Leads nurtured through marketing automation produce an increase in sales opportunities compared to leads that are not nurtured. Today, customers are no longer clueless about products or services that interest them. There are abundant resources such as review sites that allow for self-directed learning and the customer is no longer dependent on the salesman for product information. Social media is another resource where a prospect can get first-hand information including reviews of a company. In fact, the modern prospect is quite knowledgeable of your company and competitors even before getting in touch with you. Studies have shown that most prospects expect a seamless and personalized experience when they do get in touch with you. You need to connect with your prospect exactly at the moment they are looking for you online. Marketing automation can serve as the bridge linking marketing and sales so that together these departments can serve as the lead generation powerhouse of the company, not disjointed departments interacting separately throughout the customer journey.
Here are different ways in which marketing automation can be used to increase sales
Target users at different stages of the buyer journey – You should be able to identity a customer, prospect, or a visitor to your website and serve content targeted to the needs of the specific segment. Even your follow-up communication and offers should be personalized to the needs of the specific user, depending on the stage he or she is in within the customer journey. You can use marketing automation software to identify visitor behavior on your website and generate individual profiles based on behavior and transactions such as purchase of a product. The automation software can leverage the visitor’s behavior to find appropriate products within the database and shoot out an email dynamically with information such as other products within the same price range of what the customer purchased or products that the customer viewed but didn’t buy.
Using marketing automation, you can identify a returning visitor or a customer and show him a product or service that interested him or her in the last visit. If it’s a first-time visitor, you can show an opt-in form so that he or she can sign up to your email list.
Increase lead response time – Contacting a prospect at the right time is critical to hasten the conversion process. The prospect may not want to talk to a sales representative during the research phase and making a sales call at this point may actually be counterproductive. However, if you are able to strike at the evaluation stage of the customer buying cycle, you may actually have greater success in closing the sale. With the lead scoring feature available within marketing automation, sales can time their entry to coincide with where the prospect is within the buying cycle. A lead is assigned a higher score based on their online activity; behaviours of a lead such as downloading a white paper, filling up a contact form, clicking a link within the email etc are noted by the system and an alert is sent to the sales team once the lead score goes beyond a threshold.
Improved customer experience – Marketing automation allows sales and marketing to work hand in hand. Marketing can provide a goldmine of information relating to web, search and social while sales can provide insights based on their first-hand experience of talking and interacting directly with prospects and customers. If these teams work in silos, the data cannot be utilized to its full potential. However, with marketing automation, sales can have a complete view of all the contacts that the prospect has had with your brand and this information can be leveraged when they actually call the prospect. With visibility of each other’s contribution, sales and marketing can support each other better. Sales can also give marketing feedback on which campaigns were more effective and which ones to discontinue.
Drip campaigns – Marketing automation can also be used to nurture prospects and help to advance them within the buying cycle. Drip campaigns can be used to dispatch personalized content and emails automatically to prospects based on specific trigger behaviors or as per a schedule. Drip campaigns are all about giving people relevant information at the right time. It can be used to welcome new customers and keep them informed and educated, and also to warm up leads. Drip campaigns can be particularly effective for B2B companies, which tend to have longer sales lead-times. It helps the sales representative or business to stay in touch with the prospect while delivering useful content.
Insights – The marketing automation platform keeps track of email campaigns, social media posts, text messages etc. The data and insights from the system can help you to optimize future campaigns.
How does marketing automation benefit your company? Let us know by throwing in a comment.