Marketing automation is more than just another buzzword but the chances are if you’re reading this you’ve already done the research and are aware of the benefits it brings. But how do you get everyone else who can’t see beyond the jargon on board? Don’t worry, this scenario is a lot more common than you might think. We hear it across meeting room tables on a weekly basis and can answer confidently as it was a key question we asked ourselves not so long ago. Here’s how to get started.
Talk to pain points
Chances are marketing automation first really grabbed your attention when you realised how it could make your role easier, more productive and therefore fruitful. Just like it got your attention, showing how it will solve others’ pains and needs will get their buy-in also. So what are the common ones you can use to get the ball rolling?
We all have targets that drive to common business development objectives. Lead challenges, confusing sales processes and not having the full picture of what’s happening all get in the way of a successful day. Keeping track of and converting leads is time consuming and often suffers from a lack of valuable insights. Few know, but will gladly pay attention to, the value marketing automation can bring in nurturing and tracking prospects through the sales funnel so that an informed approach to converting them can be made just as they are ready to buy.
This often prompts a response of ‘it sounds too good to be true’ as many businesses have ‘a much more complicated sales process that includes multiple stakeholders’. However, the nurturing we talk of makes sure the opportunities are kept warm with the decision makers being taken on a journey in which they feel increasingly informed on how to make the right decision with you. The reporting available makes sure the business knows how far along the journey the lead is, allowing them to be scored and future revenue forecasted.
Show how it can be done
Many of our work routines are processes that have been passed from colleague to colleague having become accepted as they’ve stood the test of time. This is not to say they need to be re-written, as after-all they’re the foundations that have got the business to where it is today, but documenting the current ones and showing how automation will address the grievances expressed over morning coffee will get it prioritised on the agenda.
Understand where marketing automation will deliver value by taking a look at the manual, repetitive processes that everyone leaves until the last moment. This is your chance to answer ‘there must be a better way?’ Demonstrating how automating these will make more hours available in the day for talking to the prospects that count, rather than counting the number of people being spoken to, will gather the decision makers around the opportunity to drive better outcomes.
Talk the business’ language – ROI
Businesses are in the market to make money so nothing is more persuasive. Marketing and sales departments, although often viewed as separate entities, are the engine room for this. Unsurprisingly, they both therefore need to develop and jointly own marketing automation. This will not only ensure you have advocates but the solution will also generate a quick ROI. Studies have shown that not aligning the two teams around the right processes and technologies costs B2B companies 10% or more in lost revenue every year (Bizsphere).
Money talks so agreeing sales as well as marketing objectives and the standard metrics on which they are to be reported will give marketing automation a purpose in your business. These should demonstrate how new and repeat sales should increase whilst costs per lead decrease thanks to shorter sales cycles and better internal efficiency.
Would you like someone to talk it through with or to discuss how to make sure you select the right platform with the features required to deliver your plan? Call us today for an informal chat or take a look at our resource The Business Case for Marketing Automation.