When is My Company is Ready for Marketing Automation?
If you’re thinking about that marketing automation or CRM Singapore deal don’t just do it yet. If you ever heard about marketing automation solutions or inbound marketing and you’re excited about it, don’t pull the trigger just yet. This blog will help you decide if your company is ready for marketing automation solutions or not.
Purchasing marketing automation software is a big monthly expense, and if your company is new then you should think twice about incurring additional expenses brought about by purchasing marketing automation tools.
First, check if you’re experiencing common problems like this situation.
Your marketing VP suggests a rollout plan which involves more team training and additional hiring of Marketing Analytics Ninjas and Marketing Operations Managers.
Your sales team isn’t saying that they want marketing automation solutions, but they ask for more data on what leads are doing as they browse your site, during webinars, and at your company’s sponsored events. Salespeople sent out about 50 to 100 personalized emails to a list. Whichever tool you have is now a hindrance because of the lack of time to train personnel or the lack of expertise needed to carry out these tasks. You know as a fact that sales personnel are focused on money and not database work.
Your Chief financial officer runs around trying to generate revenue forecasts together from CRM opportunity data, your financial system, and conversations with Sales VPs. In some months, the forecasts are spot on, oftentimes it’s not. That discrepancy is what make boardroom conversations difficult.
Would marketing automation solutions solve these problems?
It’s possible but only if you are ready to face the challenge.
I suggest that unless you have the following prerequisites in place, you don’t get marketing automation solutions for your company right away.
- Leads only come from client referrals.
- You have minimal/no content to share with your prospects
- You only have less than 5000 unique visitors each month.
- Your email list with people who opted in to hear from you isn’t large enough >10,000 emails.
- You haven’t refined your marketing strategy
What is Marketing Automation Solutions?
If you want to learn more about marketing automation solutions, we have several articles explaining its basic principles. Automation isn’t just a tool; it influences your marketing and sales teams to rethink the way they do marketing.
Inbound marketing always comes first
There are tons of articles about inbound marketing that explain how to build up an online presence in your niche.
Inbound marketing is all about sharing compelling content that demonstrates your knowledge and expertise to your experience.
Content is can be compared to real estate on the internet. You use content to solidify your position in the SERPs and use it to dominate your competitors. If you start from having an organic traffic, it may take a few months to build up, depending on the quality of your content, to the point when you have leads making a lot of requests or sending email addresses. This is TOFU or “top of the funnel” content — which helps you build a subscriber base for your funnel by informing through educational content.
“Okay, good, so once this is in place, is our company ready for automation?”
The answer is no. This is because your blog may get traffic, but you have to consider the number of people converting to email contacts. If you’re getting 10 or 20 a day, then by all Marketing emails deep content to leads that’s related to the content they demonstrate an interest in. When a new industry paper comes out, they send that over to the right buyer personas. If your firm is rated highly or wins an award, a fun infographic is sent out to people who are likely to care. Marketing watches for leads in the target audience that engage: people that open emails, click on links, visit site pages, download papers, or attend events. means consider marketing automation. If that number only falls between 10 to 20 a month, then marketing automation is not yet for you. A handful of marketing staff can follow up on those leads just fine.
Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)
Now that you have a few people signed up and following your daily or weekly updates, you need to keep them engaged. You need not just to engross them in your amazing content — no, now you need them to start considering your company as someone who can help them in solving their problems or answer their questions related to what your company offers.
Content is highly essential
This means not just any ordinary substandard content, you have to make the highest quality content you can so that leads will come flocking to your site. You can start personalized emails with long-form content like in-depth webinars, invitations to special events and whitepapers. If you don’t have any of this content, you should start working on it now.
This process of keeping you MOFU engaged is called lead nurturing. Lead nurturing utilizes content and sales contacts to guide your leads to see your blog as a go-to place when they seek out solutions to their problems. If you ever find yourself with thousands of leads, but with minimal sales, it’s time you reconsider your approach.
Sales carefully select leads from the email list by asking Marketing for a list of people from your CRM. Your marketing team may send over 200 people who match your intended buyer persona, but what happens is sales calls 50 of those people, 10 respond, and 5 meet, and 1 buys.
Marketing emails deep content to leads that’s related to the content they demonstrate an interest in. When a new industry paper comes out, they send that over to the right buyer personas. If your firm is rated highly or wins an award, a fun infographic is sent out to people who are likely to care. Marketing watches for leads in the target audience that engage: people that open emails, click on links, visit site pages, download papers, or attend events.
Your contacts become more engaged and then marketing sends them more targeted content such as live demo offers, demo videos, and consultations. Marketing pushes these engaged leads to the sales team once the lead have behaved in a certain way which says that they are nearer to making a purchase.
Now sales call 50 people who need help, 30 responds, 18 come to meet, and then 7 make a purchase.
So which approach sounds better to you?
Marketing automation has the biggest ROI in the middle and bottom of the sales funnel, where automated contacts and notes to your sales team can expedite things and help you to generate more leads with less effort. Content is essential for marketing automation.
In the same case, a scarcity of leads will make marketing automation a liability to run. You need to first make sure that you have a constant flow of leads at the top of the funnel to make it profitable.
Surveys say that B2B buyers confirm that 60% of the B2B buying process is entirely done online without the aid of sales representatives. Now if you don’t believe that, imagine this situation of someone buying a product now. You research it online, maybe ask a friend or look for product reviews. Once you have an understanding of how the product works, its potential issues, technical specs, and pricing model, do you dial a sales rep or click buy? I think doing the buying process is easier and you don’t even need to leave your house for it.
At the bottom of the sales funnel (BOFU) is where the buyer seeks out details like price, social proof, and technical specs. Now if your site doesn’t have content answering the prospect’s questions then that prospect will most likely go somewhere else. You don’t want them to go to your competitor’s sites so you better make sure that you have enough content to satisfy your visitors.
Leads ask these questions once they’re on this part of the funnel. This is where marketing commences sharing case studies, technical details, and reviews based on your solution that you offer your prospects. These prospects will be more receptive since they are very close to making that purchase decision.
At this stage, the buyer is now more receptive to phone calls from your sales team. Your marketing team can now follow up on these “sales ready” leads with a fully record of lead behavior. One of your salespersons can then take a look at that record, for example, see that Clyde is reading a case study about a certain solution. Clyde also has attended in webinars on solution x and has also downloaded technical specs on the same solution.
During this point, your marketing team should take a step back and let your sales team share additional information in a personal way until a final purchase has been made.
“Those tips are helpful, but I don’t think my company is ready for marketing automation. So what should I do?”
As the head of a company, you ask yourself these tough questions. Marketing may be begging for marketing automation, but you see that your company still isn’t fit for it. Rick Burnes asked the question “Is Marketing Automation Worth the Hassle?” I think yes, but only when you are able to answer these questions:
1.) What’s the state of your sales funnel?
Tell your team to make a weekly and monthly funnel report detailing:
- Site traffic
- email opt-ins/ signups
- qualified leads for sales
- not qualified leads
- opted leads
- lead count that fit your buyer personas
- open and created opportunities
- Closed/won and closed lost opportunities
Having access to all this data is essential in tracking your ROI of your content, lead improvements, and the website even before you get marketing automation.
2.) How are your existing tools for performing? What are those tools?
- CRM Health: duplicates, record counts, workflow.
- Email Platform: Is this syncing to CRM? Are you able to track behaviors easily?
- Website and Website Design: Is your site set up to take advantage of SEO? Is your website designed to funnel people to content offers? Can marketing easily modify and create offers?
Can you test page designs easily?
3.) Make sure that everything in your operations is working smoothly before you overhaul.
How much content are we creating? Do we already have enough content? Should we create more?
- Make an editorial calendar.
- Ask the content marketing team how many papers, blog posts, events, and webinars they are working on.
- How often can you create content?
- Which keywords are you ranking for? What do you want to rank for?
Once you have an understanding of the current state your company is in, then you can develop a strategy to transition to revenue and inbound marketing. A big part of this transition will include marketing automation solutions, but only when everything is set in place. Implementing marketing automation solutions is an opportunity to rre-strategize your marketing plans by aligning the content you make and the buyer’s journey. Take time to understand your current marketing play and take into account how your buyers want to be marketed to, most importantly, figure out a system to achieve your goals faster with marketing automation solutions.