Marketers have a lot to juggle. Between emails, blog posts, social media, ad campaigns, and direct mail, it’s practically impossible to keep track of all your communications without some level of automation.
That’s why the use of marketing automation tools is on the rise. According to ClickZ, as much as 59% of Fortune 500 companies already use marketing automation, and for good reason. Study after study indicates that marketing automation can deliver impressive ROI.
A VentureBeat survey of 700 marketers found that 80% of marketing automation users saw their number of leads increase, and 77% saw their number of conversions increase. According to a report by B2B Marketing and Circle Research, after just one year, 32% of businesses see increased revenue. After two years, that number climbs to 40%.
When do you need marketing automation?
Too often, marketers are turned off by the term “automation,” because it sounds cold and impersonal. But done correctly, marketing automation can streamline your marketing efforts, nurture unengaged leads, and provide vital data about your sales cycle. Here are five telltale signs your company could benefit from marketing automation:
1) Your marketing efforts aren’t working as well as you’d like
Are you constantly reaching out to prospects without making any conversions? Without marketing automation, it can be difficult to get the data you need to determine exactly how well your marketing efforts are working.
Most marketing automation software programs have reporting tools that make it easy to see how successful your campaign is. An ROI report typically provides:
- Leads and opportunities created regularly
- Which campaigns have an impact on sales
- Revenue attribution, which tells you how well lead nurturing is working
Keep in mind, this will only work if your sales team puts accurate data into your CRM, and if there’s smooth integration between your website, your CRM, and your marketing automation platform.
2) Your sales cycle is too long
For the most part, today’s sales cycle is driven by buyers who have already decided what they want to purchase and from whom. That can make your cycle long and frustrating, but you still have control over the process.
Lead scoring is an important part of shortening a long sales cycle. If you score your leads, only qualified leads who are ready to purchase get passed along to the sales team. That means your sales team can focus on closing deals with prospects who are already educated about your product or service. The result? They spend a significantly shorter amount of time coaxing leads through the sales funnel.
3) You don’t have enough data to segment your leads
It’s difficult to refine your messaging if you haven’t segmented your lists. With marketing automation software, you can divide your lists by demographic, firmographic, location, behavior, etc. You can also divide your prospects by their position in your sales funnel.
Using marketing automation and segmenting your leads can have a big impact. Companies that use automation will typically see a higher conversion rate from marketing response to qualified lead.
4) You notice a lot of leads falling through the cracks
Without automation, it’s challenging to nurture unengaged leads. If you can’t stay in front of these leads, your competitors will step in. If, on the other hand, you nurture your leads, you can increase both conversions and revenue. According to Annuitas Group, nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. An older stat, but if anything, this percentage has increased as B2B companies improved their mastery of marketing automation.
With the right tools, you can deliver relevant content based on how your leads interact with your website, social media pages, or marketing emails. When leads are finally ready to buy, there’s a message waiting for them.
5) Your list is too small
Even the most skilled marketers can’t manage more than a few dozen leads without letting things slip through the cracks. And you’ll need more than a few dozen contacts to keep your business profitable and growing.
Once you set up a marketing automation system, you can capture more leads through your website, segment your list, target your messaging, and start moving more buyers through the pipeline.
Back to you
Marketing automation software represents a sizeable investment and a major strategic shift for most businesses, so don’t feel bad about being cautious. What kind of concerns or hesitations are holding you back? Share your thoughts in the comments section.