You’ll feel it when it happens: When you’re spending all your time managing lists and unsubscribes; when the sales team won’t return your calls; when all the good leads seem to land with your competitor.
These are common signs that you need to go beyond batch and blast marketing, need to get sales on the same page, need a stronger lead management process – these are the signs and symptoms that your business needs marketing automation.
Below, I outline 6 signs of sickness in a marketing structure and how marketing automation helps cure them.
1. You Can’t Target the Right Prospects
You suffer from a “one size fits all” approach to marketing. But when you send the same message to everyone, or target based only on surface-level demographics, your message is more likely to be ignored. You tend to go big, not because of ego, but because you lack a tool to do targeting and segmentation.
With marketing automation you can track prospects’ online activity, discovering their interests and intent. Combined with clean and normalized data, you’ll be able to send only the most relevant messaging, resulting in a lift in conversions and a drop in nasty unsubscribes.
2. You’re Consumed by Manual, Repetitive, Inefficient Tasks
Whether it’s building lists, managing leads, or creating emails and landing pages – the development of each new campaign is like reinventing the wheel. You spend so much time carrying out tactical or reactive tasks, you have little bandwidth to focus on new strategic initiatives.
Marketing automation makes it possible to build a re-usable workflow for events, webinars, email marketing and more – and you can trigger those communications based on the actions prospects take. The result is a sustainable process for nurturing leads, and more time to focus on creative marketing programs.
3. Sales and Marketing are Antagonistic
It’s a vicious cycle. The sales team is only following up on a fraction of the leads marketing provides and claim the rest are “no good”. Marketing feels like they’re doing their part to drive qualified leads, but they’re not getting credit for pipeline and revenue.
The solution is prioritization. When every lead gets pushed to sales regardless of quality or stage, it’s hard to know whom to call first. Marketing automation allows you to evaluate and score leads for fit (right title, industry, etc.) and behavior (email response, website visits, downloads and campaign membership). By agreeing on what lead score is ready is for sales, and how sales will follow up, you are saving both teams time and working towards common goals.
4. Marketing Can’t Prove its Value to the Organization
The pressure from the executive team to prove marketing’s impact is mounting. Yet, you’re struggling to consistently report on simple campaign effectiveness metrics, nevermind overall impact on revenue. Without the ability to trace marketing’s influence on pipeline, the executive team is having a difficult time justifying your budget.
There’s only one way to gain one view of the truth, and that’s by closing the loop on dollars spent and dollars made across all channels. Marketing automation makes it possible to measure and report on the performance of all programs within a single, integrated platform. Use dashboards to measure campaign effectiveness, pipeline performance and marketing ROI, and prove that marketing is a revenue-generating function in your organization.
5. Sales is Starving for Information
From email opens to website visits and form submissions, your marketing team is sitting on a wealth of data your sales team could use — but you have no way to make the information actionable for sales. Marketing and sales data lives in two different systems — and they might as well be living in two different worlds.
You can seamlessly feed the wealth of prospect data in your marketing automation system into the tools the sales team is already using. By doing so, you give sales a window into a prospects’ digital body language — those clues they leave behind when they open emails, visit your website or fill out forms. You’re already collecting that data. Marketing automation makes it actionable.
6. You’re Losing Good Leads to Your Competitors
You spend much of your budget with the goal of acquiring new contacts. But not all of those contacts are ready to buy. A system of identifying and flagging the reasons for rejected leads is either missing or lacking. As a result, contacts are falling off your radar and your competitor is swooping in and scooping up leads when they are ready to buy.
You need to stay front-of-mind even with leads not yet read to buy. Marketing automation empowers you to reproduce the intimacy of a one-to-one communication on a much grander scale. With automation, you can programmatically manage a dialogue with many people at one time, complete with natural pauses and behavioral signals necessary for a productive conversation.
By now you might be saying, “Great. But how do I learn more about these tools or justify an investment?”
We created the “Business Center” for this exact reason. See how others are using marketing automation, create a customized Request for Proposal (RFP) on the fly, and calculate the ROI of your investment – all in one place. And while you’re there, let us know how marketing automation has impacted your business.