How to use automation to create a smooth link between sales and marketing

A strong bridge between sales and marketing is a B2B company’s not-so-secret tool for success. With aligned sales and marketing, each team is in the best position to hit their most important KPIs and give consumers a more streamlined experience from the very first touchpoint.

In fact, LinkedIn research shows that
businesses with strong sales and marketing alignment are 67% more effective at
closing deals, 58% more effective at retaining customers, and drive 208% more
revenue as a result of their marketing efforts. Impressive, right?

To help get sales and marketing on the same page, you can optimize internal communication, hold regular meetings, and collaborate via shared metrics and dashboards. But you might not have thought about improving your sales-marketing relationship with automation.

Automation provides a myriad of benefits for any business. You can use the information you already have about
your contacts to automatically guide leads through your ideal marketing funnel.
Automated processes also help align your sales and marketing teams, especially
by kick-starting and facilitating processes, handovers, and data collection
that help you succeed.

But what should you get started with? And how
can you set up processes that get results? Let’s help you get started…

1.
Collect the right data for sales and marketing

To get the best results from automation, it’s
important to consider the data you’re collecting. Your audience’s attention is
incredibly valuable: every single form field should earn its place by being a
well-considered question that will give you valuable data.

Check all your forms and make sure you’re collecting
data that allows marketing and sales to qualify contacts and have the right
information as they move down the funnel. Don’t go overboard, though – it’s
important to ensure all questions are relevant and appropriate for the stage of
the funnel. Don’t ask for annual revenue to receive a top of funnel trends
report.

2.
Define the way leads should flow between Marketing and Sales

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking of your
marketing and sales funnels as separate entities. They’re very much connected,
and should always be considered in parallel.

Begin by getting a clear picture of what your funnels look like. Map them out – on paper with Post-Its if you need to. Make sure everyone agrees how leads enter your funnel, become qualified, and take key actions (such as requesting a demo) before becoming customers.

Next, pinpoint when your marketing team needs to pass leads to sales. Is it when a lead requests a demo? Or is it before then – maybe showing interest signals like visiting your pricing page?

Once you know exactly when a lead should move
to sales, you can use automation to reduce manual work and handovers. For
instance, if a qualified lead requests a demo, you can use your marketing tool
to change the contact owner to a sales representative and set a task for them
to reach out.

3.
Get your tools in sync

One powerful way to boost company efficiency
is to connect your marketing and sales tools.
With integrations and two-way contact syncs, you can automatically keep your
key business tools updated and ensure everyone has the latest data at hand.

List all the business tools you rely on. Are
they currently in sync, or do you have room for improvement? Set a goal to
streamline your data flow between the tools you use most and eliminate manual
uploads and updates.

As a starting point, consider synchronising contacts between your CRM and
email tool
, proposals system, and billing software if you
use these tools.

4. Deliver tailored content to
guide leads through your buyer’s journey

47% of marketing teams don’t have a documented
buyer’s journey, says Kapost in their 2018 B2B Marketing and Sales Alignment
Benchmark
. That’s a huge lost opportunity.

Make sure you’re clear on the key stages your
customers travel through before and after purchase. Once you’ve done that,
choose your best pieces of content for each stage (look at relevance, as well
as conversion rate and time on page). You can then create
emails to promote these content pieces
as part of
personalized workflows that deliver the right content at the right time, based
on certain triggers.

Consider adjusting the email sender and reply-to address depending on the stage of the funnel – perhaps having one marketer sending your top-of-funnel emails, and a product marketer or salesperson sending more product-focused messages. But make sure not to confuse your recipient with too many emails and too many senders.

Your goal should be to gradually move leads further down the funnel and motivate signs of engagement (such as demo requests). You can also use automation to schedule follow-ups when action is required from your contact, such as to finalize their demo booking or approve a sales proposal. Once a lead completes one workflow, you can choose to automatically trigger enrollment in another.

5. Set
up notifications to update key people in your team

Automation makes sending messages to contacts a breeze, but it can also radically improve your internal conversation. With your marketing software, set up internal workflows based on certain triggers (such as visiting your pricing page) to let your team know when a lead is engaging with bottom-of-funnel content or requires sales reach-out.

Alongside notifications, you can also create
automated tasks for your sales team to contact leads based on certain criteria.
That way you know your sales reps are always clear on the next action they need
to take, without wasting time trying to figure out priorities.


When you align
your sales and marketing
, you reap the benefits in every
area of your business. Automation is one of the best ways to create a smoother
bridge between your teams, as well as boosting overall productivity, response
times, and personalized outreach to contacts.

Ahead of your next sales
and marketing meeting, why not make a note to discuss how you can use automated
processes to improve your business performance and synergy

The post How to use automation to create a smooth link between sales and marketing appeared first on dotdigital blog.

Reblogged 2 months ago from blog.dotdigital.com