Perhaps the biggest stumbling block for companies debating whether to purchase a marketing automation solution is the fear it will be a wasted investment. But if you're a business leader, you should really be concerned with how marketing automation can increase sales. Whether you want to capture more leads, qualify the strength of leads or determine the value of leads after a marketing campaign, marketing automation can help, which inevitably results in higher sales numbers.
Marketing-automation solutions integrate marketing and lead-management programs to improve their effectiveness. Criteria for determining the strength of leads can be combined with tools for permission-based emails, direct mail, customer surveys and market-research solutions to ensure that you're targeting the right customers. According to Seth Trachtman, Web-marketing account manager for The Net Impact, management should "require marketing to take on more responsibility to nurture both prospects and existing customers," rather than have the sales team waste time trying to find leads on its own.
Marketing automation also helps ensure that sales and marketing departments are in harmony about how to achieve the desired increase in sales. The software can provide tools, research prospective leads and conduct personalized marketing campaigns. According to strategist and business adviser Jill Konrath, "The only way to capture the attention of corporate decision makers is to create a very personalized message based on in-depth research of their firm."
You can additionally keep in touch with cold leads, which may bring future sales when they warm up. Lead-generation tools help define lead strength and send those leads directly to your sales force, increasing the possibility of quickly turning a lead into a sale.
Marketing-automation software also helps you determine if your last marketing campaign was a boom or a bust. Whether a campaign is designed for short-term results or is part of a long-term strategy, you'll have access to real-time information about all of your company's marketing and lead-management efforts. Analytical tools give you the ability to track campaign success or failure, and can help companies create metrics and protocols for crafting consistently effective marketing campaigns. This results in more leads, which naturally boost sales.
According to a JupiterResearch report on vital marketing, many companies fail to measure how marketing campaigns impact sales. But putting customer data under a microscope to measure a campaign's effectiveness is central to determining if you're reaching the best sales prospects. As the JupiterResearch report said, "this approach may require customized reporting," but companies interested in marketing-automation solutions should "seek out applications that are built around this philosophy and make these reports standard features within the application."
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