One from the Road, Why Sales and Customer Service Teams Need Marketing Automation
Most people associate marketing automation, or digital marketing solutions with ecommerce websites, deals of the day and monthly newsletters. All of these are certainly valid uses and are common place. They’re also examples of things that have become so common that many people write them off as spam. In talking with clients these past few weeks, I’ve seen a common trend emerging in which part of a solution to common challenges is marketing automation software applied to support lines of business or teams that many people wouldn’t consider. Based on some of the results we are already seeing, I wanted to share some of the scenarios we are helping our clients address in conjunction with our partner, Salesfusion.
Intelligently Rank, Rate and Assign Leads When They’re Ready for Action
One organization I’ve been working with is struggling with getting their sales people qualified leads and opportunities. Their lead volume is high, but as many of 50% of the items assigned to the sales team are either unqualified or have actual purchasing windows months out. For this company, success is measured by increasing the win rate of each representative and time spent working with unqualified, or qualified, but premature accounts is a direct hit to the top line. This is where marketing automation tools like Salesfusion make a difference.
Instead of just having a lead assigned, what if you could take that person’s web activity, form data, and other factors and score leads to weight and rank them? For low scoring items, you might have a lower cost call center or inside sales team member reach out and validate that there is a real opportunity. You may place those ‘too early’ in the process into a nurture campaign where they’re incrementally fed information and content on products, services or other items related to their area of interest until their engagement activity results in a higher score that indicates they’re ready to talk.
Conversely, for those who score higher, you immediately assign the lead to a sales person with the history of what they’ve looked at, where they’ve spent their time and other factors that help reps focus on the best opportunities. In cases where tools like this are deployed, we have seen sales conversion results grow as much as 30%, with 10 to 20% growth rates being common.
Keep Customers Engaged During a Long Sales Cycle
Another scenario, especially for companies whose sales cycles are longer, complex or highly competitive deals with targeted content marketing that is directly aligned to the sales process. As individual consumers, we are all becoming familiar with emails that try to cross sell or upsell us based on our purchase history, but what if you took a similar approach to opportunity management? Based on the size of the account, products of interest, the client’s industry, the time since you last engaged with them, and other factors, you can incrementally feed relevant content to that customer that is triggered over time or at specific stages in the opportunity management life cycle. Marketing automation tools like Salesfusion are capable of identifying segments of your customers (and those who have not yet purchased from you) and delivering specific content, pricing, promotions and offers to those specific segments.
Let Your Customers Tell You When to Call vs. Cold Calling
As you engage with your customer base, each customer will at some point respond or focus on specific content, messages or items that resonate with them. Depending on what they do, which can vary from reading an email to clicking on a link to download a product brochure to filling out an inquiry form, Salesfusion marketing automation platform/software can directly inject activities, tasks, leads or other items into your CRM and alert the associated sales team member to take action.
Customer Service – First Call Resolution is So 2015. How about not getting the call to begin with?
Take this example of a customer service need and ask yourself if anything similar ever occurs in your organization. Clients call and email repeatedly to check on order statuses, follow up on open issues, etc. Your customer care team is fielding calls, and hopefully the necessary information is readily available, so they can address the issue during the first call. Unfortunately, for many companies, this is a sunk cost of sales operations that we’ve been told to just accept. In the worst of situations, when information isn’t readily available, hundreds of staff hours can be accumulated over the course of the year just researching and tracking down information so they can “get back to the customer with an update”. This can be easily solved with CRM and marketing automation. CRM marketing integration has a real, measurable positive financial impact.
Some of the benefits of CRM integration is that it allows you to take events (any key parts of the sales, production or fulfillment cycle), and allows you to communicate the status (via email, Text, even a twitter post) about what is happening and what comes next. It allows you to take what is happening in the warehouse, manufacturing plant or shop floor and proactively keep the customer notified of the latest step in the process, or any issues you need to manage proactively. By doing this, and coupling it with related content, you can reduce the volume of calls and with it the ‘sunk cost’ of customer service and care. The CRM marketing benefits and ROI on these types of activities can be enormous, especially for small and mid-sized businesses struggling to scale.
These are just a few of some recent, but still common challenges we are helping our customers address through marketing automation with CRM. Coupled with our partner Salesfusion, Net at Work is helping our customers grow their businesses efficiently by applying the right tools to the right processes when you need it. Contact Us to learn more about our expertise in many of the leading CRM platforms including Salesforce.com, Microsoft Dynamics, SAGE CRM and Infor CRM.