"We don't need more leads. We have leads. In fact, we have a bunch of leads. So many leads that they just sit in our CRM because we can't get to them."
Wait, what? Believe it or not, that's something I hear from people in regards to marketing automation quite often. It sounds counterintuitive. How can you possibly have too many leads? I mean, the whole point of marketing is driving as many leads as possible to the sales team, right?
Wrong. It's actually all about sending the best leads to sales, so they only have to focus on people ready to buy. With the current state of the economy, this is more important than ever. As teams shrink and people are asked to do more with less, it's time to look closely at your team's efficiency and how your platforms connect to drive it.
Just like so many other things in the digital era, the challenge is not getting volume. Volume is easy. Big data, lists of people, and email addresses, vast amounts of data on each person. That's easy. The challenge is getting to the quality through the quantity. It's refining the lists and masses of data to get at the information you need.
For example, pull up your favorite music streaming service. There's certainly no shortage of music. You can listen to everything from heavy metal to cat’s meowing holiday favorites. But which song do you actually want to listen to? How do you find the one artist that you might like? Do you spend your time listening to every single song on Spotify until you find one that you like? Um… No. (If you have that kind of time, please share, I would love to meet you) Do you randomly pick one and hope for the best? Nope. The answer is that you use meaningful filters and curation. You let the algorithms help you find the shortlist of music you are most likely to enjoy (based on your previous selections), and then spend your time on the shortlist of most likely candidates until you find the perfect rendition of ‘Silver Bells’ belted out by a chorus of kitties. (Hey, I’m not judging.)
Sales are no different. Your CRM is piled high full of people. You may even have multiple data points on each person, but are they the right people? Are they engaged, qualified, and ready to buy? Or are they just a list of names that someone dumped into a spreadsheet and imported?
This is where a good marketing automation strategy and platform can work wonders. You see, CRM and Marketing Automation need each other. In my opinion, you can't have one without the other, and frankly, when I use the term "marketing automation" I actually assume that CRM is built in. The platform that we use at WiredViews has the CRM built into it seamlessly and can connect to all the other major CRM systems, so for me, it's a requirement.
The reason is that a good marketing automation strategy includes pipeline analysis, lead qualification, lead scoring, end-to-end ROI reporting, and automated nurturing, all working together to accomplish one simple goal. Increase sales. You only want your salespeople spending their precious time on the leads who are most likely to buy. Marketing can help find out who those people are before a salesperson is ever involved. In fact, with most of our clients, we are able to find those people through automated means, just by connecting the dots on the data they share with us.
A good automation strategy will vet each individual lead. If they are ready to buy, it will move them further along their journey to a salesperson (or shopping cart) in order to buy. If they are not ready, it will nurture them over time, with follow-up emails, additional value propositions, or even education to help them understand why your product or service is the one that they need. A list of names and most CRM’s will not do that alone.
Want to learn more? Grab a copy of our handy Marketing Automation vs CRM Comparison to see what parts of the puzzle you just might be missing.