What is Sales and Marketing Automation?
We all know that automation is efficient and error-free, but have you ever considered how sales and marketing automation could make your business more effective?
Sending messages, keeping track of statistics, generating reports…how many repetitive tasks do you complete regularly that would benefit from automation? And what if the automation process was able to identify leads who were ready to move to the next step, or even ready to buy?
Welcome to the wonderful world of sales and marketing automation, where your leads can easily become customers with a lot less effort than you might previously have had to use.
Automating your marketing systems in this way will leave you more time to focus on your overall strategy and fine-tune the parts that need it. You’ll find out what social media platforms your leads use, and what adverts attract them. You can get your advertising targeted to the right place to gain the maximum benefit.
You will also be able to track patterns in the behavior of leads that buy and compare them to leads that don’t buy, which will really let you figure out what makes your customers tick.
This will give you a solid knowledge of who your perfect customer is, and where to find them. You can tailor your campaigns to this perfect customer, and when individuals get in touch, you’ll be able to help them effectively as you know what their background is and will have a strong indication of their requirements.
The types of Marketing Automation
There are multiple dimensions to marketing, and so correspondingly there are multiple methods of automating the marketing process.
The most useful components to automate are within the areas of lead qualification and scoring, visitor tracking (on landing pages and websites), and email marketing.
Lead Qualification and Scoring
Not all leads are created equal, and you know from prior experience that some leads will convert better than others. You may have a particular demographic in mind, such as age, location, and income threshold.
People who don’t fit in this demographic may be harder (or virtually impossible) to convert, and so when others enter your sales system that will be easier to convert, you will know where to focus your energy. While it can be a thrill to finally close on the difficult conversions, the easy ones are where the money lies.
Lead qualification and scoring system can be automated to give your sales team the best opportunity to develop the leads that will matter. You can find the leads that most closely match your ideal, and filter out those who provide incorrect information or just don’t fit your demographic at all.
By being able to automatically find the top leads, your time is freed to pursue them, rather than wade through every lead and hope for the best.
By tracking visitors to your page or website, you can build an idea of what the visitor is interested in, and perhaps gain an insight into their thought process.
This will give you an advantage when dealing with any inquiries as you will be able to tailor your responses to the lead and give them solutions to their problems more readily. They can progress through your sales funnel or sales pipeline more efficiently than ever before, as a lead will be more confident in the products and services you provide if you can show you understand the issues they are facing and know how to deal with them.
By collecting their details and matching it up with their progress through your system, a picture of the visitor will become clearer. Here’s how it works:
The lead will see an advert on Facebook for a product or service that you supply and then follow it through to your website or landing page. They will fill in a form giving details about them or their inquiry and will then proceed to look at the products or services you have on offer.
The automated system will email the visitor further information about the items they are interested in.
When the visitor checks their email and clicks the link in the email, they will be sent on to the product pricing page, where they will read more information about the items and the pricing structure. At this stage, a salesperson will be notified that a potential customer is viewing this page.
The salesperson can now become involved, knowing that the visitor has a strong interest in the particular product or service, and knowing how they got to that page. This gives the salesperson a qualified lead to work with.
Even if this lead does not seem ready to move through a sales pipeline, the interest can be maintained by allowing the automated system to send related products and information to them on a predetermined schedule.
This is one form of email marketing that taps directly into the core product area the lead has shown an interest in. However, alternate forms of email marketing can include an autoresponder sequence that gives advice and recommendations based on a particular product range.
For example, if your lead has arrived in your automation system by looking at an advert for fish tank pumps, the chances are that they need a new pump. However, we can also infer from this that they keep fish – and fish need food, filtration systems, gravel, upgraded tanks, maybe even lighting and heating systems.
An autoresponder sequence could take the lead through a short course on how to look after a particular type of fish, ending up on the best kind of food to give them – and thereby open a door to making a sale on fish food. You can continue to drip feed information by email for as long as necessary, constantly adding to your campaign as necessary.
By tracking the open rate of an email marketing campaign, you’ll be able to establish what works in your market and what doesn’t, and home in on the perfect email campaign.
Automation builder is an integral part of a marketing automation software. It is often called a journey builder or a workflow builder. With automation builder, you can create a flowchart of how you want to interact with your leads. On specific actions, it can trigger specific reactions. Check out a few examples.
Automation workflow for the education industry
Automation workflow for the travel industry
Automation workflow for the insurance industry
LeadSquared is easy to use, drag and drop sales and marketing automation builder. You can create engaging and conversion-centric customer journeys with ease. You can take a free trial here