Friday, November 27, 2015

Boost Your Sales: Top 5 Tips to Successful Marketing Automation


The market for marketing automation software is in the midst of a rapid growth phase. Businesses of all sizes and industries are waking up to the fact that automating simple tasks allows them to target a larger number of leads while spending more time on building great content and driving higher conversions, shorter sales cycles, and more loyal customers.
Even for those business owners that understand the basics of marketing automation, implementation can still be a daunting task. You know what you need to do, but you’re still trying to figure out exactly how to make it all work. For a little extra help, check out these tips that have proven successful for some of the best in the business.

Have the Necessary Tools

Marketing automation software is great, but it only serves to enhance the resources and capabilities that your company already has. Before even considering purchasing the software, you should make sure that your company has:
  • A quality list of leads
  • An engaging and informative landing page
  • Consistent, quality content creation
  • A CRM that can integrate with the new software
  • Established processes for moving leads through the sales funnel
Without these existing resources in place, any marketing automation software you buy will not deliver significant value.

Plan for Implementation

The first few months with any new technology are always going to be the hardest. Make sure you have a plan for training employees on the marketing automation solution and integrating it into your business. Consider this issue when selecting a software provider and try to find one that offers significant assistance and support during the onboarding process.
For your part, come up with a detailed list of employee responsibilities and have a plan for how the burden is going to be divided up. Identify any skill gaps that may exist and determine whether you’re going to need to bring in someone new or if an existing employee can be trained to fill the new need.

Have a Data Quality Solution

Getting data from customers is no longer the problem. In the past two years, we created more data than humanity has generated in its entire existence up to that point. The problem with that deluge of data is knowing what’s actually important, and how to turn those numbers into actionable insights.
This is another reason why integrating with your CRM and coordinating with the sales team is important, as they might need different data than marketers. There are several products that can help you automate the data collection process and turn those numbers into clear, understandable charts, stats, and insights.

Start Small and Experiment

You’re going to make some mistakes in the early stages of automation, and you’re going to have some failures. Those are inevitable, and can even be positives. Mistakes teach you what not to do in the future, and failure to target leads can help you gain a better understanding of who your target audience is in the first place.
The key is to conduct these experiments on a small enough scale that the failures aren’t too much of a setback for your business.

Nurture, Don’t Sell

This is the most basic tip, but it’s so important it must be reiterated. The goal of marketing automation software is not to make sales, it’s to get leads to the point in the funnel where they are ready to interact with your sales team and make a purchase. On average, that means 10 “touches” from first contact to the eventual sale.
It’s easy to get impatient and start bombarding leads with offers in an attempt to drive immediate conversions, but that actually defeats the purpose. Your goal should not be more efficient spamming, it should be to actually develop a relationship with potential leads and deepen their engagement with your brand.

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