In our previous entry of the Sales Performance Management interviews, Mario Pufahl, CSO at ec4u, talked about predictive marketing automation and how it can help sales. Today, he explains, why marketing automation is a great way to create a common pipeline between marketing and sales and optimizing lead management.
“Marketing and sales need to work together closely.”
The transcript of the interview part “predictive Marketing Automation part 2”:
What kind of influence does marketing automation have on sales?
Customer journey management and marketing automation will influence sales positively in the future and the performance in sales will increase.
For example: nowadays, sales employees still get leads and lead proposals that are not sufficiently qualified yet because crucial information about them is missing. To address the customer without this information is almost impossible. You therefore have a lot of leads but sales can’t work with them which leads to so-called “dead sales time”. This, in turn, leads to frustration because the sales employee can’t achieve a closure and therefore has no sense of achievement.
It is therefore reasonable, to combine marketing and sales efforts with a common pipeline. The pipeline starts with a lead which goes through to become an “opportunity” (for example in case of a business customer transaction). The goal is, to build a pipeline for the whole process, so the time from lead generation to purchase/contract can be measured from start to finish.
Marketing automation for easier lead management
With marketing automation, the process of qualifying a lead can be automatized starting with the first interaction (for example via a website). You do not necessarily need people for this process anymore.
You only need to offer your customers valuable assets. These assets can be a great corporate brochure or a digital catalogue. The information will be offered directly from sales. By giving your customers valuable information, they in return might give you their double opt-in (which otherwise would have to be gathered from a sales employee via inquiry) .02
They could also give you valuable information like their email address or other information that will help you in getting to know their persona and their needs. With marketing automation, this can be displayed clearly and fully digital. The customer can decide when and how he wants to give you information.
In the end, you will get a so-called “Marketing Qualified Lead”, which contains all the important information. The information is clearly depicted, so that the sales representative can see the customer’s interests and how he can contact him. He then can get active as a sales agent. This is how a modern, systematic and successful distribution should look like.
How should sales and marketing work together?
I think that you cannot specify a typical approach for marketing automation. Sales and marketing have been separate silos in the past and are partially still different divisions in companies. However, these two divisions need to cooperate closely to be successful. Marketing must know what sales needs and what kind of information is important for sales. This information must be collected systematically through marketing automation and it must be qualified by the marketing team.
With this process, the information can be easily measured: how many qualified leads are transferred to sales? What must a “Marketing Qualified Lead” contain to be able to generate a “Sales Excepted Lead”? Any lead needs to fit the demands of the sales employee, so that he can continue working with it.
Of course, sales cannot dictate the automatization to marketing. However, the process runs more smoothly in the whole company if both divisions understand each other. Marketing needs to deal with the needs of sales and sales needs to understand what marketing can deliver (also regarding the data protection). If you find a way for both divisions to work together, the customer will also profit.