hand pushing on a touch screen interfaceAt Gabriel Sales, we have a slight twist on selecting certain types of software and platforms. We look closely at how the tool can be easily and most effectively used by a sales team and not just the marketing team. When selecting a marketing automation platform to be used by a sales and marketing team, here is some of the criteria we recommend you consider from the sales users’ perspectives:

Is it simple for a sales rep to login and know exactly where to go?

This is a bit of a no-brainer for software design in itself, but our experience with marketing automation software demonstrates that a lot of features may be clear and easy to use for the marketing team while the sales team is vastly overlooked.  Look for software that is easy to use from your sales users by having them attend demos and ask questions pertinent to how they do their jobs.

How easy and versatile is the automated alert system?

It’s imperative that sales reps are notified real-time for certain prospect events and daily/weekly/monthly for others. Having a diverse set of alert options (email, SMS, desktop and mobile apps) will help your team have the fastest response time to your prospects.  Data has shown that responding within an hour of inquiry increases conversation rates by 7x (Source). As an example, having a drip campaign sending automated scheduled emails that will then alert sales users when a prospect has interacted with an asset in the campaign where that interaction shows a buying signal.

How clear are the methods and accessible are the variables that can be segmented upon?

A sales rep wants to use their time efficiently and being able to group prospects into well-defined segments makes their job much easier.  Want to call on everyone who has a score of 100+ that visited the site this week AND went to the pricing page? Should be a straightforward process to get that list.

How does lead scoring work?

Scoring needs to be flexible and comprehensive.  A sales rep wants to be able to see the aggregate score and the specific activities and their respective score. They may not always understand the logic behind specific scoring, but if they are able to see that a video playback was scored at 50, they know that the video itself is a high value activity and a signal to the prospects interest level.

Is prospect activity tracking thorough and easy to understand?

Sales reps want to be able to understand what the prospect is interested in to best modify one-to-one interactions. Having marketing automation software that has a large collection of different activities it can track is imperative for best understanding specific interests in both content and content types. Does Prospect A watch a lot of videos? Send more videos in the follow-up. Is Prospect B interested in the features, create some quick clips on highlights of those features.

What processes can be automated to keep the sales staff productive and not breaking momentum?

Sales reps want to stick with their highest importance activities and not get caught up in dealing with too many steps to record and follow-up with new prospects. Having a systemized process that makes it dead simple to manage alleviates huge headaches and bottlenecks for sales reps doing their best work. An excellent example of this is building a form that the sales rep can complete (that does not set a cookie) that then triggers a series of activities including 1) sending an email, 2) adding to a nurturing campaign and 3) notifying sales executives of next steps.

This is not an exhaustive list of features to consider when selecting a marketing automation platform, but it is a list of the major features we’ve identified as a collaborative sales and marketing team that will optimally support your sales team.