As the importance of human to human marketing has increased over the years, we've seen new strategies on how to connect more with audiences, speak in an authentic voice, and be more relatable and personal in order to be relevant. From this comes new concepts like relationship marketing, network marketing, and even marketing automation that seeks to enable these kinds of deeper relationships. Wondering how automated technology can actually help connect leads and prospects and sales teams in a better way? These are our top five ways:
1. Sales have more time to engage with the right prospects
With automations like workflows, lead scoring, and lifecycle stage, sales can have a much clearer indication of which prospects are actually sales-ready, and which are more casual observers. This ensures that the allocation of resources, especially time, is more appropriate. Sales can then devote more of their attention on a fewer number of leads, who they can then create better relationships with, making it more likely for them to convert to becoming a customer.
2. Tailored content increases conversion
Using automations like HubSpot's SMART content rules can allow you to deliver more tailored material to your leads and site visitors. When you do this, it can ensure that your prospects see exactly the content that is most relevant to them, which can be in terms of their job title and position and what kind of company they work at, what questions or challenges they seem to have, or interests them the most from a knowledge or entertainment point of view. In being able to provide somewhat customized experiences, you can then better establish trust and reliability which tends to lead to an increase in actual conversions.
3. Reliable data are synchronized with the CRM
One of the best outcomes of using marketing automation tools is the amount of data you can acquire about your prospects. With an all-in-one tool like HubSpot, this also means that data is automatically synchronized with your CRM, giving you a much more comprehensive overview of each of your contacts and customers. With this information you can be better able to speak to your prospects equipped with knowledge and insight about them, making them feel important and valued.
4. Follow-up tools for sales and lead nurturing
When it comes to the actual marketing automation technology, you are able to do so much behind the scenes to help your prospects move towards making an actual purchase. By implementing these tools like sales sequences, pipeline overview, workflows, automated email marketing, and other nurturing activities, you are much more likely to continue to capture the interest of your leads. When relying solely on manual activities, prospects can tend to fall through the cracks, leading to missed opportunities and lower conversion rates.
Luckily, there are softwares on the market especially designed to maximize the connections between marketing and sales, and leverage technology and integrations to improve the relationship. HubSpot, in particular, has several features for automating lead nurturing activities:
Workflows - workflows are a prescribed set of actions that you can set up to help your prospects along the sales funnel. A workflow "trigger" is something marketing can set up that automatically enrolls a site visitor into the workflow, such as filling out a form, viewing a specific number or types of content, or subscribing to a blog or newsletter. Setting up parameters in the workflow that serve your lead new content, keep tabs on what they view on your website, and their level of engagement helps sales to understand the prospect and their needs better.
Some of the activities that can be pre-set in a workflow include things like email marketing. Email marketing is a great way to keep leads engaged, and you can evaluate their interest based on email open rates and click rates. Emails can be pre-made and added to workflows automatically, so that they are sent at predetermined times rather than needing to be manually sent and monitored.
Lifecycle stage - lifecycle stages are labels that can be assigned to contacts and leads in your CRM. This indicates to anyone on your team where a contact is in their buyer's journey. Labels can be manually assigned but also be added as leads move through workflows and perform actions that trigger a new lifecycle stage. These labels allow the sales team to know how ready a lead may be for sales.
Task assignment - one of the clearest ways to alert sales to a hot lead is through triggering task assignments. In workflows, you can ensure that once a lead has either moved through the workflow in its entirety, or triggered enough actions, that a task is directly assigned to a sales representative, such as to contact directly a specific lead who may be highly engaged. By assigning specific leads and tasks to sales team members, you reduce the risk of prospects slipping through the cracks, or too much coverage given to one particular lead.
5. Keep customers in the flywheel and make them loyalists
Most importantly in modern marketing and sales, is the ability to keep customers coming back. More emphasis is now being put on leveraging existing relationships, keeping customers engaged, showing appreciation, and providing opportunities for loyalty and referrals. When you are able to establish a deeper relationship already with prospects even before they become paying customers, you have a much higher likelihood of keeping them over time. Just as marketing and sales alignment helps increase conversions, sales and customer service alignment allow those relationships to become long-term, and increase the probability of customers making repeat purchases or renewing contracts again and again.
It's now more important than ever for businesses to be treating their prospects and customers as individuals that are valued. In order to do this, marketing automation can set up sales to be able to focus more time and attention on the right leads, establishing deeper connections that are informed by better insights, and more personalized experiences for prospects.
Image: AdobeStock © Jeanette Dietl