Sales teams might be perplexed by the thought of using marketing automation for sales. As a sales professional, you might have approached and asked the marketing team, “Hey, what’s in it for me?”.
The answer – Everything!
The end goal of marketing automation is to make nurturing partnerships simpler, and salespeople benefit from it.
This article will help you explore the sales side of marketing automation tools. However, first, you need to understand how it works?
How Does Marketing Automation Work?
Marketing automation largely gathers data and uses it to minimize your efforts while strategizing your marketing campaigns and selling. It depends on the contact information collected through various sources at different stages.
Data can be contact and company info of your prospects, website interactions, or how they respond to marketing emails and social media messages. When anyone visits your website, subscribes to your newsletter, buys one of your ebooks, signs up for a free trial, or clicks on one of your ads, they’re giving you useful behavioral info.
Such data is gathered and analyzed through automation systems. But, how do sales reps use marketing automation to nurture prospects and close deals? Let’s explore.
How Does Marketing Automation Help Sales Reps?
1. Monitor and Use Real-Time Data
Marketing Automation allows your sales team to keep track of your prospects’ activities in real-time. All website, social media, and email interactions can be tracked, logged, and stored in your CRM. This includes information such as pages that were visited, links clicked, forms filled out, and which emails were opened. Real-time alerts based on certain trigger events can also be set up, allowing sales to contact prospects at the perfect time and better understand their specific needs.
According to CSO Insights, 70% of buyers fully define their needs on their own before engagement, and 44% identify specific solutions before reaching out to a seller. This means you need to proactively reach out to prospects to impact the sales conversation. Otherwise, they will decide without your input and may pick a competitor.
For instance, HubSpot CRM helps you learn what pages your lead has visited before filling up the form and how long the lead took to fill the form after landing on your website. You can use this data to plan your approach. If the lead has visited an informational blog post, you can consider them in the awareness stage of the buying cycle. If the prospect has visited the pricing page before filling the form, you can predict that the lead can be considered in the decision stage.
Similarly, using email marketing tools, you can automate email workflows and sales sequences.
2. Identify and Reach the Right Leads
When salespeople spend hours emailing and calling leads who might not have an immediate need or no need at all, the team becomes frustrated.
For instance, one of your top sales reps makes five cold calls to different leads in the morning. All of them decline after lengthy discussions. The rep had all the confidence in the world first thing in the morning and couldn’t wait to add to their quota. However, constantly talking to bad-fit prospects erodes their confidence and exhausts them.
Finally, the right person is on the other end of the line. Their company is a good fit, and they have the power to make decisions. Your representative, on the other hand, is exhausted and frustrated. They lose focus and motivation leading to a blunder during the conversation and lose the sale.
Prospecting tools like SalesIntel helps sales reps to identify ready-to-buy buyers using buyer’s Intent Data. This not only saves sales reps’ time but encourages them to put efforts into capitalizing on low-hanging fruit.
3. Keep Nurturing Leads and Prospects
Not every lead that you receive is ready to buy immediately. However, that doesn’t mean they will never get to the decision stage. They often move slowly through the buyer’s journey. So, you don’t want to miss out on a deal because the timing isn’t perfect.
Here’s when sales reps utilize marketing automation tools to establish relationships with prospects over time and strike when the iron is hot. If you study a lead sent to you by marketing and realize it’s not ready, give it back to marketing for nurturing. When the lead comes back to you, they will be more involved with your business, and you will have what you need to close the deal.
Frequently needing to return leads to marketing could also be a sign that your hand-off or lead scoring process requires adjustment.
4. Upgrade Communication and Processes
Cold emailing doesn’t work anymore unless you bring personalization. There are two ways of doing it – 1) Send one-to-one emails 2) Send personalized emails in bulk.
Email marketing platforms like MailChimp, Zoho, HubSpot, etc. help you send personalized emails to a wide group of people instead of sending one-to-one emails. This encourages you to devote more time to higher-level activities and the execution of advanced techniques.
Take the time to make automated emails come from the sales team and make emails highly targeted. You will be able to cultivate the leads and opportunities until every piece of the jigsaw puzzle is in order, stopping any potential client from slipping through the cracks. Conversion rates can rise, and you’ll have more knowledge of how consumers communicate with your brand.
Automating any system takes a large amount of work on the front-end, but setting up a process properly and thoughtfully will save time in the future when you need to adapt and improve it.
5. Improve and Focus Your Time
As marketing automation reduces manual efforts, it ultimately helps in boosting the sales process. With data readily available on data intelligence and email marketing platforms, sales reps can:
- Plan their day and prioritize the prospects and leads based on lead score and intent data
- Call buyers at the right time by tracking the email interaction
- Cut down the time spent on finding the contact information of the decision-makers
- Filter hot leads and send them emails tailored to their needs based on firmographic and technographic data
It should be clear by now that marketing automation, despite its name, isn’t just for marketing teams. It’s also a valuable tool for sales teams.
Finally – Choose Your Marketing Automation Tools Wisely
Not every automation tool will add value to your smarketing.
Although a CRM platform is often the first investment in sales technologies, marketing automation is near second. It’s still a big financial undertaking. When you commit to a tool or platform, you’re likely to stick with it for a long time. So, choose your marketing automation tools wisely.
While choosing one for your business, make sure that your marketing tool fits well with the rest of the sales and marketing stack.
Data collection and use are at the core of every marketing and sales automation. If a lack of reliable data is hampering your business growth, learn how SalesIntel gives you access to millions of human-verified contacts and company data in a few clicks.