When to Make the Move to Marketing Automation Software
We all know the story of the “unqualified” lead. This a lead you send to Sales with absolutely no idea where it came from, who they are, or why they contacted you or downloaded information from your website. You can make assumptions based on the content they downloaded but at the end of the day, you can’t really say what one of your marketing efforts were the reason they came to the website in the first place.
Your sales team receives this mystery lead and simply adds it to the rest of the giant pile you sent them recently. They don’t know if the lead is hot, warm, or freezing – so urgency to follow-up falls out of the window.
But you’re getting leads and that’s what matters…right?
In this scenario, you are doing a lot of great things – steady leads are coming through your website and you have a sales team to follow-up. The issue lies in the additional time, effort, and resources it is taking you to manage all of this and the lack of insight you are providing your Sales team. And not to mention, the goldmine of data that you are giving up by not tracking the footsteps of your prospects.
How Marketing Automation Technology Works
Marketing technology has exploded over the last few years, with over 4,000 vendors now a part of the landscape (Source: chiefmartec.com). Every company uses a different stack of technology to manage content, advertisements, social media, analytics, and CRM. It’s overwhelming, but the good news is, if you’re running some of these solutions you have all of the pieces in place to start considering marketing automation software!
Marketing automation is a software platform designed to nurture leads through the entire buyer’s journey, from initial awareness to customer retention. Here’s how it works:
This platform collects information about every prospect who engages with your marketing initiatives, including social media interactions and website conversions. With this wealth of information, you have access to every prospects journey, which enables you and your marketing team to customize your marketing programs towards these specific audiences and buyer behaviors. With a smarter, more targeted marketing approach, you are reaching the right audiences with relevant messaging, resulting in more qualified leads that require less effort. And once these prospects are in your system, you can create tailored, automated nurture programs to help them explore and evaluate your product or service. The more touches your company makes with a prospective buyer, the more likely they will trust and buy from you.
End the Confusion of the “Unqualified” Lead
If you were using a marketing automation solution in the scenario above, you would have received a notification with all of the details on the lead that came in, including who they are, where they visited, and what they downloaded. Based on their activity, the system rates a prospects’ engagement level and if they reach a certain score, they are automatically sent to Sales. If the lead ranked high, your sales teams would have received an urgent notification, informing them of all the information collected so they could immediately follow-up with that lead. With a discovery session, your sales team can then identify if this prospect is ready to buy and become a customer, or if they should be added to a nurture program in your marketing automation system to keep them in the funnel and engaged.
It sounds easy but unfortunately, sometimes marketing automation is done wrong. There are a number of studies out there that show many marketing automation investments fall flat because they don’t have enough content or they aren’t using the system to its full capacity – which is a waste of money.
Choosing a Marketing Automation Solution
The first step to identifying the need for marketing automation is doing a full scale review of your current marketing program and the technology you use. When you introduce a new piece of software into your marketing team, you want the software adoption to be as seamless as possible. If your CRM system and marketing automation solution doesn’t integrate, you’re going to make the integration between sales and marketing that much more difficult (and manual) in the long-run.
As a Microsoft shop, we use Microsoft Dynamics CRM to manage our leads, opportunities, and customers. Because of this, we use a marketing automation solution that was built natively inside Dynamics CRM – ClickDimensions. By choosing this route, all of our data is stored in one centralized system, where no manual data migration or juggling of two systems is required. The other reason for choosing this solution is because both our marketing and sales teams are more familiar with the CRM interface so they can navigate the software from a user experience point of view.
There are a lot of marketing automation solutions out there and it’s not a ‘one-size fits all’ situation. The right solution should empower your marketing team with better analytics to produce smarter, targeted campaigns while enabling your sales team to work with knowledge and efficiency. The content experts on our team have used everything from Pardot to Hubspot so we can advise you on the right marketing automation solution that fits your business. Most of the clients we work with have all of the pieces in place to consider marketing automation, they just need help putting the structure and processes in place.
Contact Rand Group Digital for a marketing audit and we can help steer you in the best direction for your marketing and sales goals.