Improve Your Sales Enablement with Marketing Automation
Did you know that B2B buyers do 70% of their research online before even contacting your sales team? Gone are the days when customers would contact your business without knowing who you are. If you want to reach your audience, you have to give them opportunities to get to know your brand by regularly sharing valuable, original content.
But building a successful sales enablement strategy that incorporates your marketing team involves a lot of time and moving parts. The best way to save time while still getting great results is by leveraging marketing automation tools. Read on to learn how automation boosts your sales strategy, why content marketing is essential for generating qualified leads, and top recommendations for marketing software.
Leverage Data to Align Sales and Marketing Teams
Before jumping in and setting up your campaigns, you’ll want to make sure that your marketing and sales teams are on the same page. Successful teams don’t work in silos. They share information on a regular basis to paint a full picture of who your audience is and what they’re looking for when they contact your brand.
Data is essential here. Your sales team’s perspective on your target audience is likely different from your marketing team’s perspective. Sales reps can offer insights into what truly makes prospects tick. What makes prospects convert to customers?
On the other hand, your marketing team can provide analytics that reveal how users interact with your website, social media, emails, and other areas of your online presence. What blog topics are most interesting to your audience? Which social media platforms do they use?
Schedule a meeting with your sales and marketing teams to brainstorm the best platforms and topics for building your automation campaigns. Hearing everyone’s perspectives and ideas will give you a solid jumping-off point when crafting your marketing automation strategy.
Email Marketing Automation Streamlines Your Sales Process
The amount of touchpoints it takes to convert a lead to a customer is constantly growing. You may have heard of the “marketing rule of 7,” AKA the idea that customers convert after 7 touchpoints. But this is an outdated number. There’s so much noise out there that it now takes about 13 touches (or more!) to take your relationship with prospects to the next level.
13 emails may seem like a lot. But that’s where automation comes in. Think of all the time your sales team spends sending out nurturing emails in an effort to stay top of mind. And consider the hours your marketing team spends crafting social media posts and newsletters to boost brand awareness. What if you could get those hours back?
The great news is that you can! Email marketing automation tools allow you to build lead nurturing workflows. These workflows can be customized to send at a cadence that aligns with your typical sales cycle. You can schedule all of these emails at once, and then let them send out automatically.
If leads tend to close within a couple of months, you can set up your emails to deliver a week apart. But if your sales cycle is usually several months, you might consider sending emails less frequently to avoid spamming your prospects – and scaring them away in the process.
The great thing about email marketing automation platforms is that you can see how recipients interacted with each individual email. You can view how many people opened the email, which links got the most clicks, and who your most engaged contacts are. With this information, you can build even more targeted workflows. The possibilities are endless!
Social Media Automation Engages Prospects
Social media automation is also vital for attracting and even converting prospects. According to Sprout Social, 90% of consumers will purchase from a brand they follow on social media. Your followers are also more likely to choose your business over the competition and visit your company in person.
Choosing the best company to work with is a big deal! Your consumers will want to learn as much as they can about your brand. And one of the first places they go (aside from your website) is social media.
If you’re manually posting social media content either multiple times a week or just whenever you think of it, you’re not going to get the best results. Consistency is key for engaging your prospects and giving them a behind-the-scenes look into your brand. And the best way to ensure consistency is to schedule your posts in advance.
Not only does social media automation save time, but it also keeps your business on your prospects’ radar. That way, when they speak to your sales team, they’ll already have a good sense of who you are and what you do.
Create Targeted Content to Generate Leads
With more than half of the buyer’s journey happening before a prospect contacts sales, you’ll need to demonstrate your value through content. Your prospects want to know that you have the expertise needed to answer their questions and solve their challenges. What better way to do that than by sharing informative, highly valuable content?
There’s a wide variety of content types you can create:
- And much, much more
With a backlog of resources at your disposal to share with your audience, it will be easy to set up your marketing automation campaigns. Schedule automated email workflows and social media posts featuring your resources that are chock full of the information your audience needs.
But how do you know what topics your audience wants to hear about? You can find out by conducting a content audit. This will reveal which blogs and other resources get the most traffic. Your audit will also uncover whether there are topics pertaining to your services or products that you haven’t written about yet. From here, you can build out a content calendar that incorporates these topics and links back to your relevant website pages.
Don’t have content yet on your website? No problem. You can do keyword research to figure out what your audience is searching for and which keywords get the most traction. This way, you won’t be starting from scratch as you build your content strategy.
Essential Marketing Automation Software
There are a lot of marketing automation platforms out there. The right one for your business will depend on your industry and how you’re intending to use it. What are the top features you’re looking for? Do you want to just automate your email workflows, your social media posts, or both? These will all be important to consider as you select the best option for your needs.
Here are just a few of the best automation software available today to help you get a head start:
- HubSpot: One of the most popular CRMs available as you can manage contacts, set up automated workflows, and schedule social media content all in one place.
- MailChimp: Email automation platform ideal for smaller contact lists. It’s free for up to 2,000 contacts or up to 10,000 monthly emails.
- Hootsuite: Social media automation tool ideal for larger companies that allows you to monitor all of your social platforms with real-time activity alerts.
- Moosend: Cost-effective CRM with customizable templates and the option to only pay when you send emails.
- Drip: Email marketing software ideal for e-commerce businesses because it allows you to send personalized follow-up emails triggered by users’ shopping behaviors.
- SocialBee: Social media scheduling platform with excellent features, such as the ability to add multiple variations of the same post for different platforms in one editor.
With the right combination of tools in your Rolodex, keeping prospects engaged will be a breeze. By the time they reach your sales team, they’ll be itching to convert into a long-time customer!
Start Building Your Marketing Automation Campaigns
Figuring out the right tools, messaging, and cadence for your automation campaigns does take some time and research. Not to mention testing, testing, and more testing. But the time you spend building these campaigns now will save you hours in the long run – and the results will speak for themselves.
However, with a full B2B marketing team as your trusted partner, you won’t have to worry about figuring everything out on your own. Contact Creative MMS today to learn more about how marketing automation can take your sales strategy to the next level.