How to Leverage Marketing Automation in a Hi-Tech Start-Up
Marketing Automation focuses on lead generation with targeted marketing programs to drive awareness and interest in a company’s products and services and nurture leads from first interest through to sale.
Commonly used in business-to-business (B2B) or longer sales cycle business-to-consumer (B2C) sales cycles, Marketing Automation is really the marriage of email marketing technology coupled with a structured sales process as defined by a customer relationship management (CRM) program.
Setting it up
Firtsly you need to configure your website to collect registration information which you can score in your Matrketing Automation program. Score thresholds need to be approximated to distinguish between those leads that are worth following and ones that should go into a nurturing program for further qualification.
If a lead meets the score threshold just by filling out the registration form it should be immediately exported into your CRM. If not, then a ‘leadflow’ should be used to ‘nurture’ the lead with multi-touch email campaigns until it has accrued enough points to be exported to your CRM as a ‘pre-qualified’ lead.
Points can be attributed to a nurtured lead when they open or click-through from an email or visit high-value pages on your website (e.g. a pricing page).
When you’re dealing with high volumes of leads a quantitative and dispassionate means of assessment is far more efficient than qualitative judgments made by different members of your sales team.
Marketing Automation and your CRM
Once a lead is in your CRM, then what?
If you’re using a Sales and Marketing CRM system, leads can be automatically assigned to sales reps depending on their location, industry sector or whatever parameter is right for you. ‘Views’ can be assigned for each rep that lists these pre-qualified leads. Once visible to reps, these leads can be moved into their respective Open Lead queue for further qualification. If the lead is interested but not ready to buy, they can be pushed back into a leadflow for further nurturing.
If your automation and CRM systems are properly aligned they can assist sales reps during their qualification process by presenting essential lead information right inside the CRM including lead score, latest activity levels and recent behaviours (pages visited, emails opened etc), giving your rep insight into hoe engaged the prospect is.
As your team grows you’ll need to keep on top of your lead scoring thresholds so that reps don’t starve. High score thresholds might stop a few sales reps getting swamped with leads (or only focusing on the best quality leads), but once you have the manpower there is nothing better than real salespeople qualifying real prospects.
One final tip is to ensure that all leads, whatever quality, are eventually exported into your CRM. Even though they may be disqualified by your marketing automation system, their behaviour can continue to be tracked and scored. You may want to periodically trawl through these disqualified leads to find out if any are responding to email campaigns or visiting your website. If they have accrued the right level of points, albeit very late, it may be worth reaching out to them.
Like marketing stats? Marketing automation tools all have powerful reporting features to compliment the good work you’re doing with web analytics software and your CRM, enabling you to track, monitor and manage visitors to your web site.