How to Align Marketing & Sales with a Marketing Automation Platform
One of the main benefits of a Marketing Automation Platform is the possibility to align Marketing & Sales.
What is Marketing Automation?
In its most basic form, a Marketing Automation platform is an application that you can use to communicate with your customers and prospects through a huge variety of channels.
It monitors how your customers and prospects interact with your organisation, from the web pages they visit, to the emails they open and the videos they watch.
This insight combined with the sophistication of technology allows you to automate your marketing communications so that they truly are relevant, timely and targeted.
Align Marketing & Sales
One of the main benefits of a Marketing Automation Platform is the possibility to align Marketing & Sales. Working more closely with your sales team for a marketing point of view means ensure you reap the full benefits of Marketing Automation by creating automations and communications that are aligned with your sales process:
Align your goals
Before you get started, discuss your goals and how you are going to measure success against them. For example, an overall goal may be to increase the flow of sales-ready leads over the next quarter and the metric to measure this will be the number of marketing qualified leads in Q1, compared to the previous quarter or the same period last year.
Drive visitors to your site from your marketing channels and convert them with targeted landing pages and web forms. From there consider what happens to them – What do you know about them already? What do you need to know? What communications should they receive? Use Nurturing Email Campaigns to build a personalised and targeted journey for your prospects, building in progressive profiling on your forms and fitting in relevant content throughout your program.
Work with your sales team to define a marketing qualified lead. What makes them sales-ready? What information do your sales team need to start conversations with your prospects? At which point are they most likely to be open to a sales call? And make sure this is before they go elsewhere. You may choose to qualify leads after key activities such as submitting a ‘Request a demo’ form or after a series of activities once they’ve met a certain scoring threshold.
Automate the sales process
Once you determine a sales-ready lead, pass it onto sales by assigning the lead:
- To a specific sales rep
- To a group of sales rep i.e. round-robin assignment
- To a queue in the CRM i.e. first-come first-served assignment
- To an active assignment rule in the CRM i.e. more complex lead routing based on territory or industry
If you use a good CRM as Salesforce could you automate the sales process by creating tasks for the sales team to follow-up on the lead or offer them one-to-one email templates to send direct sales emails from the Marketing Automation Platform..
Close the loop
Ensure that sales are following up on the leads you qualify by agreeing a suitable Service Level Agreement (SLA). For example, a new lead must be followed up within 4 business hours and if no contact is made, attempt again within 24 hours, or follow-up within 3 days of a proposal being sent. To align with your processes in the Marketing Automation Platform and for accurate reporting, ensure data is being fed back such as lead status, opportunity open, closed or lost.
Make it easy for sales to push leads back into the marketing funnel by making specific segmentation lists ‘CRM visible’. They can then add disqualified or inactive leads to a relevant nurture program that you are running.
Report on your key metrics and work out where you can make improvements to your process. Also ask sales reps for feedback on the quality of leads and what would make their job easier. Which marketing qualified leads are converting to won business and how can you attract more like them? Use this information to build a grading model and further optimise your lead qualification process.