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How to succeed using marketing automation.

Following on from last weeks blog ,"How to automate your marketing processes", we take a look this week at the benefits that businesses can enjoy from implementing automated processes:  

Marketing and sales alignment
Successful implementation of a marketing automation platform helps align marketing and sales department by increasing communication and transparency between departments. The inherent nature of an automated platform, tightly integrated with your CRM, provides measurable indicators on the quality and quantity of leads being funnelled to your sales reps. In essence, you're creating an automatic feedback-loop. Since the entire process is fully automated, the quality and quantity of leads being funnelled can be adjusted by marketing at any time, as per the sales organisation's needs. The days of throwing leads over a wall and letting sales fend for themselves are essentially over, once you've implemented such a program. Your lead changes from a marketing lead to a qualified sales lead.  

Better insight in to what works (and what doesn't)
Consolidating the lead-to-sales funnel under one roof, gives marketers the benefit from having a clear insight in to what part of the chain is working and what isn't. And as with any process, a simple tuning at any step will have an impact at later stages. When your marketing processes are automated, the task of "tweaking the system" becomes much easier and much easier to measure. A measurable process enables marketers to no longer be viewed as a cost-centre, but to demonstrate ROI. Marketing accountability is now transparent because every step of the sales cycle is now easily viewable and measurable.  

Reduce operating costs
This is, of course, what draws marketers in to implementing a marketing automation platform in the first place, because we are all trying to answer the question, "How do I decrease costs and increase efficiency?"

The reduction of labour costs is a by-product of any automated system. The reduction of costs is brought on primarily by two broad concepts:  

  • Decreased labour costs: by automating the process of qualifying / allocating leads and measuring the effectiveness of campaigns and programs
  • Increased efficiency: by automating tasks and focusing sales on quality leads, thereby eliminating waste (lost time / resources) within the system

How to succeed using marketing automation
While there are important differences between marketing and marketing automation platforms, success is often primarily determined by four things:

  1. Your strategy and process
  2. Your content and lead flow
  3. Your people
  4. Your integration: CRM, data, email campaigns and SEO

With limited investment in these areas, you can usually get good (but not great) ROI from marketing automation. The best results usually come from getting started with what you have today, and then incrementally investing over time to move up the curve.  

The transparency, accountability and overall effectiveness of a marketing automation platform, enables businesses to benefit from significantly reduced marketing costs and puts them in a very strong position to focus sales resources where they can be most effective and are much more likely to win sales.  

By adopting and utilising a marketing automation platform you can be confident that as the ownership of a ‘lead’ is transferred from marketing to sales, that ‘lead’ will have become a nurtured and valuable ‘sales-ready lead’.  

To learn more, download my latest free white paper "10 Steps to deliver high quality marketing and sales ready leads".