How to Use Marketing Automation as a Powerful Sales Tool

marketing automationMarketing Automation solutions are commonly seen as tools specifically designed to help marketing teams reduce operational inefficiencies and cost. But in reality, the biggest value of marketing automation is that they’re a fantastic tool to improve both the quality and the quantity of leads for the sales team.

Let’s explore some of the ways that marketing automation systems provide tangible benefits to sales organizations, and how they can have a direct and significant impact on driving revenue.

Step 1: Data Synthesis and Lead Scoring

While forms are still an important and effective way to capture lead data, they’re not the only ones. The ability to synthesize data from multiple touch-points with an MA system – including forms, web visits, social, etc… – not only helps identify prospects, but also makes it possible to analyze and score leads based on their point in the buying process and their probability to purchase. Our recent survey report on State of Marketing Automation revealed that 88% marketers are either currently using or considering implementing Marketing Automation tools in the coming year. Better lead scoring means that sales teams can prioritize their time and efforts on leads with the highest potential to generate revenue.

Studies indicate that businesses using marketing automation to score and nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in lead quality. (Source: The Annuitas Group). That means that the leads that ultimately make it into the sales organization are over 4 times more likely to convert into customers than before.

Step 2: Process Efficiency

Once high quality leads are identified, the MA system can help both sales and marketing continue to nurture those leads through the funnel, giving them the best chance to ultimately convert them to customers. When used in conjunction with a CRM platform, those teams can build and maintain a holistic and connected view of both customer information and behavior, further improving their ability to target each prospect with the right message at the right time, and ultimately increasing the odds of conversion. Our report also indicates that 86% of marketers consider ‘ease of use’ as the most important criterion when evaluating automation tools.

There’s obviously a lot more to getting the most of marketing automation, but hopefully these few paragraphs have helped give a sense about how Marketing Automation can have a direct and positive impact on customer acquisition and revenue by improving lead quality, optimizing the sales process and ultimately improving conversion. With the sales funnel becoming increasingly arms-length, the improved visibility that marketing automation provides can bring huge benefits not just for marketers, but for sales teams as well.

What are your views? Do you use marketing automation as a sales tool? Let us know in the comments section.

Note: This post is a guest post from a member of our DMR Insider Community.

Image credit: TOKY Branding and Design via flickr