Marketing automation is all the buzz these days. Companies and organizations are beginning to see the value. If implemented and executed correctly, it can be one of the most beneficial and profitable marketing tactics you can use. One of the key benefits to marketing automation is the alignment of the sales and marketing teams.
We all know the struggle between marketing and sales. While the end goal should be the same, the sales team and the marketing team usually are at odds with each other. Marketing Automation is a great way to integrate the sales and marketing teams. Marketing automation helps sales and marketing create the same end goals.
As discussed in the Marketing Automation article on Robynhatfield.com, a key part of marketing automation is the CRM or Customer Relationship Management tool. CRMs are used by both sales and marketing. Sales tracks customer information, actions or follow up items, and more. Marketing uses CRM systems for a variety of marketing automation functions.
Marketing Automation also provides an integrated buyer’s journey to allow companies to segment and personalize the content delivered to prospects and customers. CRM and marketing automation allow sales and marketing to be on the same page with the same end goal: higher sales. This necessitates your CRM and marketing automation systems to talk to each other to be as effective as possible.
Key things to remember to get the most out of marketing automation for both your sales and marketing teams:
- Agree on what a quality lead is. Marketing is generating leads, and the sales team is executing on these leads. To get the highest revenue and ROI, both teams need to agree what a qualified lead looks like.
- Agree on roles and service level agreements. What is marketing responsible for? What is the sales team responsible for? What communication is expected? What are the requirements? For example, once a lead is given to sales, what is the expected time it takes for follow-up?
- Model the customer journey. If you don’t do this first, your marketing automation is not going to be as effective as it should be. You need to know what phase your prospects are in and what pain points, concerns they have at a particular time. If you do it right, your content will be exactly what they are looking for when they are looking for it.
- Constant communication with sales. Marketing automation should do the heavy lifting. This includes screening prospects, nurturing, and identifying prospects ready to buy (or at least ready to be contacted by sales). Marketing needs to stay in contact with sales to do the handoff to sales and to also get feedback on leads generated.
- Keeping the leads in a funnel. Once the sales team identifies a prospect as not ready, it’s important that the lead goes back to marketing. This lead needs to go back in marketing automation and back in the funnel to be nurtured.