Marketing Automation Enables Tuning to Shorten Sales Cycles

The mistaken assumption about marketing automation is that once it’s set up, nothing further than monitoring is required. The problem with this notion is that we all operate within a business environment that changes, rapidly. What may have been true three months ago may not be true today. The benefit of marketing automation technology is that it enables marketers to not only monitor Lead activity, but to respond to that activity to continuously improve the interactions and dialog to drive better results. Marketers are charged with not only generating qualified Leads for sales follow-up, but to do so as quickly as possible to shorten time to revenues.

A set-it-and-forget-it approach used to be the norm for traditional marketing campaigns. There really wasn’t a choice except to review the campaigns after completion and learn what we could have done better. That’s no longer true.

With marketing automation, we have real-time insights to Lead behavior. Marketers can see the effects of their email campaigns immediately—including all the other collateral that was viewed in addition to the content promoted in the email messaging. The ability to gauge goal achievement with each marketing activity and compare it to previous response to another call to action in the campaign can show us if we’re moving our Leads forward appropriately, or if we missed catching their attention.

Marketing automation allows companies to reuse content for continuous nurturing programs, while at the same time enabling marketers to know when that content needs refreshing or is no longer relevant to a segment of our Lead database. For example, if one content resource is pulling a high response rate, but the next in the campaign doesn’t, a marketer can proactively adjust the nurturing sequence to slot content into a more appropriate place to deliver the right message at the right time, or remove it.

If our lead scoring model is converting Leads to salespeople when they’re not yet ready for a sales conversation, it’s a simple process to modify the scoring model to extend the time they spend in a nurturing program. Conversely, if we discover that our score is too high—putting salespeople into the conversation after competitors are already there—we can lower the score appropriately. (See the results achieved by our customer, Intellitactics.)

As priorities shift based on business needs, a previous interest may be supplanted by another that becomes more relevant. Marketing automation that enables your prospects to deselect from one list and opt into another means marketers can have the most up-to-date insight to what their prospects are focused on accomplishing. This intelligence can help to ensure that marketers are developing and delivering the most relevant content to help drive continuous momentum across the purchasing process.

Marketing automation is an execution tool that supports marketing performance, not a set-it-and-forget-it approach. By taking advantage of the increased visibility into real-time prospect response, marketers can shorten time to sales by tuning their marketing programs to ensure that buyers are receiving the most relevant information at the time they need it most.