Improve sales efficiency with marketing automation

Do you wish you had a way to prioritize your best customers? Many B2B firms don’t know how to focus on their top clients because they have no way to identify these accounts. This can seriously impact sales efficiency. Your sales team can work smarter with an online marketing system, which will help them direct their focus to the most important accounts.

If your organization attracts a high number of leads, you may think your team has no issues with sales efficiency. However, this may not be the case. The quantity of leads only matters if they are also qualified, according to an article for The Artillery B2B Marketing Blog written by Douglas Burdett. Historically, the two approaches to Internet lead generation were quantity and quality. In organizations with separate marketing and sales teams, marketers will generate leads and hand them over to sales. But this approach can be frustrating for sales representatives because it doesn’t always result in high-quality leads.

To really maintain an effective sales strategy, your employees need to go beyond whether a lead is qualified or not. Even if a prospect is a good match for your product, he or she may not be ready to buy immediately. A marketing automation platform can help your sales employees take a smarter approach to selling and improve their effectiveness.

Place the emphasis on most important clients

Each B2B firm has different strategic accounts. It may be the ones who pay the most, clients have been with your business the longest or both, Joe Galvin wrote in a Salesforce blog. Knowing which of your existing clients is the most important can help your sales team deepen the connections with customers, as well as change their approach to new business.

To do this, you need to establish criteria for the characteristics of a strategic account. In fact, valuable customers may expect preferential treatment, especially if they spend more. However, the issue is most B2B brands devote more attention to new clients rather than focusing on existing clients. Depending on the solution you provide to customers, they may need an occasional upgrade.

A marketing automation platform can help you define strategic accounts, as well as analyze customer behavior. This software integrates with your existing customer relationship management program so you can track current customers in addition to new leads. Most importantly, marketing automation can score leads as they enter the revenue funnel, which helps sales rep redirect their focus to the most important potential deals. This is highly beneficial for improving sales efficiency.

How marketing automation helps your sales team sell to the right people

B2B companies that utilize marketing automation typically experience better sales results, particularly after the solution has been in use for a few years, according to an infographic from Heinz Marketing and OnTarget Consulting. The groups surveyed current marketing automation users and found that the top five benefits were CRM integration, improving demand generation, customer segmentation, pipeline reporting and raising the effectiveness of the team.

Lead scoring can significantly improve how tasks are assigned to sales employees, which boosts efficiency. Each member of your team has individual strengths and weaknesses, meaning some may be better at certain aspects of the sales process than others. Leads can be assigned to specific members of the team, which gives prospects a more consistent customer experience. Additionally, more sales-ready leads can be handed off to the most experienced members of your team who know how to close. Scoring can change how leads are prioritized by utilizing a number of dimensions, Burdett wrote. If your company attracts a large number of leads at once, marketing automation platforms can rank them in terms of sales readiness and importance.

However, lead scoring isn’t foolproof. If you have a separate sales and marketing team, it’s important to involve sales when determining the criteria for a qualified lead. Marketers are typically focused on numbers, and this may not leave sales professionals with many quality prospects to work with. Additionally, it’s important to remember to nurture the leads who aren’t ready to buy yet. Some companies that use lead scoring only pursue the hot leads and ignore the rest, Burdett pointed out. Lead generation campaigns come with a cost, and you can maximize your return on investment by building the relationship over time with these cold prospects who are a good fit for your product or service.

It’s also a good idea to review lost opportunities because it could provide clues about what your team could do better in the future. This is a great way to assess the effectiveness of your scoring metrics. Marketing automation platforms allow sales reps to have a better idea of where leads are in the sales cycle and track behaviors that could be indications of readiness.