How to Sell Marketing Automation Services
Marketing Automation is a powerful technology that leading digital marketing agencies are using to get better results for their clients, better show how their marketing is driving results for their clients, and perform more marketing in fewer hours. When pitching marketing automation to clients, we recommend using a goal-oriented approach and selling your services rather than just the technology by itself.
The key to selling marketing automation services is to start with the client’s goal in mind. The explicit goal that the client comes to you about is important, but implicit goals or issues that are under the surface are important as well. SPIN Selling is a tried and true sales methodology for discovering client needs and we recommend it as a great place to start.
You know your sales process is going awry if:
- You don’t have clear client goals
- You’re pitching everything you can do, and not just what solves the client’s issues
- The people you’re pitching to have no power and it’s not clear how you get to a sale
A perfect pitch outlines the client’s problem, the implication of that problem going unsolved, and how your services fix that problem.
Most marketing agencies pitch to their clients to win business. This could be done on the fly in a needs assessment meeting, or it could be an elaborate, multi-person presentation. For agency partners, ActiveDEMAND provides pitch decks and other resources that can be white-labeled to your agency, or you could just pick and pull individual slides out and add them to your agency’s deck. Here are 3 popular presentations we provide and what kind of agency and marketing services they’re for:
How to Prove your Digital Ads are Driving Sales
This deck is for ROI and results-focused digital agencies and would be useful when pitching for an ongoing client retainer. It presents how important attribution is, how tough it is to do, and how it can be done by you using call tracking, form tracking, etc. inside a marketing automation platform. Many agencies who opt to use ActiveDEMAND for attribution choose to simply mark up their retainers and then offer to add new clients to their agency ActiveDEMAND as part of their retainer.
The upside for you: the client gets better attribution “for free”, while your agency has a unique selling proposition to help separate you from the competition and close the business.
ABM Pitch Deck for Agencies
For agencies that consult on both sales and marketing strategy, Account-Based Marketing (ABM for short) is a powerful strategy that gives fantastic results for many B2B clients. Some strategy-focused agencies will pitch full ABM campaigns for clients once they have the sales target very specifically identified, usually through preliminary strategic consultation projects.
The upside for you: ABM projects are usually large in scope and bring your agency enormous insights into the client business.
Pitching an ActiveDEMAND-Enhanced Website
For agencies that develop websites for their clients, this presentation helps show some possibilities on what you can do with the tech. Primarily, these decks get used at the pitch stage and differentiate your web development abilities from the competition. You can talk about setting up attribution so the before/after fully captures how much the new website outperforms the old one, or the client may have special needs for automation after a form submit, or you can talk about dynamic website content that changes based on what the technology knows about the prospect, or you could more easily integrate their website with their CRM and other platforms using ActiveDEMAND. Being able to automate website action based on the contact can be handy and ActiveDEMAND allows you to pitch some bells and whistles without having to develop it from scratch. Building in the marketing automation platform from the outset also makes it easy to roll straight into a retainer afterward to continually perform marketing services and automation.
The upsides for you:
1. Dynamic content is likely something that your competitors aren’t pitching and may help win the sale.
2. Baked-in marketing automation in a website is a great beachhead to getting more work from the client and closing a monthly retainer.
After the Sale: Executing Marketing Automation Services
We recommend giving general “skin-deep” training to client-facing strategists and account managers while focusing deep technical knowledge on a smaller, specialized team to actually execute the work. Once account managers and digital strategists are aware of how marketing automation can be used, they can use it as one of the “tools on their belt”. They’ll know when they’re looking at a problem that can be solved with marketing automation, and then they’ll loop in the specialists to design and implement the solution.
In our experience, many agencies that are around 10-30 people will have 2 “specialists” that do most of the marketing automation work in the agency. These people live and breathe marketing automation and they’re probably certified by ActiveDEMAND Academy. As your agency takes on more marketing automation work, it’ll be important to add to this team so that you can still survive and thrive if your most experienced person leaves.
What if I can sell it, but I don’t have the staff to implement it?
If you can sell marketing automation but don’t have the internal staff to implement it, we can recommend agencies to work with who are experts at ActiveDEMAND, and we also have services staff in-house who can implement it for you. For smaller agencies or for agencies that don’t get enough marketing automation work to justify hiring in-house, subbing the work out to us and then marking it up is usually the solution.