Vine Blog: Liidituotanto
The collaboration between sales and marketing is a subject that doesn’t seem to get old. Regardless that no one hasn’t missed this subject during past years, there are still companies where sales and marketing are like Batman and Joker. If sales and marketing keep concentrating on their own goals without caring for each other the end game can’t be very successful. Here are a few cornerstones of the collaboration between sales and marketing that help these two to finally say “I DO”.
Years ago in product development they realized to communicate with colleagues in production department instead of just shoving new ideas to them. These two departments came to conclusion that existing alone in different funnels just wasn’t enough. To produce real value to the company and their customers they needed to collaborate. The results spoke for themselves.
Sales and marketing function in the same interface and this is why you would imagine that the importance of collaboration between these two would have understood. What creates problems in this collaboration is the fact that sales and marketing are thought to be very different. Sales people love hearing their own voice and marketing gently buils up the brand, creates campaigns and doesn’t care for the results measured in revenue? It’s year 2018, so let’s throw out the prejudice to the same box where you can find Nokia 3310.
Same language – Sorry I don’t speak americano
Have you ever tried to speak to a person that doesn’t speak the same language? It’s difficult and the collaboration probably doesn’t work like snapping your fingers. The problem between sales and marketing often is the lack of mutual language. Another speaks Swedish and the other Norwegian. Something is understood but some essential words have a completely different meaning. A language course is very much needed.
Does this situation sound familiar; Sales feel like marketing is shoving bad leads for them and marketing thinks that there is something wrong with sales for not closing all the great leads? This situation stems from the fact that often marketing’s idea of a warm lead is different than sales. And this means trouble in the kingdom. Meaning of words should be determined to avoid misunderstandings. When the language has the same meaning for both parties, collaboration is easier.
Another thing creating problems for the coexistence of these two is that they don’t really know what the other department does. Sales only goal is the money and marketing is writing silly blog texts. Problem is the lack of understanding the others value for the organisation.
Sales people meet customers daily and this way know the customers well. Marketing might not have the best understanding of this. The solution for this is easy – communication.
Sales have their own weekly meetings and marketing their own ones. What is they would have meetings together? This way both of them would be on top of what is going on on the other end of the funnel.
Numbers, numbers, numbers
In many Finnish organisations the measuring of marketing is still in childrens shoes, because it’s more difficult to measure the results in marketing than in sales. The sales operations is often based on the set numeral goals but marketing also might have goals like increasing brand value and so on.
Measuring the results of marketing help sales to understand the meaning of marketing functions and also measuring makes the improving possible. These days the results can be measured very precisely thanks to technology.
In b2b marketing a clear indicator is for example the number of leads and the deals generated from these leads. This is clearly an indicator that focuses on the relationship between sales and marketing. This supports the understanding of both sales and marketing’s value for the whole organisation. The basic indicator of sales growth is simple, how many deals has happened because of marketing?
Shared tools – Marketing automation
In companies where the collaboration between sales and marketing works, marketing produces more better leads and sales closes them efficiently in to customers. Leads are the interphase and the indicator of the collaborations succes is the number of deals.
Marketing automation helps sales and marketing to go towards mutual goals. This is a step towards a beautiful relationship of sales and marketing. Marketing automation floats the leads marketing has produced straight to the arms of sales to contact and this way builds a bridge between these two units. Sales can see the results of marketing as leads and is able to see the actions made by the customer on the website.
Sale’s and marketing’s most important goal is customer service. In addition to bringing sales and marketing together, marketing automation also serves the customer very well. It helps the customer in every stage of the buying process by offering him interesting content. Do you want to learn more about marketing automation? Download a guide here:
In the world of marketing automation you can hear many different terms originally coming from English language. Triggers, drips and CTA’s make the marketing automation talk sound more or less like rocket science. We want to delete the mystic curtain in front of marketing automation. So what means CTA, drip, leadpoint and trigger?
Is your website like a library hall where the visitor is not guided and is left on his own wondering what to do now? Call-to-actions (CTA’s) are an important part of marketing automation and with the help of them you can guide your website visitor to do action the way you wish them to act. This way you get more conversion to your website.
To identify the unknown website visitors, you need CTA ’s. With CTA’s the world is your oyster: Contents downloaded with email can be for example guidebooks, tips, product showcases, videos, newsletter subscriptions and trials. What kind of material could give your customer added value?
CTA’s offer added value to your customer and more leads to you. With the help of CTA’s the good leads are recognized from your website visitors. Good CTA: stands out from your websites easily, at it’s longest contains max 5 words, urges the customer to act and is easy to understand. Here is an example of a CTA on our website:
2. DRIP MESSAGES
Drip messages are emails sent by marketing automation. They can be sent personalized and targeted to individual website visitors depending on their actions on the website. Drips help to nurture prospects in different stages of the buying process and this way help to lift up the conversion percentage. If a person is interested of product A you don’t want to offer him information about the product B.
When a person visits your website for the first time, he is not necessarily a warm lead yet. In this situation the drip messages offer the person interesting content and lead back to your website again. You van get the website visitor converted to a lead afetr the visit too.
Drip messages are served to the customer a bit by bit – don’t try to fit too much information in one message.
Leadpoints, something eatable? In marketing automation the website visitors are pointed by their actions. Different actions that can be pointed are for example a visit in a certain website, whitepaper download or any other action on your websites. When the visitor reaches the certain amount of leadpoints, he moves automatically for sales team to contact. Here you can see your own scoreboard of leadpoints on our website:
Triggers are an important part of marketing automation. They initiate a right kind of automation rule for the right person at the right time. Automation rule can for example send a chosen drip message to the visitor.
Triggers initiate a certain kind of automation rule which can be a visit to a certain website, webinar enrolment or desertion of shopping bag. Trigger can be any kind of action that a person does on your website.
Customers buying process has changed along digitalisation, that is clear. This has forced the selling process to change too. In this blog text we cover the biggest challenges that us sales people encounter in the digital world. But don’t worry seller, obstacles are meant for crossing!
1. PRODUCING VALUE
There is still a lot of companys that do sales and marketing with the “product first”- attitude. “Me and my product”- thinking just doesn’t work anymore. Competition in the markets is harsh and standing out from the competitors with the features of the product is very hard. Sales persons need to sell the product or service to the customer by the value not by the features. To do this seller needs to recognize the customers real need. There needs to be a solution to this need and this needs to be presented to the customer by bringing out the benefits and value that customer will gain by using your service.
2. EXPERTISE SELLING
Everyone has an access to the sea of information online and it feels like it’s fluding out from every channel. When facing a problem or need the customer can write a few words on Google and in a fraction of a second find thousands of solutions in front of his eyes. You could say customers are experts of many topics themselves. When selling your solution, you need to offer something that the customer can’t get online. You don’t get very far with a basic knowledge of your own product, today’s sales persons need to be an expert who also knows about the competitors solution. It’s important to remember that in the end also B2B sales is always people-to-people selling.
3. RECOGNIZING THE TARGET GROUP
Competition is harsh in most lines of business. In spite of this, not every one is your customer. These days it is a waste of resources to not to target your marketing. It’s essential to recognize your own target group, but not necessarily easy. Who is the customer you can bring most value to? Keep that is mind when doing sales.
4. GETTING IN TOUCH WITH THE LEADS
When a good prospect is in the hands seller often ends up in the situation that it’s impossible to get the hold on him by phone or email. In a digital world you could imagine that this would not be a problem. Vise versa, accessibility is more difficult than ever before, because people question the answering to unknown numbers. In most cases the getting in touch with the lead is a long term project and sales person has to use multiple different channels to contact the lead.
5. CREATING A QUALITY ENCOUNTER
In a digital world where face-to-face meetings are decreasing day by day, people grave for genuine encounters. After all the work of getting the meeting, sales person has to put effort on making the meeting a quality one. A quality meeting doesn’t necessarily mean that it ends up on a deal, even though this is always the ideal goal. Quality meeting means good atmosphere. Identifying and understanding different people types and modifying your own behaviour to these helps with creating a good atmosphere.
6. IDENTIFYING A WARM PROSPECT
Do you know when the prospect has proceeded to a next level of buying process, when is he researching different service providers? Do you recognize customers who are ready to buy? When over 70% of decisions are made based on the information online, hidden from the sales person, it’s important to take care that all the active prospects are been noticed. This is where marketing automation steps up and helps!
7. DIVERSE KNOWHOW
Today’s sellers need to be more than product presenter. Sales people have multiple roles; expert, brand ambassador, partner, customer service manager and the list goes on. By diverse knowhow we don’t mean a sales person needs to be a robot who knows everything about everything. No not at all. But to manage and succeed in the digital jungle you need to have a diverse palette of knowledge. Don’t get scared tho. When it comes to knowledge and expertise the key factor is your own attitude. Anyone can have the diverse knowhow if you just have eagerness to learn new things.
LinkedIn, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and multiple other channels can give you a headache. Seller needs to be where the customers are. Most big companies actively use at least few of these social media channels. This means that a sales person needs to use them too. I must say that the most effective channel for social selling in b2b markets must be LinkedIn. Many sellers are active and grow their network in LinkedIn. Different channels offer you the opportunity to approach the customer from different angles.
9. TECHNOLOGY SKILLS
Sales persons toolbox is pretty full these days. Luckily these tools are very light to carry around because all of these are different apps and softwares. It might feel overwhelming to use all these different systems but the purpose of them is to improve sales and this way decrease the amount of manual work. For example the goal for marketing automation is to produce quality leads that wait for your call on the other side of the phone! Automation produces leads in a steady speed – No more time-consuming prospecting, yeyy! Download Vine’s buyers guide to read more about marketing automations benefits:
10. COLLABORATION WITH MARKETING
Even tho this has been a popular subject for years, it’s sad that in some companies sales and marketing still don’t work together. The collaboration between sales and marketing always means better results. Is your sales getting all the important information from marketing and vice versa?
Even though Cold Calling has become more difficult day by day, many companies still do it systematically to improve their acquisition of new customers. To sell your service you need a meeting and to get a meeting you need to pick up the phone and call. Today you have an option to decide what kind of calling you do. Are you calling cold leads or warm leads?
The amount of bookings done by cold calling have decreased enormously: As result of this, is more phone calls being done? That is not effective. Calling warm leads is essential when taking about increasing sales, because cold calling is eating off time from actually closing the deals. When calling to warm leads, sales people get more meetings from doing less calling. And researches show that deals are more likely to happen from warm leads.
Cold Calling – as you can gather from it’s name – means that the person you call is a cold prospect. Person hasn’t shown any interest towards your company before your call, maybe you even got the cold lead from bought list.
Like in every relationship, someone has to take the first step. In cold calling the one taking the first step is the sales person. Well, we all know what might happen to the one taking the first step. In this situation, there is a good chance he get’s shut done and ends up listentint to beep beep with a phone in his hand.
Contacting warm leads is a popular way for new customer aquisition especially in companies where marketing automation is in use. Warm lead is a person, who by different actions has shown an interest towards your company. For example juding by actions person has done on your websites he can be qualified as a warm lead.
In this relationship the one taking the first step is the potential customer. After customers clear sign of interest the salesperson picks up a phone in his hand and gives calls the person just when it’s the right time. He won’t be turned down, if the interest is mutual.
WHO TO CALL
To do cold calling you need contact information. People you call should be on a decision maker position in a potential company. For it to work cold calling needs prospecting, getting call lists, media tracking and so on. Sales person needs to know who he is calling, so back office work needs to be done before calling.
Google, social media and different prospecting tools are needed for prospecting. The calling itself can only be done with the help of phone. Where do you get your leads?
Warm leads also don’t appear from nowhere. To get these warm quality leads, tools and interesting content is very much needed. Content also don’t create itself (at least not yet, even tho AI gives us some hope about this) and don’t end up infront of a potential customer without any effort.
Warm lead recipe involves content marketing and marketing automation. Without marketing automation content marketing doesn’t produce leads and without content it’s hard for marketing automation to produce leads. Marketing automation brings the warm leads straight to the arms of sales and this is when it’s time to pick up the phone.
USE OF TIME
The time used for prospecting, back up and getting the hold of thw person can take a big piece out of sales persons time. From cold calling you get less meetings than contacting warm leads. To get x-amount of meetings you have use more time with cold calling than when contacting warm leads: Colg calling means more calling.
If you only know the name of the prospect, company and title, finding the right angle for the phone call can be difficult.
When contacting leads born as an result of good marketing, sales person doesn’t necessarily need to do any prospecting. This time is saved for something more useful.
In addition to this you get more meetings, than from cold leads. This means you do less but get more results. More meetings with less calling, sounds good right?
Cold calling irritates the people answering the phones more day by day. These days we should have the information of what interests who. Cold calling is often appalling to the person calling and the one answering. Depending on your field of work, there is only a small chance, that the prospect feels like this topic you are calling about is current at the moment.
Many decision makers have even decided not to answer unknown numbers, in the fear of some sales person calling them again with pointless topics. Accessibility is the biggest challenges in calling potential customers. After getting the hold on some people from your call list, the fact is that it’s not very likely for this to end on a success.
When contacting warm leads, the accessibility is also a challenge. But the possibility for a good phone call is a lot bigger than with cold calling. Person has already looked up this topic on your website, which often shows that he is interested about your service or product.
It’s easier to approach the prospect when you know what is he interested about and what kind of actions he has done on your website. With the help of marketing automation you see what kind of content has he read, what sites has he visited and what documents has he loaded. This way it’s easier to contact the lead.
COLLABORATION BETWEEN SALES AND MARKETING
There shouldn’t be a gap between sales and marketing anymore. It’s old fashioned to think, that marketing advertises and sales closes the deals. In a company that has big goals to grow cold calling is often a part of strategy. It’s clearly sales task and the goal is between sales people.
Cold calling is a task that can be done individualy. Sales people gather their own prospect list and after this aim to get as many meetings as possible with the phone in their hand. In some company’s the competition for prospects can be intense. Even the team work inside the sales team can be very slim when it comes to new customer acquisition.
For the new leads to generate sales and marketing have to work together! Marketing should create quality content and target the right kind of marketing communication to customers. Sales need to be ready to contact leads that marketing generates.
Communication between sales and marketing should have no walls between, so that the leads turn in to customers. Tools like marketing automation build a bridge between sales and marketing and make possible the transfer of leads to sales just when the leads are burning hot! To make this bridge strong sales and marketing need to talk the same language.
Even though we compare cold calling and contacting of warm leads it doesn’t mean you only can do one of these in your company. Though we belive that you can get more results with less work when contacting warm leads that marketing automation brings in front of you.
The amount of content online has grown with huge speed during last few years. The guestion is: Does business blogging acctually get results anymore in B2B marketing? Do the companies’ blogposts drown in the sea of other posts? Contents can get expensive to companies if there are no readers for them. Let’s address this issue based on data:
84% of companies say that business blogging is profitable
Research (2017) involving over thousand business bloggers, shows that 84% say that business blogging gets results. Those who spend over 6 hours writing an individual blogpost, tell that they have reached significant results (the avarage time spent on a blogpost is 3,5 hours). Being careless with your blogging you don’t get as good results, this rule is valid in all of your marketing operations.
Suprising is that, on avarage the length of companies’ blogposts has grown: the number of less than 500 words blogposts has decreased and at the same time posts over 2000 words have become more popular. According to the research longer articles produce better results and on avarage the length of a post is usually about 1000 words. You could have imagined that short and easy to read blogposts would get better results.
According to the same research companies that do blogging in B2B-marketing get 67% more leads than the non-blogging ones.
Media consumption in Finland
The research shows us that an avarage Finn consumes media almost 8 hours each day and year by year more of it is used online. A self evident fact but still important to mention, that companies’ blogs also exist online.
In the online use top-list there is still email holding the winning place, probably most of us spend a big part of our day with email. Serving business blogs via email, is very effective in B2B marketing.
Results of active business blogging
Year 2017 (2 posts in a month) we doubled the number of our blogposts at Vine compared to year 2016 (one blogpost in a month). We use around 6 hours on writing an individual blogpost and in addition to adding the number of our blogposts we also added the length of the posts.
Here are the results we got during 2017, with putting more effort into our blogposts, compared to year 2016:
1. Number of blog readers quadrupled
2. Organic search scores increased 35%
3. Number of leads tripled
4. Time spent on reading the posts quadrupled
5. Bounce rate decreased 20%
Many companys who are thinking of getting started with marketing automation, are wondering what kind of results you can actually achieve with it. Here is an example from one of our customers results accomplished during our 3 month start package with marketing automation. They started marketing automation on their online service Duunissa.fi -palveluun.
Our customer achieved great results in their Duunissa.fi- service already in three months with our trial package. Together we set clear targets for 3 months: The goal was to get 20 registrations on the website with the help of our marketing automation. The goal was calculated based on the previous results that had been achived in different ways. The goal was set a little more higher than earlier. Vine’s 3 month start package succeeded 165%. There was 33 registrations on the website and on top of this 120 warm leads for the sales team to contact.
In three months our customer sent 34 000 emails to 10 000 target groups of decision-makers. They sent four different emails. We measured the results and succes rate constantly. The other email campaign didn’t succeed as well as the first one, so we took this into account in the next emails. With the email marketing we got to results as: 10% clicks trough rate and 10% conversion rate (conversion rate is the relation between registrated and clickers).
In addition the people who clicked the links in emails, but did not register immediately, were contacted with drip-messages sent by the marketing automation. With the help of the drip-messages the conversion percentage was increased to even higher level.
Alredy during the 3 months the goal (20 registrations on the website) was accomplished easily (33 registrations) and on top of this our customer got 120 warm leads for their sales team to contact. With the help of goal setting it is possible to make sure that the marketing automation ROI is positive. During our 3 month trial package we quide our customer in the begining of their marketing automation experience and after the 3 months it’s easy for the customer to keep going by themselves – of course with the help of our customer service and experts.
Psst. It is possible to count the leadtarget for the marketing automation in a way that the ROI (return-on-investment) is positive. How many warm leads the marketing automation has to generate with the 3 month trial (1490€/3 months), so that the investment is productive?
The leads that marketing automation produces are warm and the people have clearly showed interest towards your product or service. Forget the cold calls and the hunting for leads and tell us, how many leads you wish the marketing automation to produce for your company during the 3 month trial (1490€/3 months), so that the investment is productive for you – We’ll tell you if that is possible!
You have quite possibly ran into the subject marketing automation, in different sources. It has made it’s way on to many ”2018 marketing trends”- lists. There is a lot of talk about this subject but do you know what you can actually accomplish with marketing automation? Here is a list of the TOP 5 benfetis of marketing automation.
1. Boost up and save time
Marketing automation is a tool which helps you to boost up your companys marketing. It automates the routine operations of marketing. With the help of marketing automation you can routinize several features of marketing and sales, and this way lighten your workload.
2. Identify potential customers
In the best case scenario, your companys websites are an efficient tool for customer service and lead generating. But who is visiting your website and what are they doing there? This is a question, that only marketing automation can answer. Automation makes it possible for you to identify your website visitors and you are able to see what they are acctually doing there.
3. Upgrade the customer experience
The idea of marketing automation isn’t to shove out as much content for as many people as possible. Vise versa, the goal is to create as targeted communication and content as possible to your customers and website visitors. The idea is to offer your website visitors content that helps them and their decision making in every step of the buying process. At it’s best, marketing automation is good customer service.
4. Warm leads for the sales to contact
Unfortunately marketing automation can’t transform a lead to customer – but it has made the lead finding quite easy. Automation constantly collects information about your website visitors and different actions on your website generate in to leadpoints for your visitors. When the leadpoints reach a certain level, the marketing automation takes the warm lead directly to the arms of the sales team to contact.
5. Visible outcome and analytics
Are you already measuring the results of your companys marketing? Marketing automation gives you visible results and interesting data of your marketing. You see all the results and analytics in realtime, which makes the efficient and constant developement possible.
Where to get quality leads? Where do they come from? And how to know that it really is a quality lead?
Especially on B2B markets, the most important thing marketing does is to develop quality leads for sales. And the most important thing for sales to do is to close the leads so they become customers. Sounds easy, right? Well it is not, both of these things are almost like eternity challenges for small and medium-sized companies. How does the lead production work out for example in companies with under 10 employees, which in Finland consists 94,7% of all the companies (2015)? In Finland 99,8% of the companies classify as small and middle-sized.
Challenges in lead production is caused for example because of a shortage in resources and technology, or seeing marketing as a useless duty. In addition to these the buying deciion is done more and more based on the content found online, hidden from the company.
When talking about marketing you often hear a word multiplex marketing, also in leadproduction you can talk about multiplex leadproduction. When more quality leads are desired, it isn’t enough to collect them singulary from events, news, friend of a friend, social media, marketing and so on – all of these channels are needed together.
Take care that your website works as an effective lead generator. Websites are the place, where marketing communication leads and it’s a place where it’s easy to guide your visitors to do sertain things. In an optimal situation your website produces leads automatically. In able to do that you need content, technology and action prompts.
Make your website a wonderland, that identifies potential customers and guides them to function the way you want – and this way they convert in to leads and customers.
Quality lead recipe is quite simple:
Why am I interested in your company or services? The mission of marketing is to attract potential customers to get acquinted with your company in different channels and this way to get them visit your website. In which channel you reach your target group best? The math of your websites simply works like this – you get more leads when you get more visitors and when the conversion on your website rises up.
Will you take care of me when I’m in the begining of my buying process and will you tell me more about topics that intrest me? Nurturing potential customer means helping him with the topic that they are interested in judging by the actions he does online. You can do this for example by inviting a customer in the begining of their buying process to your webinar or offer him other interesting content. If a person is interested in the product A it is not effective to tell him about product B. Help customer in different ways in the different chapters of the buying process.
Why would I show greater interest towards your products or services and would want to be contacted? To get the website visitor to convert to a lead, CTA’s (call- to-action) are needed. Conversion optimating means that the website is modified so that it produces as much leads as possible in respect to the amount of visitors. Despite it’s name this isn’t a scientific task and with small adjustments you can get a lot of results.
After converting it is sales departments task to close the quality leads to become customers. Website is your most important tool, to produce leads. So invest to develope your website. Do you know what individual customers do on your website?
To sales people marketing automation might sound like a rough system, that they don’t want anything to do with. When talking about lead generating, sales professionals show green light. It is important to understand, that marketing automation is a leadmachine. Automation helps to produce leads on your website and channels them automatically to sales, right when the lead is at it’s warmest.
The most important goal of marketing is to generate leads for sales.
The most ipostant goal of sales is to close deals with leads.
Sounds easy? Still these both are something SMes struggle with contantly. Quality leads and closing them into customer reatioships is vital for business. Where are thes quality leads coming from?
Where to you find your best leads? Do you collect leads from events, news, people you know, social media, from marketing or from somewhere else? Marketing leads don't often enjoy the trust of sales professionals. The situation can also be that marketing campaigns don't gengerate leads at all for some reason. The the ROI of marketing is negative, you need to make some changes in your habits.
The field of marketing is changind and the biggest reason is digitalization. Marketing is more and more online and the amount spend to digital advertising is bigger now than ever. Digitalization affect sales too when even 70% of buying decision is made based on the information found online. Are you there then to give a helping hand?
Marketing can attract potential customers in many different channels like radio, social media, newsletter etc. but in the end the most important thing is what potential customer is doing on your website. Do you generate quality leads at your website and do you actually know what website visitors are doing on your website?
Actually the recipe of a quality lead is simple: Attract, nurture and convert:
- ATTRACT: Marketing needs to attract potential customers in different channels. Which channel your potential customers are using? Lead then to your website. The maths of a website visitors is actually simple: you'll get more leads when you get more website visitors and you'lee get more leads when you convert more website visitors to leads.
- NURTURE: With nurturing you help your potential customer with something he or she is interested in based on actions he or she has done on your website. Maybe you can invite that person to your webinar of other offer interesting content. If a person is interested of your product A then it doesn't make sense to tell that person more about your product B.
- CONVERT: Conversion optimizing means that you modify your website the way the generate more leads compared to the amount of visitors. This is not a complicated task at all and you can utilize many different tools for this. With simple changes you can see big results.
Aftert his is the goal of sales to close the deals. Your website is the most important tool to convert prospects into customers. So make your website the best version you can. Marketing automation might sound a major investment and something marketing works with. But when we talk about generating leads, sales professional are also showing green light. It is important to understand that marketing automation acutally means lead generation. Marketing automation can generate SQLs for sales.
“If lead generation is king, marketing automation is King Kong.“
Terms like triggers, CTAs or drip fly through the air when we talk about marketing automation. This weird terms make marketing automation sound like more rocket science than just simple technology which is helping us. Simply the truth is that when you make your goals clear, you’ll succeed in marketing automation. We made this 3 steps guide to help you to succeed in automation: Goals, execution and optimization.
1. Define your goals
You can do many different tactic operations with marketing automation (send an email or text message etc.). Before making these tactic operations it is important to define your goals: What you want to achieve with automation. Do you want to get more subscribers for your newsletter, get more leads for sales or get more participants for your event? You can make many different automations for various purposes but before making them it is important to define your goal for each automation.
2. Execute automation
After defining your goal create automation which help you to achieve your goal. Automations can contain many tactic operations which lead your target group towards the goal you’ve defined. For example if your goal is to generate more leads for sales, you can create so called drip automation. With drip automation you can help your customer on a right time with a right topic: Automation gives relevant content for persons based on the activities they’ve made online. Customers gets right kind of information which is relevant to him or her.
3. Test and optimize
Like in digital marketing in general, you need to test and optimize variables all the time. With the help of precise analytics you can see what works well and what doesn’t. You can check the results of automation, optimize your tactics and make marketing automation better and better all the time. Optimize your automation the way it helps you to achieve your goals. You need to test and optimize automations to make them work as well as possible.
We need more and more investments to digital marketing and helping our customers as well as possible. Keep these three steps in your mind when you start marketing automation. Do you want to learn more about marketing automation? If you have any questions, download our guide to marketing automation (in Finnish) and learn the basics.
WHAT IS MARKETING AUTOMATION?
This text is a quick guide to the world of marketing automation. What do we actually mean by marketing automation and what does it include? In Finland marketing automation is not that widely used but is becoming more and more popular. Marketing automation is one of the marketing trends in Finland in 2017.
Wikipedia’s definition of marketing automation is that “Marketing automation refers to software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to more effectively market on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive tasks.”
Marketing automation is a diverse system which helps the tasks of marketing and sales. To start marketing automation you just need interesting content at your website (inbound) and in your outbound marketing. Marketing automation links content and customer data. Marketing automation’s customer database recognizes website visitor and automation provides relevant information for this unique visitor.
MARKETING AUTOMATION PROVIDES THE RIGHT CONTENT FOR THE RIGHT CUSTOMER WITH A PERFECT TIMING.
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MARKETING AUTOMATION AND CONTENT MARKETING
When you’ve started marketing automation, all you need to do is to provide content. Content is the key for successful marketing automation. The corner stones for marketing automation are the cooperation between sales and marketing, content and automation technology of course.
CORNER STONES IN MARKETING AUTOMATION: CONTENT + COOPERATION BETWEEN SALES AND MARKETING + AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGY
Digitalization is changing the customer buying process. Potential customer goes through great variety of different providers before contacting the firm. Event 70% of buying decision is made based on the content found from web. And then there is a question: How to get the best out of your content marketing? The answer is: With marketing automation. Marketing automation links content to customer data.
Content marketing has already been a great trend in marketing. Same time to succeed in marketing automation you need quality content. If you want leads from your content marketing, you need marketing automation. And if you want to start marketing automation, you need content. You need interesting content in your inbound and outbound marketing.
WHEN YOU’VE STARTED USING MARKETING AUTOMATION, YOUR ONLY TASK IS TO CREATE CONTENT.
WHAT IS MARKETING AUTOMATION MADE OF?
Marketing automation has multiple tools under one system. Marketing automation system is made of these seven feature (when simplified). They all affect to each other:
1. CUSTOMER DATA:
Marketing automation recognizes website visitors made on customer data it has. For example Vine uses Suomen Asiakastieto as a customer database system. Website visitors can be recognized through a newsletter you’ve sent or they can be recognized through CTA forms.
2. CTA FORMS:
You need CTA (call to action) forms to recognize website visitors. CTA forms can be for example newsletter subscribe, whitepaper download or trial registeration.
Triggers start the right communication for the right person with thr right timing. Triggers can be for example visiting a certain website, whitepaper download or leaving the website. Trigger can be anything a person does at your website.
4. EMAIL MARKETING:
Triggers start certain email marketing for a person. Email marketing warms up a person who has just started his or hers buying process. You can also send newsletter for well targeted audience.
5. WEBSITE VISITORS' TRACKING:
Do you know what your website visitors are doing on your site? With marketing automation you'll know! You know what independent website visitors are doing on your site: which page he visited, how long time he stayed and what kind of action did he do. With website visitor tracking you can easily offer relevant content for the visitors with perfect timing.
6. LEAD POINTS:
When website visitor is tracked he or she is earning points of the action which are done. Action can for example be visiting a certain site which gives visitors a certain amount of points.
7. LEAD TRANSFER TO SALES:
Lead is transferred automatically to sales when a) it has a certain amount of lead points or b) he or she fills up a needed CTA form.
All these actions happen automatically and you just need to make sure that you offer interesting content. The goal of marketing automation is to convert website visitors into customers.
BENEFITS OF MARKETING AUTOMATION
- Well targeted and personalized marketing communication
- Creates a shared and updated marketing database
- Better customer experience
- Helps in routine tasks of marketing
- Increases the transparency of marketing with analytics
- Automates marketing communication (right person with right message on the right timing)
- Gives more and better leads
- Transfers warm leads automatically for sales
- Increases sales
It's time to start holding hands between sales and marketing. It is time to say "yes". In any relationship, like in a relationship between sales and marketing, it is important to support and understand each other. No body can read some body's thoughts even though sometimes we think we can. It the other one doesn't know what the second one is thinking, that relationship is already doomed. Cooperation between sales and marketing is vital due to the change of customer buying process caused by digitalization.
Towards common goals
Traditionally sales and marketing create their own funnels. Sales is doing sales and marketing focuses on brand awareness. Due to digitalization it is old fashioned to have different goals for sales and marketing: The most important goal for both is to boost sales. It is time to go towards common goals. The best resulst are made when sales and marketing are on the same page of a book.
Both sales and marketing is needed. The mission for marketing is to active customers on the beginning of thei buying process. Sales takes care of the rest: contacting the lead and closing the deal. With cooperation the best results are made. You need to define the target group, timing and topic together with sales and marketing. You'll reach the potential customer with relevant topic and on the right time.
Sales professionals meet customers daily: they propably know better than marketing which is the best target group. Digital footprint tells you the best topic and timing to communicate with the prospect.
Customers are the most important
Customers are the key for success. You'll serve your customer the best with interesting and relevant contect with great timing. Both sales and marketing discuss with customers with different tools.
Digitalization has changed the customer buying process and due to that reason sales and marketing need to change too. B2B buyers are waiting longer and longer before they want to meet the sales person: they are browsing thourgh web to look for information they need. Even 60% of buying decision is made before meeting the sales person. Marketing need to take care of the relevant and interesting content for the customers on the different stages of a bying process. Marketing automation serves sales, marketing and customers: sales and marketing together can help the potential client on his different stages of customer buying process.
Leads, the result of cooperation
With quality leads you sell faster, more and with less work. Quality leads are the result of the cooperation. Marketing automation recognizes and warms potential customers. You can recognize website visitors with CTAs (for example when some one subscribes a newsletter). Hot leads get cold if you don't contact them soon enough.
Marketing should give sales quality leads only. Now almost all the leads are gives to sale even though only 1/3 of them are qualified. That's why marketing leads suffer from the lack of trust. If you don't trust your leads, it is time to sit on the same side of table and think what kind of leads actually are the quality leads.
Digitalization forces sales and marketing to cooperate. When cooperation works well, marketing creates more quality leads and sales closes deals more efficiently. Automation makes sales and marketing go towards the common goal, sales. It it time dor sales and marketing to say "yes" and start the cooperationt today. Amen.
It is very close to our heart, that in Finland we don’t do as good marketing as possible. Only minority of Finnish companies use marketing automation tools and only under 10% of SMes use marketing automation. Even though there are plenty of different marketing automation variations for different size and type of companies.
Digitalization and its impacts to consumer behavior is one of the biggest changes happening in marketing and sales. In B2C, market has reacted to the change and marketing is recuring fast. On the other hand the change has been too slow in B2B.
Marketing automation has taken baby steps in companies in Finland. In Finland, we are super innovative and we have great products and services- But sharpened, we are very bad in marketing. Why do we have to be underdogs in marketing?
The next 3 facts of marketing automation (2015) make our concern more clear:
- 79% of top-performing companies have been using marketing automation for more than 2 years. (Gleanster Report).
- More than half of B2B companies (55%) have adopted marketing automation. (The Ultimate Marketing Automation stats)
- Over two-thirds of top-performing SMes utilise automation: 68% of businesses ranked as "top performing" are using automation in their marketing strategies. This makes them seven times more likely to be using automation than the small business ranked as average. (Gleanster Report)
BENEFITS OF MARKETING AUTOMATION
1. saves time from marketing by automating routine tasks
2. makes marketing more effective by automating marketing communications
3. improves marketing follow-up by identifying individual website visitors
4. increases customer interest in products and services little by little with help of automated drip campaigns, which send customers messages in different stages
5. identifies customer’s interest at the right time, and informs the sales about the customer as a warm lead
There is plenty of proof that marketing automation is efficient. B2B buyers are waiting longer and longer before they want to meet the sales person: even 60% of buying decision is made before meeting the sales person. They search information through web and they want sufficient content in the different stages of their buying cycle.
Marketing automation warms leads, recognizes potential customers and gives them to sales department on the perfect time. Closing deals is more likely to happen when a hot lead is contacted on the right time.
Marketing automation will be used in almost every B2B companies within few years. Forerunners are already taking advantage compared to their competitors. Those who are still considering starting automation, are leaving behind. Now it is perfect time to start marketing automation and avoid leaving behind from your competitors. All you need is initiative and will.
“Where can I find better leads?” Unknown Salesman.
Did you know that there are plenty of quality leads just behind the corner? Leads which are looking for the solution you are offering. Leads which are waiting for your call. Wouldn’t it be nice to be the first one who offers a helping hand?
Cold calling can be a nightmare for even an experienced sales professional. Where can you find warm leads? You have attended for all the seminars and events, checked out all relevant newspapers, Googled everything you can think of and, called all the friends of your friends... Who to call next? Has marketing department given you leads which got cold already last week? The timing matter a lot when it comes to the warm leads. The majority of buyers don't appreciate or respond to cold calls, which is the primary reason the tactic doesn't work. In turn well targeted calling works efficiently. Quality is important both to sales professionals and buyers.
Have you met the lead engine of today? With this machine there is no need to worry about who to call next. You’ll receive quality leads automatically and regularly. They are happy to answer your call. These leads have already shown interest towards your company. They know about your products or services and are planning to buy. They want to hear more what you are offering. Marketing automation is a reliable friend for sales professionals. It brings the hot leads straight into your arms.
For sales professionals, marketing automation (MA) might sound like a major project the marketing department is struggling with. But that is not the truth. MA is the conductor in an orchestra, where sales and marketing departments play the most beautiful melody together. Efficient lead generation is taking baby steps among SME companies in Finland. In any case, digitalization and automation are necessities in the future. And they help sales professionals vastly.
The cooperation between sales and marketing is the key for successful marketing automation. For example a small campaign will show you how you can benefit from automation. It helps both the tasks in sales and marketing. Great content, regular communication and identification of active and potential customers generate more and better leads. It’s time to start holding hands with marketing professionals. Be active and make sure that you’ll have the quality leads.
You’ll get a notification when a potential customer has shown great interest towards your products or services (for example browsed through important pages on your website or downloaded a whitepaper). A potential customer searches information through different channels and compares possible options behind the curtains. Make sure that you’ll be the first to offer a helping hand when the time is right.
Sales and marketing make a great team
It’s important to share all the information, knowledge and experiences that sales professionals have about the customers. With that information marketing professionals can decide on the best target group and create suitable content. Marketing automation recognizes the most active potential customers and increases the interest of customers who are seeking for solutions.
With the cooperation between sales and marketing you’ll have the best results. The goal between these two players is the same: have more new customers and increase sales. Instead of generating plenty of leads marketing focuses on generating quality leads. This helps the work of sales professionals: less calls and for quality leads only.
Become close friends with marketing professionals and dare to ask for better leads. Is your company doing marketing that sales department loves? Does marketing and sales have the same goal?
Steps for better leads
1) Start cooperation with marketing professionals
Start cooperation with marketing to achieve better leads. You are the one, who knows what your customers want. You know the target group. Marketing knows how to create content for them. Cooperation with sales and marketing is an important start.
2) Choose your target group
Which is the best target group for your company right now to get more new customers?
3) Create interesting content
Marketing professionals make sure that your company has great visibility online. They create interesting content for the target group in different channels (website, social media, newsletters etc.). You’ll reach the target group with versatile content. Marketing automation takes care of generating hot leads for you.
4) Recognize hot leads
Consider together with marketing how potential customers act on your site. How to recognize great leads for sales? Potential customer can for example download a whitepaper, subscribe to a newsletter or visit some important pages on your website.
5) Start your lead engine
This basic information is enough for you to start marketing automation. Do you want know how to start the lead engine? Invest a moment of your time and learn more in an half an hour information flash.
For sales professionals, marketing automation for example generates hot leads instead of cold calling, gives more opportunities to get new customers and frees your time for customers who are really considering to buy.