Let’s cut straight to the chase. If you are in the game of marketing you must be knowing the basics of marketing automation: automates, streamlines & monitors routine marketing tasks. Marketing consists of a series of tasks that are done to drive engagement & finally increase revenue. For majority marketers, it’s a routine part of their daily life along with all the other responsibilities that they have to handle. Routine tasks may seem tedious but need to be done.
This is where marketing automation comes into play.
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation can be understood better as a personal assistant, which is capable of notifying real time alerts & notifications on prospect activities, spot when a lead meets buyer – readiness conditions & forward that lead to sales as soon it’s ready to be contacted. Marketing automation also enables marketers to nurture target prospects at an awesome scale, to boost sales cycle by warming hot leads to qualified sales opportunities.
In simple words, marketing automation saves the time of marketers, aid in reporting and analyzing data as it tracks real-time engagement & finally in improving ROI.
Present day marketing automation software can manage over 80% of your marketing tasks which enables the marketers to focus on improving their business in other areas. The good part is that marketing automation software is constantly improving. The new applications of marketing automation are reshaping the already familiar marketing channels while creating unused opportunities to leverage data & engage with target customers.
Marketing Automation & Sales
Even though it’s held in high regard in the marketing world, its impact on the sales cycle & thus the entire business process is totally overlooked. It’s true that there is no tool to close sales deals. Sales, especially in B2B, needs the human touch- talented salespeople who answer questions, measure the enthusiasm of a prospect in making a purchase, demonstrate products & make one-on-one sales calls.
What marketing automation software can do is free sales force of organizations to focus on the human aspects of sales. By automating the continuous tasks and the processes of nurturing, salespeople can reduce the chance of a hot prospect going cold & can focus more the work at hand.
Here are some of the ways sales forces of organizations can reap the benefits of marketing automation.
- Attain the right leads with lead scoring
Sales is not an easy job. Many times sales teams get frustrated by spending hours calling & emailing leads who will never buy from them. Going through the same disappointing scenario over & over again can make sales professionals tired & can wear out their confidence. Lead scoring in marketing automation software can help prevent this situation by allowing marketers to pull out cold leads & pass only the strongest ones to sales. Through this way sales teams, can remain focused, effective & also save their time.
- Keep the leads nurtured
Majority leads won’t be ready the first time they are approached for sales. But it’s ridiculous to think its okay to lose out on a sale because the timing isn’t right. Lead nurturing enabled by marketing automation can aid build relationships with target prospects over time & to act on the opportunity at favorable conditions. Salespeople can also send back leads to marketing for more nurturing if they feel that the lead isn’t ready yet for approaching for closing.
- Observe real time activity
Majority marketing automation software has an inbuilt plug-in that sales teams would give appreciation. The plug-in attribute highlights the best leads & opportunities for sales to focus on, saving them for the game of hide & seek and allows them to close more deals in less time. A tool like this enables sales teams to track behavior to identify the prospect’s interest, as well as enabling to turn on the insight by sending emails through CRM. Eventually, sales teams can spend less time on cold calling dead leads & more time to get contacts with leads who are ready to sign.
- Boost cross-selling/up-selling
It’s not just new leads that can generate revenue. Existing customers can choose to move to a higher plan which I turn is beneficial for the salesman. The potential for this phenomenon is very high. For example, repeat customers in the sectors of FMCG, finance, logistics etc. are golden geese.
The only catch is that sometimes these customers won’t automatically buy from the same sales person every time the call is made. They need to be nurtured and qualified for sales before the trust is made to buy from the same person again.
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Marketing automation can boost the effectiveness of both marketing & sales teams but they cannot go out & do their jobs. For full efficiency, the software needs to be integrated into both the process. It should also be ensured that the marketing & salespeople are fully trained on the software to ensure that everyone knows how to use it.
Use marketing automation & give your sales teams to explore their potential – sell with a human touch.