You Can’t Do Marketing Without Marketing Automation
It doesn’t matter what platform, tool or marketing automation software you use, but you better be using something. Running a business without marketing automation is like trying to run that same business without the internet.
How would you order supplies, schedule a package pickup, pay your bills, do research or even communicate via email with clients, prospects, suppliers and partners? You’d be hard-pressed to get much done if you didn’t have internet access.
The same is true with marketing and sales. So many tasks are associated with keeping marketing and sales going that trying to do it without software is almost impossible. Tactics like website updates, email marketing, lead nurturing, social posting, keyword rankings and analytics on the performance aren’t optional anymore. They’re mandatory and you need access to these tactics daily.
Here are just a handful of required activities that marketing automation and sales technology solutions help to simplify.
Analysis Of What’s Working And What’s Not
Marketing used to be all gut, a lot of feel and a ton of personal opinions. Today, marketing is all data, science and facts. If something works, you have data to prove it. If it’s not working, you have data to prove that, too. But without access to the data and without the tools to show trends, comparisons and patterns, you’re at a significant disadvantage. It’s like flying a plane or driving a car blindfolded.
Here are a few real examples from actual clients:
- Organic visitors to your site (people who searched on Google and then clicked on your website link) are up 50% this month vs. last month. Don’t you want to know why and how you can continue that nice lift?
- The sales cycle has increased from 45 days to 65 days over the past month. What’s causing that? How do we fix it now instead of in six months when revenue is trailing expectations?
- We get more leads (46%) and better quality leads (70% closing vs. 22% closing) from the three referring websites we share our content with monthly. Let’s double down and invest more in that program than social media, where we get a very low trickle of leads and most get lower lead quality scores.
This type of insight, analytics and decision-making power is only available when you have the tools and software to collect, present and help keep close tabs on data points like the ones above.
Social Media Monitoring
We all know that conversations are happening on social media right now. People are talking about and asking questions related to what you do. No matter who you are and what products or services your company provides, people are talking about it.
It’s impossible to keep track and tabs on all of those conversations, but marketing automation provides social media monitoring. Yes, you can put in selected keywords and have the marketing automation tools listen to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. If people mention any of the keywords, including your company name or the names of your competitors, an alert can be generated directly to you or any of your salespeople.
Those alerts can even be specific to sales reps, meaning if John is working with Company A and Company A mentions your name on Twitter, John receives an alert. With some good planning and sales support, John is armed with an email, content offer and insight to help his prospect make an educated and safe decision. Do you think that gives you a better chance to win in the highly competitive space we all live in today? I think so.
Sales Process Support
Let’s talk sales for a few minutes. Do you know for sure if all of your salespeople are following the same process? Are they saying the same thing to prospects at the right time in the sales cycle? Are they all using the right tools? Do they tell the same stories in the same way? Do you have any insights into the conversion rates across your entire sale funnel? Most people don’t have positive answers to these questions.
Yet experts point to the sales process and the sales experience as the single most important component of whether you get the deal or not. Wouldn’t you want 100% confidence that all of your sales reps were executing in exactly the same way and to have insight into individual execution? Of course. You’ve probably also heard that 80% of the revenue is usually generated by 20% of the sales team. Then why not model what those 20% are doing and make sure everyone is doing exactly the same thing? You’ll see top-line revenue grow immediately, you’ll see the sales cycle shorten and you’ll see your close rate skyrocket — all by applying some basic CRM software and sales process improvement.
Easy Updates To Your Website
This is an easy one. You know how much you hate having to call your website design shop for changes to your website. They charge you for every change. The CMS they built is custom and only they know anything about it. You pay them monthly to simply maintain the hosting and other support aspects of the site. It’s old school.
You should be able to update your own website whenever and however you see fit. I’m only talking about changing some text, pictures and other basic stuff. While it’s easy to add pages, build landing pages, change forms and adjust workflow emails, that work is almost always better left to pros who can do that work in hours instead of days. But you should be able to make the easy and basic changes in a tool that’s designed for users, not developers.
Automated Emails, Posting And Updates
Today’s marketing does have a lot of rinse-and-repeat elements — tasks that have to be done day in and day out no matter what. While you can assign this to a person, it’s better to have software handle those repeatable activities in an automated manner.
For instance, lead nurturing emails can be set up once and executed without the need for human intervention. The same holds true for posting content to social media. Alerts for salespeople and reporting can also be automated so that they get created, distributed and updated on whatever frequency you desire.
Now you’re freeing up your expensive marketing and sales resources to focus on high-payoff activities like analyzing data, creating insights, optimizing program performance and innovating your marketing and sales experience.
Insights Into Prospects’ Behaviors
Just because this is the last item doesn’t mean it’s less important. Actually, it’s probably the most important reason for considering marketing automation and sales technology at your firm.
I’ve been in a lot of meetings where people guess at what prospects think and what they do. That time has officially ended. Today, marketing automation tools give you incredible insight into what your prospects are doing, what they think, what questions they ask and what they find valuable.
Marketing automation keeps track of your prospects’ every move from the very first time they visit your website all the way through to the time they select your company from all of the other options. You get to see what website pages they visited, how many times they visited them, what offers they downloaded, what emails they opened (or didn’t open) and how many touches your sales team had to apply before they finally agreed to work with you.
That data and insight is incredibly valuable when it comes to making decisions related to how you market and how you sell. The difference between performance with this insight and without it likely decides whether your company grows or declines. It’s that significant.
With so many marketing automation and CRM options available today, you no longer have any excuse. Regardless of how you want it deployed or the features you need, businesses of all shapes and sizes can afford and get true value from marketing automation and CRM software.
If these tools are part of an overall marketing and sales strategy, and if you have the right team in place (either internal or external) to help you integrate the tools into your day-to-day activities, then there’s little risk you won’t see fast and significant return on the money required to invest in software tools like these.
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