Marketing automation is the automated process of nurturing leads down the sales funnel until they become a Marketing Qualified Lead, or commonly referred to as "MQL". As its name implies, marketing automation is generally intiated and managed by a company's marketing department. However, when executed properly, marketing automation can be a huge asset for sales professionals. I've found a few ways to leverage marketing automation to help close more business.
Don't spend time on unqualified leads
Marketing automation was designed to nurture leads down the sales funnel. This is primarily designed for lesser qualified leads. For example, if a prospect visited my website and download a Free eBook, they would go into a marketing automation campaign. However, if that same prospect visted my website and Requested a Product Demonstration, they would be removed from nurturing and handed off to a sales rep. That process is known as Marketing Qualified Leads.
The benefit of working at a company that leverages marketing automation is all about efficiency. Sales professionals do not want to spend time talking to unqualfied leads. We always want to be talking to the hottest leads that have the highest chance of closing. So, why not let marketing nurture the lesser qualified leads until they are ready? Boom!
Collect analytics along the way
Marketing automation is centered around email campaigns that are built with the hopes of engaging the prospect. With many marketing automation softwares today, sales professionals are able to gather a tremendous amount of lead intelligence when a prospect engages.
For example, if an unqualified prospect is being nurtured by marketing and they open an email, click a link, and then visit the pricing page and read a case study, you, as the sales rep, will have access to all of this intelligence.
More hot leads
Marketing automation is designed to accomplish two things: nurture unqualified leads and make more leads turn into Marketing Qualified Leads. So what does this mean for you as a sales rep? More demo requests, trial requests, contact sales requests, etc.
When marketing automation campaigns are designed appropriately, they include calls-to-action in order to help the prospect accomplish a specific goal or outcome. For example, a typical email campaign may offer eBooks and webinar invitations but there will also be a call-to-action to "Request a Demo". Now, the lead would be handed off to the sales rep.
Does your company leverage marketing automation? If so, how has it helped you win more business?