Gears meshing imageMarketing automation isn’t just for marketers anymore. What began as a suite of capabilities that relieved marketers of certain manual tasks has turned into a genuine sales enablement tool. When CRM and marketing automation are integrated, sales gets a seat at the table to view the strategic customer information that can make all the difference when the sales rep is trying to close a sale.

Here are the top five ways sales can use marketing automation to its advantage:

1. Insight.

Marketing automation provides sales with insights into buyer behaviors, desires, and challenges. Marketing and sales departments (and for that matter, customer support departments) ought to be consolidating their metrics in order to get a full view of their buyers, their behaviors and what is driving them to purchase.

2. Productivity.

Marketing automation allows sales to work smarter and to boost productivity. From a sales perspective, a marketing automation system with a decent integration directly into the CRM provides:

  • A window into the online interactions the salesperson’s prospects have had with the company (their Web visit history, their download history, their emails opened, clicked history)
  • A lead/contact score and therefore a means for the sales rep to rank their contacts by interest level and their actions (who should they call first today).

With these things, sales can prioritize which contacts they spend time on, and be better prepared before they reach out to the contact.

3. Time.

Highly paid sales people should not be dialing for dollars. If marketing automation is deployed properly, marketing should be able to deliver more well-qualified leads, giving the sales team the opportunity to spend their time selling – not prospecting.

4. Drive lead management.

Marketing automation gives sales the chance to drive development of the lead management process. The pairing of process with automation far outpaces automation as a standalone. In order to ensure the process is developed and implemented properly, the sales/marketing teams must be coupled in alignment. This transforms the way they manage leads and buyer engagement. Once this is established, the benefit of automation for both marketing and sales will increase dramatically.

5. Shorten the sales cycle.

Marketing automation can help move opportunities through the pipeline faster. Marketers should be nurturing leads already in the pipeline. For sales-qualified leads, the integration between automation and CRM gives sales the ability to launch information to keep the engagement going with the customer and truly decrease the time to sale. In order for this to be effective, sales must be involved in the development of these campaigns and assist marketing in identifying the proper content to be used at this stage of the buying cycle.

You can learn more about Act-On’s productive integration with CRM here. And if you’re a NetSuite user, come and say hey at SuiteWorld. We’re in booth #510, and we’d love to answer your questions and show you a demo.