In Part 1, Increase B2B Sales Volume and Revenue and Part 2,What Does Your B2B Sales Approach and B2B Marketing Culture Need to Look Like?, we discussed the new situation in B2B sales and how the buying process has changed, how marketing is more important to your sales process than ever, and how you may need to alter your sales process and augment your team.
In part 3, we outlined the 11 core competencies required to build a successful b2b demand generation marketing program that puts your buyers and their buying cycle (as opposed to your sales cycle) at the center of your sales and marketing process.
Now, in part 4, we explain the five key ways that marketing automation and sales technology can quickly shift your culture and help your sales team be more effective. The five ways are:
- Lead Capture
- Lead Qualification
- Email Automation
- Lead Intelligence
- Real Time Lead Alerts
Here’s a brief explanation of how each of these features will help your sales team:
For example, Pardot Marketing Automation Software allows you to identify companies that are visiting your site without the need for any information to be collected on a form. There is a database of IPs that identify the company. The major value here is identifying potential prospects without waiting for contact info to be submitted, using 3rd party data providers like Inside View, LinkedIn, One Source and SalesForceData to more quickly identify the key contacts within the companies visiting your site. These 3rd party data providers also help you pull in additional missing data points about the company and key contacts.
Just as important is actually capturing leads with landing pages and forms. That is nothing new, but the ability to then implement strong lead management rules helps hand over qualified prospects automatically.
There are two main ways to qualify leads: using implicit behaviors and activities and explicit data and demographics.
Using implicit information and lead scoring, you can rank and score activities (email, web and social) variably by importance and then set up actions to pass the top scoring prospects over to a sales rep automatically.
Using explicit data and lead grading, you can qualify a prospect on who that person is, e.g. a CEO versus a workaholic just trying to learn something new by requesting your content. You can also change grades up and down based on industry, company size and other factors. Essentially, it’s grading prospects against an ideal customer profile that your sales and marketing team identifies.
Along with helping your sales team avoid talking to bad prospects, using these grades and scores provides you another way to dynamically pre-qualify and assign the best prospects to your sales rep.
Email automation for sales reps takes their knowledge about and performance with their leads to another level. Reps can now use email integration tools for Outlook, Gmail, Apple Mail, and Thunderbird to send personal emails through their marketing automation tool, This allows them to personally track opens and clicks with automatic notifications being sent back to the rep when these actions are taken.
Another powerful email automation component is personalized email marketing campaigns, where the marketing team can craft a message to the companies entire pool of prospects, yet dynamically assign the “From” and “Email” field of the lead’s assigned rep. This serves two main purposes: 1) the rep will get the credit for a pleased lead being sent valuable content (yet the rep didn’t have to do anything – marketing and software took care of the touch for them) and 2) all replies to the content will go directly back to the rep (plus, the rep can also be notified when their lead interacts with that message).
A bonus aspect to email automation is the sales rep can pass back “not-yet-qualified” leads to be nurtured by marketing and allow for further lead qualification. The sales rep can be notified again once the lead qualification status has been improved based on the lead’s content interaction activities and scoring rules.
Sales reps will be able to track all online behaviors (email, website and social) and that data can be put directly into the CRM that the sales rep works from, e.g. Salesforce, instead of requiring the sales rep to learn the ins and outs of the marketing automation prospect tracking system (though they probably will want to once they see how much more effective they are). Activities like original lead source, specific page views, keyword searches, webinar attendance, etc., can all be tracked. This allows the sales rep to profile and frame the content for conversations, voicemails and follow-up emails based on those specific prospect activities.
Real-Time Lead Alerts
Real-time lead alerts allow sales reps faster response time when companies or leads are actively engaged in the sales education collateral. Sales reps can receive instant alerts or daily email summaries regarding these activities. They can receive instant alerts via email, text messaging, mobile apps, and desktop apps, whichever they prefer.
With these alerts and summaries Reps can:
- Prioritize their day with the most active prospects
- Perform quick lookups of anonymous visitors in LinkedIn or Jigsaw to identify potential new prospects
- Click on links to trigger CRM profile lookups
- Send emails to active prospects with a few quick clicks
- Filter out unwanted activity
All of these features, Lead Capture, Lead Qualification, Email Automation, Lead Intelligence and Real-Time Lead Alerts, save your reps time and make them more successful. An effective integration and use of marketing automation can synthesize marketing and sales objectives and improve the effectiveness better than ever.
If you are still a little skeptical that marketing automation and content marketing are going to be critical to your success we invite you to check out our blog Content Marketing is Now Required for Quality B2B Lead Generation that will give you a little background on the risk you are running and the cost of delay.
If you want to learn more about how Gabriel Sales can combine your product knowledge and thought leadership with our sales and marketing automation expertise to get you in the game faster, request a complimentary review. If you want to review more information, download the White Paper for Tactics you can implement now.
Additional Blogs in this Series:
Part 4 – How Can Marketing Automation Improve My B2B Sales Performance?