Back in 2010, I wrote a post on how marketing automation can help promote that elusive marketing/sales alignment that we’re all trying so desperately to acheive.
Now, thanks to Forrester, we have the research to support my theory (although that theory was based on lots of anecdotal evidence!) In a recent article, Lori Wizdo says, “In our study, we found that companies who have implemented a marketing automation solution reported significantly higher levels of collaboration between sales and marketing, across a number of different dimensions.”
As Ms. Wizdo explains, implementing marketing automation software means that the company has a managed process in place for lead generation, lead nurturing, and defining lead readiness, in addition to providing sales with lead alerts.
One of the major areas where marketing automation helps avoid arguments is defining and executing field programs. As Ms. Wizdo points out, this is an obvious advantage of marketing automation. The ability to measure the ROI on any given program means that there’s no need to argue about what works and what doesn’t – marketing automation gives us the numbers, which makes it easy for both marketing and sales to identify the programs that should be kept alive vs. those that need to be killed.
Automation also helps us to get to know our leads better by capturing insight into their behavior. When we better understand our prospects, we as marketers can have better communication with them, tailored to their specific needs and sensitive to their responses. We can also better identify their sales readiness, and when we do transfer them to sales, sales can have better conversations with them and close deals faster.
Obviously, the very task of managing leads becomes much more streamlined when automated, and I would like to add here that apart from the obvious advantages of automating a big database over trying to manage it manually via Excel (which can lead to some serious marketing mistakes), again we see here a better opportunity for marketing and sales to collaborate when defining the criteria for lead scoring, and creating sales messaging that comes from sales but is in line with marketing’s general messaging.
The very fact that marketing automation creates a managed lead-to-revenue process helps with collaboration. In addition, built-in marketing automation tools such as lead scoring and lead nurturing help smooth the process out by providing marketing and sales with an incentive and an opportunity to agree on basic definitions prior to launching campaigns, and by measuring results to see what actually works.Google+