Posts Tagged 'Marketing Automation'

Is Marketing generating the leads your Sales team wants? 3 Steps to Sales-Marketing Alignment

By Christie Turner – Astadia Marketing Director

No tool or benchmark can tell you what a qualified lead looks like for your company. Only sales people can define that. They’re the ones who have to close the leads, so they are your experts in lead qualification.

Well, it’s no secret that the relationship between sales and marketing teams is often…strained. How to move forward?

Here’s a 3 prong approach to move the conversation forward–by strengthening the correlation between marketing activities and revenue generation.

Item 1: Start a regular, ongoing conversation.

Here are 4 icebreaker questions for that first meeting between your company’s sales and marketing leadership.

  • What are the best–and worst–leads we’ve sent you?
  • What are the characteristics of a lead you’re excited to work?
  • What are the must-have characteristics for a lead to be worked at all?
  • What must your pipeline contain for you to make quota?

If your team most recently asked these questions more than 3 months ago, some answers have changed.

This conversation should engage the highest-ranking sales leader and the highest-ranking marketing leader in the organisation. Marketing-sales alignment is too important to delegate.

An outside moderator may be helpful, if the relationship has been rocky.

After the initial meeting, the marketing team should re-evaluate its lead scoring programs, list and lead sourcing strategies, and the marketing plan itself. Where could they be adjusted to better deliver the pipeline needed?

Item 2: Build the lead management process together.

For its activities to be relevant, marketing must align its tactical go-to-market plans to the territory battle plans of the sales team.

Sales should also align its workflow to fully leverage the groundwork laid by the marketing team’s activities.

Here are 4 icebreaker questions for the lead management process discussions between sales and marketing.

  • Who should be working on the leads marketing sends to sales?
  • What information do the sales people need to follow up effectively after we run a campaign? Who will compile and deliver that information?
  • How quickly can sales follow up on new inquiries?
  • What can be automated or simplified to enable faster sales follow-up on new leads/opportunities?

Clearly defining how a lead gets into and out of each stage is essential.

Item 3: Work from the same set of measurement reports.

Review the entire pipeline together, regularly, using your jointly-defined lead management process and terms.

Bottom line: if your leads are going to be turned into revenue, it’s the Sales team who will do it. Find out how you can make them more successful, and they will make you more successful.

For more marketing insights, download our white paper:

10 causes of Marketing Automation failure (and what you can do about it).


The Marketing Automation Triangle – Are you making full use of it?

By Elena Savvides – EMEA Marketing Manager – Astadia Consulting

The Wikipedia definition of Marketing Automation (MA) is:

“The name given to software platforms designed for marketing departments and organisations to simplify processes by automating repetitive tasks. Marketing departments, consultants and part-time marketing employees benefit by specifying criteria and outcomes for tasks and processes which are then interpreted, stored and executed by software, which increases efficiency and reduces human error.”

Put into a simple example, if you wanted to launch a new campaign one of the pinnacle elements of that campaign would be email marketing, which in today’s world is all done through an MA tool, such as Eloqua, Hub Spot, Constant Contact and so on. What I’m not going to do is pontificate the benefits of each. Personally, I use Eloqua and despite the steep learning curve I had to make to fully grasp the strength of the tool, I wouldn’t be without it today. Yes I’m biased, but aren’t we all when we’ve found our perfect tool! Anyway, back to what I really want to talk about, which is what I like to call the Marketing Automation Triangle, which for today’s marketers is something that forms the fundamental foundations of any successful marketing campaign.

You’ve identified the goals of your campaign and have spent hours segmenting your existing contact lists so the right people receive your message. Through extensive A/B testing you’ve carefully crafted an email message that cleverly entices the reader to a landing page, where they can either download useful content, such as whitepapers and podcasts or sign up for webinars and breakfast briefings. But have you closed the third point on your Marketing Automation Triangle? Are you making full use of social media channels?

Social media is increasingly becoming the most important touch point in any successful Marketing campaign. Therefore, if you’re already on top of your game with sophisticated MA tools, why don’t you go the extra mile and add in a little social media to every campaign you execute.

“OK nice idea, but where do I start!” – I know that’s what you’re thinking and that’s OK, this “social media thing” is a complete mine field; if you’re not careful you could spend all day marketing your products and services through social media channels and never get anything else done. Fundamentally, there’s a knack to all this and if you want to hear more, have a listen to this podcast

Fundamentally, when I plan a marketing campaign I always factor in social media elements into the overall goals of my campaign. Once my landing page is ready and the email has gone out to my existing contact database I turn my attention to social media. My first port of call is LinkedIn. Why? Because it’s a great place to harvest contacts. I don’t use the same email, word for word, that I sent to my existing contact database. I tweak it slightly and using the groups I’m a member of, I search for relevant targets to send it to.

My next port of call is Twitter, if I’m hosting a webinar or breakfast briefing I want my followers to know about it. Twitter isn’t a static page, so you can’t make a posting once and think everyone will see it. You need to be constantly updating your Twitter feed with interesting content, be that work related or otherwise. People follow interesting people. Keep the content varied and you’ll have a fan club before you know it.

Finally, I target Facebook so my followers and any groups I’m a member of can also hear about the events or content downloads I’m making available.

There are many schools of thought on what social media best practice is. None are gospel. The key is starting small and growing from there. As a novice, something is better than nothing; however the more you play the more you’ll realise just how advanced you’re becoming.

Good luck and let me know your thoughts on this – I’d be really interested to hear them.

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