If you are still under the veiled assumption that launching a marketing automation program is simple, it’s time to wake up and get with reality. Yes, technology is meant to simplify our lives. If used appropriately, it usually does just that. However, don’t confuse that with simplicity of use. Whether you go with something like Eloqua or maybe Infusionsoft, takes time to plan, implement, create a structure and finally start execution on a marketing automation strategy.
Getting things rolling is just the tip of the iceberg. In sustaining a successful program, you often come across several complications including having constantly new and original content, as well as conflicting priorities internally.
Matt Smith, co-founder of 3forward, recently did a post on my blog about addressing these common challenges. He highlights four “case studies” in particular and provides unique strategies for handling each. You can read about them more in depth in the original article. However, the majority of these roadblocks are born out of a misalignment of marketing and sales.
Matt suggests four metrics to follow in order to truly align your sales and marketing teams.
- Agree upon what makes a sales-ready lead
- Designate how many leads should be created each month
- Decide what percentage of leads will be turned into qualified opportunities
- Agree on the % of those opportunities that will become wins
It will take some time to start measuring this effort, seeing what works and what doesn’t. But eventually, both teams should have a shared understanding of not only what is expected of them, but what is possible.
The most important thing to keep in mind is preparation. This technology is sophisticated. It is not going to be one of those things that you turn on and it works perfectly. So, all you can do is prepare for the inevitable, deal with it when it comes, and then continue on!