How Marketing Automation Supports the Complex Sale
by Adam Luckeroth, on May, 5, 2015
Marketing automation platforms can provide tremendous value for businesses. According to The Forrester Wave™: Lead-To-Revenue Management Platform Vendors, Forrester Research found that, “B2B marketers that implement marketing automation experience a 10% increase in their sales-pipeline contribution.” However, the same study states, “[...] Only 9% of potential software buyers currently use a marketing automation system. Just 3% of micro-businesses and less than 10% of large firms use marketing automation software [...]”
When it comes to complex sales, information is key. Jeff Thull @jeffthull (Advisor, Speaker and Best-Selling Author of “Mastering the Complex Sale”) says, “Let’s face it, the more complex the situation becomes, the more people try to simplify things, and the simplest denominator is price. In negotiating, knowledge is power”.
Thanks to marketing automation platforms, an organization can reach potential customers at critical stages of the sales funnel and deliver the necessary information. That’s empowerment through knowledge, but the benefits don’t end there. Read on to learn about the positive impacts marketing automation can have on complex sales decisions.
Instant Delivery and Follow-Up
When a potential customer expresses interest in a product or service, they open a particularly small window of opportunity for salespeople. The sooner you can deliver relevant information to a prospect, the more likely they are to fully evaluate the opportunity. You can’t interrogate the customer, but you can help them along in the process.
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Marketing automation allows you to send messaging and materials instantly to a potential customer at any stage in the sales process and track their interactions. This gives salespeople the ability to engage at the right moment, avoid assumptions, sort the dreamers from the decision makers and identify project champions.
The more intensive the sale in an organization, the more people will be involved in the decision-making process and making internal communication more complex. With the use of marketing automation, prospects can remain supported with important information during critical stages of the sales process. The result is a team on the same page with increased buy-in, confidence in your product or service, clarity surrounding the objectives of the project and excitement for the outcome.
The Human Element
It may seem strange, but marketing automation can humanize your brand. Far from the impersonal one-to-many communications of the past, this technology enhances the ability to create targeted and personalized messaging that speak to individual pain points and needs.
Measurable Results Through Analytics
One powerful use of technology is the cultivation of data. According to eMarketer, 73% of B2B marketers worldwide agree that “measurable results” are the most valuable benefit of marketing automation. When you incorporate marketing automation with your sales flow, you have access to even more information about your leads. You can dive deeper into what type of communication is working, the best times to reach out, and the type of information that is most successful. On a larger scale, this data assists marketing and sales departments to make educated decisions on where resources are allocated in the future.
Increased Pace of the Sales Cycle
Rushing a prospect through the sales process can lead to a lot of lost deals. However, marketing automation has the capability to give leads a little extra nudge at critical times. The concept of the sales funnel relies on a customer moving through the buying process in four stages: awareness, consideration, intention, and conversion.
With access to data that tells you when, how and why to deliver information during each stage, you have the power to help leads make decisions, allowing prospects to continue to the next stage of the sales funnel instead of feeling stuck.
If you have implemented a marketing automation system into your sales process, what other benefits have you experienced? Leave us a comment below or reach out on Twitter @modusengagement.