We often talk about marketing automation in terms of movement, and it’s no wonder. Motion is integral to the concept of the sales funnel, and it’s one of the biggest reasons to automate. Leads enter at one end of the funnel and progress to an increasing state of sales-readiness until they become buyers. Marketing automation streamlines that process, facilitating your prospects’ transformation from new leads to established customers. At the same time, it delivers right-size content with the right amount of detail to stay just a step or two ahead of your prospects on their buyer journeys — far enough ahead to act as a guide but not so far that you lose sight of them.
Before making their ultimate decision to buy, customers first have to become familiar with you, measure your offer against their budget and needs, and move through your sales department’s qualifications. At any stage during this journey, many otherwise promising leads drop out of the process. Marketing automation ranks these leads to let your marketing team and sales personnel conserve and convert them.
Your sales department is probably the costliest part of your organization, yet too often marketing fails to qualify leads properly for sales. Divisions between sales and marketing mean the marketing department is essentially tossing leads blindly over a wall and hoping sales personnel are there to catch them. Automation takes down that wall, integrating sales and marketing to ensure that leads are nurtured carefully.
You can also change how widely you open the gate to your lead nurturing process. Establish a connection with only the top scorers in your lead ranking system, and you have a small but highly qualified contact list. Set lower barriers for entry into your marketing campaign, and you build a broader database of prospects to develop and nurture over time. Automation lets you choose how you market to leads no matter where they’re ranked; you can send economical emails to a broader spectrum of leads and save high-ticket approaches for the narrow but highly qualified layer of prospects at the top.
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