Article

How to Leverage Your Business with Sales and Marketing Automation?

How to Leverage Your Business with Sales and Marketing Automation?

What Is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation software is used to manage repetitive processes automatically and target campaigns to the right person, at the right time and on the right platform. Marketing automation allows businesses to target customers and nurture leads with personalized and automated messages through emails and social media.

HubSpot’s definition of marketing automation is:

“At its best, marketing automation is software and tactics that allow companies to buy and sell like Amazon – that is, to nurture prospects with highly personalized, useful content that helps convert prospects to customers and turn customers into delighted customers.” [1]

In simpler terms, nurturing leads and then converting them into potential customers is like growing a plant. Efficient marketing automation is like adding manure to help the seed sprout into a blooming plant; in our case it helps leads bloom into customers.

Is Your Business Ready for Marketing Automation?

A seed doesn’t just need manure to sprout and bloom; there are some prominent factors involved in the process. Here are those factors:

  1. You should already have an established CRM (Customer Relationship Management).
  2. You should already be using email marketing.
  3. You should already value inbound and content marketing strategies.

Let us dive into answering the question - What can marketing automation do for your business?    

How can Marketing Automation help your business grow?

With marketing automation, you can streamline and simplify the complex, recurring and time-consuming processes, taken care of by your marketing and sales teams.

A good automation tool allows you to send scheduled and personalized emails and messages. In addition, it should also enable you to identify your target audience and create the right kind of content for them based on their customer journey and behavior.

Thus, a well-structured automated marketing strategy reduces the need for resources and gives you more time to focus on innovative strategies without having to compensate for generating leads and revenue through ROI.

How does Marketing Automation work?

Every visitor who visits your website can be categorized as hot, warm or cold based on their activity on your site and the time they spent on it. The more the engagement rates and the time spent on your site, the hotter the temperature.

The aim of marketing funnel is to convert cold leads (who are still unaware of your brand) to prospective warm leads (who are contemplating buying from you). The process extends to convert these prospective leads to hot leads who are ready to buy from you.

Each of these conversions involves a specific strategy and proper content, which can be nurtured into the next phase of the sales funnel.

Marketing automation goes beyond simply altering the first name of a customer in an email. An efficient marketing automation strategy includes workflows, pre-defined sets of instructions, that direct the right messages, emails or posts to the right customer, at the right time on their desired platform.

Customer’s Journey and Marketing Automation

Attract

Attracting an audience and generating leads is vital for any company’s growth. Digital marketing strategies typically aim at making your products and services visible to your potential customers. Making them aware of your products can be done through SEO and social media marketing.    

Automating the steps between marketing and sales allows you to build customer-centric strategies to nurture the attracted audience. Marketing automation tools provide precise data about a customer’s behavior on your website, based on which you can determine whether they are hot, warm or cold. You can then bring all the data together based on the pain points of your customer then line up a set of customized emails or social media messages to follow-up them.

Nurture

The end goal is to convert as many leads as possible and drive revenue through ROI. However, studies show that only 50% of the leads generated by a business are qualified and they too are in the consideration phase and aren’t yet ready to make a purchase.[2]

Having a CRM in place would enable quickly to track your leads. A CRM can help potential customers along their buyer’s journey so that they can reach the decision phase sooner. CRM can also help nurture your customized campaigns that may include email marketing, direct messaging, phone calls, social media posts, blogs, webinars, etc.

Although nurturing leads may be a heavy task for smaller businesses with limited sales and marketing personnel, automating this process can take the stress off of you. Some things that you need to consider while automating lead nurturing are:

  • Trigger: Events like filling up a form or a page view that initiates your automation.
  • Segmentation: It helps the right content to reach the right audience, which could help them along their purchase journey.
  • Messages: Message is the tailored content that you want to send to your segmented customers.
  • Lead recovery: In case your lead decides not to open your email or click on the link, you need to provide them with other options that will still keep them interested.

Convert

Strategies and campaigns that nurture leads should ideally increase your conversion rates, the ultimate goal is achieved only when they make a purchase. This happens through marketing and sales strategies that provide the right product or content, which makes the customers to buy it.

An effective CRM system will give you a 360-degree view of your customers, with regard to what they want and when they want it. When CRM gets coupled with marketing automation it can work wonders and guide your leads to make that decision.

Upsell

Research indicates that B2B companies generate nearly 70% to 95% of their revenue through upselling.[3]

Upselling encourages your existing and happy customers to buy more from you. It may be an upgrade of your existing product previously purchased. When integrated with marketing automation techniques, upselling hikes your customer’s interest with minimal effort.

Best Practices to leverage sales and Marketing Automation for your business

Ideally, B2B companies that require prolonged lead nurturing processes tend to capitalize on marketing automation. However, B2C businesses require every short time frame to convince customers.

Here are some best practices that both B2B and B2C businesses should keep in mind while automating their sales and marketing strategies.

  1. Set quantifiable goals: Use numbers to map out your investments in marketing automation.
  2. Use visualizations: Be open to your entire organization and tell them your strategies and what you are planning to achieve through them with detailed diagrams.
  3. Segment your customer database: Develop separate databases for each of your customers so that you can send personalized messages to target specific customers better.
  4. Build a content framework: Have a content strategy that ensures a steady and free flow of messages to your customers throughout their purchase cycle.
  5. Analyze your performance: Make sure that you track your analytics to see if your automated strategies are working as desired.

Conclusion

Automating routine tasks, email threads, are part of your sales funnels that can leverage new prospects for your business.

With the world taking a paradigm shift, your marketing and sales strategies should too. A research from SalesForce says that there has been over a 20% increase in sales opportunities and a 45% increase in qualified leads with businesses that have already started implementing marketing automation.[4]  So, why shouldn’t you?

 

Reference(s):

[1] "What is marketing automation? - Zooma." https://www.zooma.se/en/learn/marketing-automation/what-is-marketing-automation. Accessed 22 Feb. 2021.

[2] "Why Use Marketing Automation for Your Business? - Salesforce.com." https://www.salesforce.com/products/marketing-cloud/benefits-of-marketing-automation/. Accessed 22 Feb. 2021.

[3] "How to Upsell Using CRM Data - effluence Digital Marketing." 1 Mar. 2018, https://emfluence.com/blog/upsell-using-crm. Accessed 22 Feb. 2021.

[4] "What Is Marketing Automation? - Salesforce." https://www.salesforce.com/ap/products/marketing-cloud/what-is-marketing-automation/. Accessed 22 Feb. 2021.

About the Author

Vinodh Ramakannan, Founder and CEO of Spinta Digital, is a senior-level hybrid professional with over two decades of experience in Digital Marketing and Business Strategy. Having empowered 100+ B2B companies and infopreneurs with his expertise to build their digital presence, generate more leads, and scale-up their revenue to 7-digit figures, he is one of the top-line marketing and sales experts in India.