Should sales teams use Marketing Automation in the sales process?
Marketing automation is not just for marketing teams.
It’s a misconception that the people who have Marketing Automation software tools are purely the marketing team and not the sales team.
The B2B sales process is complex and organizations are looking for tools and software that can help increase sales productivity, shorten the sales cycle and of course, achieve a higher conversion rate. A report from Regalix noted 86% of marketers that use an automation solution said the greatest benefit was improving lead nurturing and management. But what marketing automation can also do is provide valuable information about your web presence that informs sales people about a prospects interest.
The difference between CRM and Marketing Automation
Marketing Automation refers to software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to more effectively market on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) as well as automate and track tasks that lead to building engagement with prospective customers. The main point of an MA system should be to identify and nurture people as they move through the buying process online. They are unknown when they visit points in your web presence and you want them to become known.
The fundamental role of a CRM is to capture details about someone once they have been identified as a potential prospect, who is “ready to buy”. CRM uses data after they are “known” and works people and organizations through a process to understand where they are in the sales cycle, NOT the buyer journey. The general purpose of a CRM is to track and manage leads as they go through the sales funnel, easily manage existing leads and look at customer data at any convenient time and place.
In simple terms, CRM is for users and prospects you already know and Marketing Automation is for users and leads you don’t know yet.
How can sales teams use Marketing Automation?
- Monitoring prospect activity on websites.
- Let’s say you are teed up for a big sales pitch to an individual at Pepsi Co and and you are able to see how often in the last 30 days they have been on the site, the content they have consumed and information downloaded. This is important to understand what a prospect cares about and help you get prepped for your call/demo.
- Nurturing prospective leads.
- Nothing is more annoying than a sales person who calls like clockwork every three months and asks “are you ready to buy yet?” What is really helpful as a sales person is being able to point your lead in the direction of valuable information on the website to help you answer their problem or question you previously discussed in a sales call. Once they arrive there, you can also track other content and topics that matter to the prospect. This makes ongoing sales interactions more meaningful but also more measurable due to the proper use of an MA tool.
- Monitor leads in real time.
- Although it is easy to add real time chat boxes and other cheap and cheerful tools to your website, it’s hard to knit those tools together to create a complete snapshot of what prospects are doing on your website. This is important for sales people because an integrated tool allows you monitor activity so that you can continue to test new strategies easier and fix faster. While plug-ins such as Gravity Forms do allow you to simply and easily create lead capture forms on WordPress, the ability to capture the data and map it against triggers and alerts in an MA tool creates more powerful outcomes for sales teams.
The sales team knows that no two customers are the same and each customer has a personalized journey. Marketing Automation allows your sales team to find the unknown customers by analyzing engagement and web activity and once they are known – your CRM keeps all communication and data all in one place.
If you want to decide if your sales team and organization are ready for Marketing Automation, we have created this important guide that walks you through the right questions to ask before you purchase technology.
Download the guide here and help your organization get started with or improve the process of Marketing Automation in your sales team.