When you think about marketing automation and what it can do for sales conversions, you have to think like a marketer. First off, the most important concern to a marketer is utilizing the tools available to increase QUALITY incoming leads. This is important because sales managers care less about how many leads come in than about the results those leads generate.
With marketing automation and a good CRM system you can quadruple sales conversions by understanding your prospects through the use of big data. This also gives sales reps back valuable time to actually sell, rather than harvesting cold leads.
Kacee Johnson is presenting the session, Roadmap to Growth: Marketing Strategies You Can Implement Today, at Accountex 2016.
What Automated Marketing Systems Can Deliver
Did you know that only 40% of a sales rep’s time is actually spent selling, on average? What if you could invert that statistic and increase production by 50%?
About 70% of marketing leads never get converted to sales, which is pretty high when you consider the cost to attain each lead. Marketing automation tools provide the insights a sales team needs to close deals. For example, imagine marketers spending their time, and company money, on qualifying leads rather than utilizing nurturing programs and lead scoring.
Here is the math: standard sales process yields 40% of work time to selling. Introduce a marketing automation system to do the qualifying and lead scoring for you. This gives 40% of the time back to the sales rep. The remaining 20% of the time is spent in meetings, running reports, and so on. Now, that only doubled our conversion rate. However, marketing automation tools do more than just qualify. They nurture, report, and provide better insights into what your clients actually are doing with your data (on your website, emails, etc.) so that you can upsell based on trends.
Automated Marketing + Customer Relationship Management
Add in the customer relationship management (CRM) system and you have a highly intelligent engine that works round the clock based on peak prospect interest times. The software is more productive than a human can be in terms of touches, so the harvesting of cold or dead leads occurs with virtually no man hours allotted.
If software can take care of the qualification process for you, then both the marketers and the sales reps can be more productive and close more deals.
Marketing automation can help dramatically increase quality leads and conversion rates by driving lead generation through landing pages, forms, progressive profiling, lead scoring, and grading—as well as automatic lead assignment.
Automation Software That Integrates With Salesforce
Marketing automation software should be at the top of your list if you want to increase sales with quality leads. Here is a list of marketing automation tools that integrate with Salesforce to deliver the master marketer’s combo:
Marketing Cloud by Salesforce
ExactTarget is now a Salesforce-owned product, an extremely robust multi-channel marketing tool. The platform has been known as a market leader in email, and the Marketing Cloud truly is the customer platform for 1:1 marketing. Because ExactTarget is now Salesforces Marketing Cloud, you know you will be getting a great product that continually evolves, keeping you on top with cutting-edge technology. Marketing Cloud’s integration with Salesforce includes:
- Journey Builder allows marketers to create and manage multi-channel customer journeys through one interface.
- Marketers can build a single view of customers, and deliver personalized content on every channel and every device.
- Syncing of the database between both systems maintains accurate data consistently.
- Coordinate email + advertising with advertising studio.
- Analyze, Listen, Publish and engage customers with social studio.
Pardot is a Salesforce-owned product that integrates with the CRM system more closely than other marketing automation solutions. Since it’s still fairly new, a completely seamless integration isn’t quite there yet. But, their goal is to reach a level of functionality that is completely seamless. Pardot’s integration with Salesforce includes:
- Syncing of the database between both systems to maintain accurate data consistently.
- Tracking data on one interface from both systems.
- Sending emails and adding prospects to nurture tracks within Salesforce.
- Integrating all tasks, campaigns, and assignments.
Act-On marketing automation helps smaller marketing and sales teams succeed. Email marketing, landing pages and forms, automated programs, and website visitor tracking are the main functionalities. Act-On’s integration with Salesforce includes:
- Data synchronization between both systems.
- Once a prospect reaches a certain point on a nurture track, Act-on automatically assigns a sales rep to a Salesforce task.
- A complete view your sales funnel in real-time.
- Feed form submissions into Salesforce that do not create duplicate entries.
Marketo’s marketing automation platform was launched in 2007, giving you the power and flexibility to launch targeted campaigns across multiple channels, generating more revenue with less manual effort. Marketo’s features include lead nurturing, landing pages and forms, email marketing, and business analytics. Marketo’s integration with Salesforce includes:
- All fields and custom objects automatically sync.
- Changes that are made are updated in both systems without double entry within either system that the change is made in.
- Any changes made in the actual CRM framework—like fields, objects, etc.—are automatically reflected in Marketo as well.
Hubspot characterizes itself as “an inbound marketing software platform helping companies attract more visitors, convert more leads, and close more customers.” Features in the marketing automation platform include: automated workflows, email nurturing, lead generation tools, and business analytics. HubSpot’s integration with Salesforce includes:
- Every sales interaction is recorded in Hubspot and Salesforce.
- Personalize all emails with data from Salesforce directly.
- Utilize Hubspot’s Social Inbox for more data about prospects.
Eloqua, Oracle’s marketing automation product, allows marketers “to create and manage ideal customers and power revenue performance.” Eloqua features prospect targeting and segmentation, campaign management, lead management, and lifecycle marketing to the customer. Eloqua’s integration with Salesforce includes:
- Customizing which fields to synch between systems.
- Supports every editions of Salesforce, not just the Sales Cloud.
- All form submissions are checked against both databases to prevent duplicate records before a new lead is ever created.
- When data is updated in an Eloqua form, it is also updated in Salesforce.
iContact features product innovation and offers email marketing, landing pages, press outreach and monitoring, social media outreach, and business analytics. They also offer A/B testing. iContact’s integration with Salesforce includes:
- Bi-directional sync with contact information is consistently up to date.
- OutMarket sends qualified leads directly to Salesforce automatically.
- Makes certain that the right contacts are getting the right information at the correct time.
The SimplyCast user experience is a little different. Campaigns are designed to be set up as flow charts that tell the system what to do. The main features of the system are lead nurturing, lead scoring, multi-channel campaigns, and detailed reports. SimplyCast integration with Salesforce includes:
- Connecting to Salesforce Contacts, Leads, Records, and Reports.
- Users can be added to previously created email autoresponders.
- Segment your prospect lists further to create effective online campaigns.
Salesfusion promotes itself as the only automation software that is built on a CRM database to integrate at a deeper level with the clients. Key features of Salesfusion included integrated email campaigns, website visitor tracking, landing pages and forms, and business analytics. Please note, Salesforce integration costs an additional $50 more per month. Salesfusion’s integration with Salesforce includes:
- Use all of Salesfusion within the Salesforce platform itself.
- View all marketing responses and activity in lead and contact records.
- Nurture leads through the entire sales process seamlessly.
- Capture and sync prospect data from forms and surveys.
There is a bevy of options when looking at marketing automation tools. Your budget and your key functionality needs will be the primary factors in determining the right solution for your business. Utilizing marketing automation tools will increase sales conversions, and weed out the tire kickers, while empowering your sales team. Don’t think of it as an expense, look at it as buying staff time back that will surely generate a multiple return on investment.