These are changing times, rather than challenging times. The reason why I say this is, although there is a tremendous disruption of industries, the economy, and everything else, there is no reason to think that it is the end of the world. I am a firm believer, and I hope you are too, that with every challenge, there are exciting opportunities. More businesses are now recognizing the benefits of generating leads through marketing automation.
Even before the emergence of the dark cloud of COVID19, companies' spend on marketing automation tools was growing. And several forecasts say it will continue to grow in the future too!
The Forrester Marketing Automation Technology Forecast predicts that the spend on marketing automation tools will reach an astounding $25.1 Billion by 2023. A dramatic increase from companies' annual spending of $11.4 Billion in 2017!
What will always remain the same, is how we emphasize with our customers by delivering personalized-targeted messaging or content through email, blogs, or videos. In current times, as conferences continue to close their doors resulting in fewer lead generation opportunities- all is not lost as there is an alternative.
By using marketing automation, you will be able to generate leads quicker and more efficiently!
How does a Lead Qualification System work?
Picture your business like a garden. Here you'll see flowers with bundles of growth potential, your qualified leads, mixed in with low-quality leads, the weeds which drain the life out of your garden. Now let's plug in a lead qualification system.
The goal of any lead qualification system is to differentiate quality leads from low-quality leads. As a director of sales, do you find your team spends too much time on low-quality leads, rather than focusing on high-quality leads?
The solution to this problem is using marketing automation tools!
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation tools help qualify leads through automating time-consuming tasks. On average salespeople spend 36% of their time making sales, spending the rest on data entry, sales reporting, and finding information.
Many businesses are discovering the benefits of using marketing automation. According to Digitalmarketingsuite.com,”67% of best in class businesses are more likely to use marketing automation".
Prospecting made easier through automation
According to Hubspot, 42% of salespeople say prospecting is the toughest part of their job. On average, sales reps will need to make eight attempts to close a sale; yet the majority of sales representatives don't reach halfway giving up after making just two attempts.
.Sales Automation Software
Emailing sequencing should be a staple of any prospecting strategy. Using automation, sales representatives can personalize, schedule a series of emails, while pre-determining intervals for each prospect, in addition to scheduling tasks.
Marketing automation prompts one of your sales representatives to call before or after an email is scheduled to go out. Once a prospect opens an email, a sales representative will receive a notification. And once the prospect replies, they are un-enrolled automatically from the sequence.
Before making a call or emailing a prospect, wouldn't it be helpful to know how they became a lead? Did they fill out a form on a website or respond to an email? What stage are they on their buyer's journey? Did they respond to an advertisement they saw on social media, or are they considering whether or not to make a purchase?
So wouldn't it be great if you had a scoring system to help you attain these crucial insights?
Developing a lead scoring system does just that - it helps your team know how a lead is defined and what type of interactions and experiences they’ve had with your company. All your prospects interact with your brand at different touch points during their customer journey. For example, did they fill out a form on a website, respond to a social media post, or open an email opting in to find out more about a service?
A lead scoring system assigns different numerical values based on prospects’ demographic information and behavioral information. Demographic information refers to a prospect’s job title, location, or company address etc.., whereas, behavioral information could be what social channels they prefer interacting with your company on.
Once a lead has attained a specific score, based on either how many times they visited your products page or type of interaction on social media, your marketing team transfers them to sales. For example, a lead “with a high score, could be sent into a low-funnel email campaign requesting they sign up for a product demo”.
Marketing automation tools such as Hubspot or Marketo optimize your company's resources- saving you time. Studies show that businesses that excel at lead nurturing generate more sales-ready leads. And at a 33% lower cost.
Accelerate your sales cycle
According to ironpaper.com, the sales cycle is 23% shorter when companies use automation tools to nurture their leads. Applying automation allows you “to facilitate lead education on your own terms!”
By serving up content that explains your product solutions, removes doubt, and offers value, you will increase the conversion rate of leads from qualified leads to customers.
You'll find that starting a lead generation strategy by creating buyer personas, then sharing content through a targeted workflow campaign, will bring better results than cold calling or sending a generic email. According to Mailchimp, segmented campaigns produce 100% more clicks.
Research shows that 77% of Chief Marketing Officers say that they choose automation software because it increases company revenue. By nurturing your leads, your customers will make purchases more often and quicker. Interesting research from ironpaper.com shows “that 47% of nurtured leads make larger purchases”.
Marketing Automation: better results for changing times
Today, the world is more unpredictable than ever before. For those that rely on generating leads and networking at conferences, there are alternative ways to generate leads. Research shows that the trend of companies using marketing automation tools is growing significantly.
The good news is marketing automation tools can be used remotely from home. All you need is a phone line and internet connection; the rest is up to you.
Automating your sales processes is a win for everyone in your company. For example, nurturing leads through lead scoring helps align those working in sales and marketing departments.
With tools like Hubspot or Marketo, everyone can work together. Salespeople can see when prospects open marketing or sales emails sent by another member of their team and then follow up. A much-improved tactic than cold calling or generic emailing, especially in current times where customers and prospects need to feel that their needs are important to YOU!
In today's world of uncertainty, a couple of things remain the same, the company that can show the most empathy and listen and respond to customer pain points will continue to enjoy success.