By now, the majority of modern marketers have at least heard the phrase “marketing automation.” As each day passes, more and more companies begin to consider, purchase, and utilize marketing automation. But how can marketing automation affect your sales team? Is it simply a function that cuts down on the manual work within your marketing department, or is there more to it?
Marketing automaton has two main functions for the modern sales team: internal reporting and lead conversion. Many companies struggle with connecting their marketing and sales divisions, but marketing automation is a simple, effective way to unite your teams behind the common goal of driving revenue.
Internal Reporting through marketing automation can take on many different appearances and approaches. Some of the more common internal reports available through marketing automation are email tracking, website activity, social media engagement, customer stage movement, and stack-ranked lead lists. These reports are delivered via automation to your sales team daily, weekly, or monthly depending on preference. Sales teams can use these reports to prospect, confirm interest, and stay updated on how their teammates are performing.
Sales teams can find great value in an automated, internal report as simple as website visitors. From “identified” visitor reports, to “anonymous” visitor reports, both marketing and sales teams can gain valuable insight into their website traffic. This visibility can serve to confirm interest from a prospect, provide visibility to an entirely new opportunity, or reignite a relationship that had previously dwindled.
Lead conversion rate is one of, if not, the most important KPIs for sales reps. Additionally, marketing teams are often judged based on the number of sales-qualified leads produced or their addition to the sales “pipeline.” According to the Annuitas Group, “Businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads.” So what happens now that there is this influx of leads? In their “Marketing Lead Management Report,” the Aberdeen group shared that “Companies using marketing automation see 53% higher conversion rates. These are pretty startling numbers to consider as combining the increases in qualified leads and conversion rate leads to over a 250% increase in new business!
Sales reps here the phrase “Call me in a couple months,” all too much. This phrase is also typically muttered before any real discovery has been completed or benefits explained. A good rep will hold to the two months and come calling again, but what if the prospect has been gently fed more and more information about your product since the previous call? The ability to set up an automated cadence through marketing automation will educate the prospect during this time as well as keep your company at the forefront of his/her mind. Now, when the sales rep calls the prospect for the second time, valuable discussion can begin happening almost immediately given the preparedness of the prospect through marketing automation.
In conclusion, remember that marketing automation is SO much more than just “marketing automation.” It is the missing link between your marketing and sales departments that empowers your sales team to close more new business while witnessing the power of your marketing department first-hand!