, how many times they’ve been on the site and what other interaction they’ve had with your company.

This is invaluable information for Sales; as they start creating a relationship with the lead they don’t have to dig through their CRM system and hope all the information is up-to-date.

Less than 30% of B2B companies are currently using marketing automation, despite it’s demonstrated ability to bring more qualified leads to Sales and increase company revenue. Marketing automation is a powerful tool that shouldn’t be overlooked.

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