On Focus.com, Craig Rosenberg asks: “What are the top benefits of adopting marketing automation?” My response:
Based on our firm’s experience, the most common benefits of marketing automation are these:
1. Improved consistency of follow-up to all new leads independent of sales bandwidth. Regardless of how good your inside sales team is, putting in place automated lead response via marketing automation ensures that every inbound lead receives a prompt, systematic, personalized response, and that none fall through the cracks. When you dump 200 leads into the CRM database following a trade show, marketing automation guarantees that every one of those leads hears from your company in a timely fashion.
2. Increased sales productivity due to better identification of sales-ready leads. Marketing automation automatically identifies “better” leads utilizing both demographic and behavioral criteria, and flags those leads that truly merit sales follow-up. This eliminates wasted time – and the sales dissatisfaction that results – when reps follow up on junk leads and other inquiries that never convert to opportunities.
3. Increased demand generation ROI due to improved conversion of leads to sales opportunities. Without marketing automation, most salespeople chase new, hot leads, ignore the rest, and then wait for the next marketing program to generate a fresh new batch of “ready to buy” prospects. Marketing automation enables companies to systematically nurture and cultivate existing prospects, yielding more opportunities and a better return from marketing programs executed weeks and months earlier.
4. Shortened sales cycles due to more systematic nurturing of leads through the selling process. Most salespeople are compensated on closed business, NOT on keeping leads warm. As a result, absent marketing automation and a well-designed lead management program, all but the hottest leads typically die a lonely death in the CRM database. Marketing automation helps accelerate the pace at which both cold and warm leads move along the sales cycle by providing information of value independent of sales follow-up.
5. Greater marketing efficiency due to more effective marketing spend and less demand for expensive campaigns designed to bring in net new prospects. Marketing automation helps companies get more from their marketing budget by making the most of the leads they have. Marketing automation systems also make it easier to track the true ROI of marketing programs, so companies can make smarter marketing investments based on more than just response rates and Cost Per Lead.