Getting Started with Marketing Automation: Doing More with Less
Marketing and sales teams are equally critical for finding new leads, increasing sales with current customers, and generating profit. However, according to Salesforce.com, 61% of B2B marketers send all leads directly to sales with only 27% of those leads prequalified. In the past, it was difficult for sales and marketing to come together, instead of separately, to reach the common goal of improving the business's bottom line. Today, however, with marketing automation, marketing and sales can work together in perfect harmony to usher leads through the pipeline.
When marketing and sales teams speak the same language, they can both fine-tune their processes for optimal results. Sales and marketing applications such as Salesforce and Hubspot are perfect for helping marketing promptly get their potential leads to the sales team so they can follow up with potential customers. Two-thirds of customers expect contact within the same day that they reach out to the brand, and 42 percent expect contact in an hour or less. Sales and marketing can work together to determine lead criteria so that a lead is passed from one team to another at the appropriate touchpoint in the customer journey.
Critical information about the lead, such as how the company found them and past interaction with the brand, should also be passed along. According to The Annuitas Group, marketing automation accounts for a 451% increase in qualified leads when used properly.
Using Information to Improve Processes
When marketing and sales teams are equally accountable, they can learn more about how well their campaigns are securing leads and growing share of wallet with existing customers. They will be able to get hard data from the sales team to see how quickly their opportunities convert into new sales. For example, suppose they find that the conversion rates of leads coming in through social media are less than those coming in through blog posts. In that case, they can refine their efforts to see what can be done to improve the quality of leads from social media and accelerate those coming through the blogging efforts.
Impact the Bottom Line
A cohesive effort between sales and marketing has a positive impact on the bottom line. It has been demonstrated that marketing automation can reduce marketing overhead by 12.2% and increase sales productivity by 14.5% (Nucleus Research). And, with customers expected to manage 85% of their purchasing transactions without ever talking to a human, it makes sense to implement customer-savvy workflows now.
So what? The smart marketer (and, honestly, that’s you) should aim to improve the functionality of the marketing team by working smarter in conjunction with the sales team. Implementing marketing automation in today’s world is not only recommended but is rapidly becoming a necessity for a smooth customer journey from prospect all the way to delighted customer.
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