You’ve chosen a marketing automation platform, installed the software, and trained your marketing personnel in how to use it. Now, you just need to wait while leads pour into your sales funnel and customers pop out the other side, right? Not quite.
Even B2B businesses that successfully implement marketing automation for lead gen or email marketing are missing a crucial ingredient for success: alignment with sales. If you’re treating your marketing automation technology as an isolated information database without bringing sales into the equation, you’re only getting a slice of the whole pie you deserve. You could be losing leads at the most critical point of the buying journey – the hand-off to the sales team.
Bringing sellers into the picture and integrating your CRM with your marketing automation technology as part of a central database allows you to provide seamless customer care. Instead of leaving sales-ready leads stranded or turning leads over to sales before they’re ready to buy, you enable leads to make the transition without feeling the bumps in the road along their buying journey.
Define Your Terms
Sometimes it feels as though sales and marketing aren’t speaking the same language. One side thinks in terms of market segments while the other’s focused on the individual buyer. One’s trying to see the future with analytics; the other is delving into the past with buying histories. To get everyone on the same page, meet up and create a common language. Define your terms precisely; what distinguishes a marketing-qualified lead from a sales-qualified lead, for instance? How do you refer to leads who have spoken with the sales team but haven’t yet made a buying decision?
Once you have a common vocabulary in place, you’re able to assign responsibility for the care and nurturing of prospects. Explore where the fences between sales and marketing are so you have personnel on either side standing ready to make the hand-off. Your marketing automation consultant can help with this stage by setting up lead scoring algorithms that fit your customers’ buying habits and refining the system over time as more data comes in.
Communicate as You Automate
Regular meetings are important to keeping sales and marketing aligned, but they aren’t the only way to keep everyone connected. Your marketing automation system’s centralized database is a vital communication tool too. By adding notes and setting up custom fields, you’re able to keep everyone on the same page, literally and figuratively.
Some communication between sales and marketing is handled behind the scenes by the software itself. Marketing automation technology tracks site visitors’ behavior even before they become known leads with names and email addresses. That depth and scope of data allows sales to have far more background information on a lead than ever – information that translates directly into higher sales percentages. That data’s instantly communicated to sales every time a seller opens an account file that’s part of an integrated database.
Don’t let a missing ingredient make your marketing automation implementation less successful. Bring sales into the mix and align sales and marketing for better customer care and higher revenue.
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