Salespeople enjoy talking to interested, qualified prospects, especially if they know exactly what a prospect is looking for and what information will help them close the sale.
The problem is that most salespeople spend the majority of their time doing other things: handling administrative and logistical chores or talking to people who have a very small chance of buying anything. Therefore, that naturally also means that they spend very little time "selling," even though that is the definition of their job.
Enter marketing automation software, which is designed to improve efficiency and turn your sales force into more of a selling force.
Automation and Information
Computer software for marketing automation procedures is designed to save time so that salespeople can spend more of their time selling to prospective clients. It automatically performs some administrative tasks, for instance, and helps keep information organized and easily accessible.
But those are some of its more basic capabilities. What really makes marketing automation software interesting is its ability to not just improve time efficiency, but sales efficiency as well. In other words, it can make a salesperson more effective at selling. It does so by providing more information and insight into the prospects being spoken with.
The right marketing automation software, for instance, can track a prospect's actions as they browse your website. It can identify how they found the website, including what search terms they used or what social media links they followed. It then lets you know what behavior they exhibit while on the site, such as which blog posts or product pages they visited, and whether they have read any of your whitepapers or ebooks. The salesperson therefore knows what the prospect has shown an interest in and what information they are already familiar with.
Based on such "digital body language," the marketing automation software can score leads and identify which prospects are most worthy of your sales efforts. It then helps you nurture those leads by contacting them quickly and recording the details of each interaction.
The Follow-Up Process
As the leads then pass through the sales cycle, marketing automation software can help ensure that they get followed up with in a timely and efficient manner. For example, it can help you deliver the right content by tailoring your email or other marketing communications to fit the interests or objections that the prospect has already stated. It therefore helps you shorten the sales cycle, spending less time working to get each "yes."
After the sale, marketing automation software can again save time by handling billing or inventory tracking. It can also be set to provide timely reminders, in the hopes of turning a one-time sale into a repeat customer.
One thing marketing automation does not do is remove the need for a sales and marketing team. People still want to deal with people, and even automated marketing communications require someone to create the content. But by removing inefficiencies and providing better customer intelligence, it can make your sales and marketing teams more effective at what they do.
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