- Which marketing/sales initiative should I be spending my time on?
- Salespeople are having a hard time following up on all our leads. Should I hire more sales people?
- Where should I spend my marketing/sales money to get best results and benefits?
- Am I spending too much or too little on my marketing and sales initiatives?
- Could I be generating more profits?
These are all important questions, but the answers are even more important. Small and medium businesses now have access to a multitude of sales and marketing tools that can help them understand and answer their most pressing questions. While marketing automation is a not a silver bullet, it does allow you to gain insight and efficiencies in sales and marketing.
The following are seven key ways SMBs can increase efficiency by using an automation solution:
1. Nurture to “Sales Ready”- Using lead nurturing tracks, you can nurture your leads from their original state to a “sales ready state.” This allows you to bring your leads closer to the end of their buying cycle without manual intervention. Sales can now work leads that are ready to buy and that have been matured. No more wasting time working dead leads. Lead transfer to sales can be automated by either sending out internal alerts or syncing with your preferred CRM solution. Sales get instant access to your new hot leads without manual assignment.
2. Streamline Follow-Up- Implement automated campaigns for tradeshow follow-ups or events. Using campaign automation you can plan your follow-ups ahead of time and have them execute when you need them. Automated campaigns can be as simple as sending a “thank for attending” email to all participants or more complex like a series of emails sent out based on the attributes and/or actions of your leads (did they read your email? Visit your web page?)
3. Keep in Touch- Automated campaigns can be used to improve your current customer’s satisfaction by touching base with every one of them and making sure they are happy. Send out customer satisfactory survey to your newer customers after three months or send out monthly product tips — all in an automated fashion. Use auto-responders to trigger marketing campaigns based on certain lead actions. If they requested a trial on your web site, you can trigger a thank you email. If they submitted the “request a quote” form on your web site, trigger a campaign that will automatically alert sales, sync the new lead to your CRM and send the lead a thank you email.
4. Score to Qualify- Use lead scoring to assign a score to each and every lead allowing you to concentrate your sales and marketing efforts on the most qualified leads. Scoring can be based on a multitude of factors, including lead attributes and actions. Work the most qualified leads.
5. Measure & Understand- Some marketing automation platforms can track all your different marketing campaigns, inbound marketing and social media efforts. Easily understand which initiatives are driving qualified leads and which ones are allowing you to close more business.
6. Keep Track- Automatically track all your emailing metrics (click through rate, open rates, unsubscribe rates, etc.). Understand lead and customer interactions with your different emailing campaigns and use that intelligence in your next campaigns.
7. Maximize Metrics- Use integrated reporting to easily track and measure your metrics and gain deeper insight into your different sales and marketing campaigns. Automatically calculate your cost-per-lead, lead acquisition costs, etc. Understand where your investments pay off.
These are just a few of examples of what small and medium business can gain from adopting marketing automation. It’s important to remember that marketing automation will help you save time, gain efficiencies and understand where to spend your sales/marketing money to maximize your profits.
Alexandre Sagala is the Co-Founder of Alsamarketing a firm providing marketing automation solutions. Alsamarketing web-based marketing automation product makes it easy to create, automate and measure marketing efforts and initiatives. Automatically track, score, and nurture prospects from the moment of lead generation through sale.