As part of the Marketo Revenue Masters Series, Mac McIntosh, Founding Partner of AcquireB2B and Jep Castelein, Founder of LeadSloth co-presented “7 Ways to Generate More Sales Revenue with Marketing Automation.”
This is an executive summary of the 7 ways.
Nurture your leads to get 3 out of 4 sales opportunities that come from prospects with longer-term needs
Marketing automation can help drive sales revenue by nurturing leads so that sales opportunities come from customers with the right level of needs. Research conducted by Founding Partner of AcquireB2B Mac MacIntosh, has shown that approximately ¾ of sales revenue comes from long term opportunities over six months. The purpose of these lead nurturing campaigns is to move buyers from awareness, to inquiry, to consideration and finally to purchase by appealing to different audiences in different stages of the buying process.
Those customers in the beginning stages of the buying process require different offers than those customers closer to purchase.
The multi-touch lead nurturing process begins with indentifying the prospect. The prospect can be identified with inbound marketing, previous sales campaigns and business connections. After the prospect is identified, you can move the prospect through the buying process with outbound communications such as email, phone calls and direct mail until you can determine they are ready to buy.
The three keys to outbound lead nurturing are to find the proper amount of communications, design offers that are relevant to the prospect and get started with a simple nurturing campaign. The first key is accomplished by staying fresh in a prospects mind without becoming a pest. A good starting point is 2 to 3 times a month around important announcements. The second key of remaining relevant, can be accomplished by considering a prospects current role, industry and place in the buying process. Finally, providing a simple nurturing campaign can start with three touches (each with a single offer), then add additional offers to each touch, and then later adding additional touches. Along the way, each campaign should be adjusted for different types of buyers and markets.
Use Outbound Marketing to Follow-up, Nurture and Qualify Inbound Leads
Marketing automation can help drive revenue by using outbound marketing to follow up, nurture and qualify inbound sales leads. Inbound leads are generated best today with online marketing including search engines, industry portals, directories and social media marketing. Once these inbound leads are identified it is important to nurture them along with follow-up such as email, e-newsletters, phone calls and postal mail.
This process starts with an inbound inquiry. This initial inquiry leads to an email being sent out that offers the prospect content such as an invite to a webinar or a whitepaper. Depending on if there is a response to this initial offer, other offers may be sent to the prospect or they may be disqualified.
Use Marketing Automation Driven Campaigns to Generate More Referrals
Another area to apply marketing automation is the design of specific campaigns with the purpose of generating more referrals. The best place to get referrals is from satisfied customers. This process may begin by offering a customer satisfaction survey. Those who respond positively to this survey are then sent an email request for referrals. The referrals these customers give, are very strong leads because they were received by other customers who already appreciate your product or service.
Other sources to go to for referrals are suppliers, associations you belong to, and even your own prospects. Even if your own prospects are not ready to buy, they may know of other leads who would be interested in an offer.
Use Marketing Automation to up-sell, cross-sell, and re-sell your existing customers
While developing new customers is important, there is also value in focusing on existing customers using marketing automation. Marketing automation campaigns can be directed at new customers, existing customers and customer renewals. For example, a “new customer” email campaign can be created to thank customers for their business but also extend a special offer to only new customers. This email campaign can be tailored to reach existing customers or to renew any offers that may be expiring in the near future. These are important campaigns to consider since existing customers are really just another specific type of lead.
Use Marketing to Increase Sales Productivity
Generating more revenue is a combined effort between sales and marketing, so it is important to use marketing automation to make sales more productive. One way that marketing can benefit sales is to help organize qualified leads. Sales people can focus more on the actual sale when they have a methodical list of sales leads. Marketing can help generate this list based on response to emails or even by tracking activity on the company website. Analyzing customer profiles and activity level will result in a list of qualified leads.
Once sales has a list of qualified leads, it is also beneficial to them to have a profile of these leads and a collection of information. This package of information should contain all activity of the sales lead to that point including web visits, email activity and form submissions. You may also decide to attach outside information if it is available, like a link to their Linkedin profile. This collection of information will facilitate the actual sale.
A situation may arise when a sales person speaks with a lead that is not yet ready to buy. In this case, sales should be included in the lead nurturing process to push the unqualified lead into whatever email campaign they see as appropriate. This can be managed more closely by creating a formal process that can efficiently move a lead between marketing and sales. Having a set process like this would insure that no lead is ignored and left in the middle.
Use Marketing Automation to Get More Out of Acquired Lists
One approach to acquiring leads is to purchase lists of business contacts. The problem with doing this is that usually the contacts on this list have never heard of your business and are not aware of its benefits. One way to counteract this is to use marketing automation to get more out of these acquired lists.
Rather than make an immediate sales pitch to this list, it is suggested that you use marketing automation to offer useful content to those on the acquired list. Offering educational material will build familiarity and credibility. It will also lead to a greater percentage of the list moving through the buying process. This is where you may have the opportunity to use the process mentioned earlier of creating multiple campaigns and touches for different audiences.
When sending email campaigns to acquired lists, it is wise to send the email on behalf of a real person. Often there is a temptation to use fictional characters to make offers, but making an offer on behalf of real people will make the email seem less like spam (an important factor when contacting someone for the first time).
Use Marketing Automation to Reactivate Old Leads
Information attained from marketing automation can be useful in reactivating old leads. Building a database based on length of buying process, activity level, web site activity and email correspondence is useful when it comes time to reactivate old leads. If leads have been active in the past but have not communicated in over 6 months, it may be time to renew this relationship with a new offer or campaign.
View the full webinar from which this executive summary was created
Visit the Automated Lead Management Microsite for information and guidance around implementing a lead management program