Is it time for your company to implement marketing automation?

Small business-to-business firms may think they don’t have the size to warrant an online marketing system. Many companies still use manual processes to track sales leads, or worse, resort to cold calling prospects. As buyers become increasingly empowered to conduct independent research before making a decision, firms that rely on outdated processes could be left behind. Even smaller firms can utilize marketing automation to become more efficient and generate a larger amount of revenue.

Automating some business processes can save employees time and reduce company spending, Chris Thierry and Robert Al-Jaar wrote for The Globe and Mail. These systems raise productivity, which helps sales professionals be more effective. They also enable better Internet lead generation. Companies can therefore attract a higher number of more qualified leads.

How do you know when it’s the right time to implement new marketing technology? It’s important to consider whether your organization is a good fit for a marketing automation implementation, according to an article for Groove Digital Marketing written by Trent Dyrsmid. Because the B2B industry has an extended sales cycle that continues to get longer, marketing automation usually works well. It allows sales representatives to track leads through the revenue funnel, which can stop prospects from dropping out halfway through the sales cycle. Automation can also streamline the process of moving leads from one stage to the next.

Dyrsmid gave two other important considerations before deciding the implement marketing automation:

  • Content-rich website: While marketing automation platforms have many remarkable features, they are not a magic solution for a general lack of content. Having enough content on your website is important for the research leads will perform on their own, so this is something B2B firms need to have anyway. However, this isn’t a barrier to entry for marketing automation adoption. Companies can generate more content while implementing a new solution, but the setup may take somewhat longer.
  • Multiple enterprise systems: Depending on your organization, you may be juggling multiple platforms, such as customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning. While some business owners may think adding another platform to the mix would create chaos, marketing automation can often help coordinate the interaction between these different systems. Most platforms can integrate with CRM so your employees can better track sales data. However, it’s important to check the compatibility before selecting new software.

How to make a marketing automation implementation successful

Some companies do not see the desired return on investment from marketing automation investments, but it is often the result of improper implementation. Because sales reps are the end users of these platforms, they need to be involved in the selection process. They can provide valuable insight on what they would like from new technology. In addition, sales employees should take an active role during the implementation to ensure they can get up to speed quickly, The Globe and Mail stated.

It’s important to have clearly defined goals before starting an implementation project because it will help keep each step on schedule. Without a specific plan, implementation can quickly run off the rails, fall behind schedule or fail entirely. You need to clearly communicate expectations to employees to ensure the success of the project.

Each company has different needs, so the same path to marketing automation may not be applicable for every business. You should outline your needs and goals before selecting a platform. Making the right choice can help your company succeed with a marketing automation platform.

Using marketing automation to streamline the sales funnel

Technology has put all the cards in buyers’ hands, which means B2B firms need solutions give them more control over the sales cycle. Not only does marketing automation improve lead generation and create better visibility throughout the sales cycle, but it also makes it easier for reps to tailor their presentations to suit the individual’s needs. Even if your company is too small to warrant a separate marketing department, one of these platforms can help you create customized email campaigns or trigger messages based on prospects’ behaviors. With the added visibility, your employees can provide more informative content to website visitors, which facilitates the process of converting casual browsers into leads.

Prospects may take different paths through the revenue funnel, which is another challenge sales reps need to cope with. Marketing automation improves inbound campaigns, which draw leads to you. Triggered emails can be sent when prospects take an action, such as downloading a white paper from the website. With one of these sophisticated platforms, there is less doubt about when leads are ready to speak to a representative. This allows salespeople to maximize their effectiveness because they won’t waste their time following up with cold prospects. Marketing automation can help your sales team win a higher percentage of deals when it’s implemented properly.