Let me start by saying, I’m not here to answer the question, “What is marketing automation?”. Marketing automation is overrated. Sure, it has its place – but that place isn’t in the hands of your sales people. It’s not enough to send templated email blasts to five thousand people, cross your fingers and hope for the best.
Click-through rates are low enough as it is. On the off-chance someone actually engages with your brand, they should feel that you understand their pain. That you have a solution that will make them a hero. That you can help.
Whether you’re a mid-size company or a multibillion dollar corporate gorilla — any number of employees will be consulted before a decision is made to go forward with a purchase.
The more departments which are impacted by a business decision, the more consulting is necessary. Not to mention, ensuring the appropriate change management processes are in place for the upcoming chaos which comes with almost any standard SaaS implementation.
So how can you expect potential clients to make an informed decision without having a high-touch relationship with someone from your organization? The answer is simple. You can’t. While we’ve been conditioned to believe drip campaigns are the next wave of marketing genius, I’m here to tell you they aren’t. The story goes a little something like this:
Step 1: Subscribe to some sort of content
Step 2: Receive an email about your interest in the above content [IGNORE]
Step 3: Two days later get a phone call from someone at the company which produced the content [SEND TO VOICEMAIL]
Step 4: One week later get another phone call from the company [SCREEN AND IGNORE]
In an era of personalization, it’s becoming painfully obvious that companies cannot just throw a one-size-fits-all solution in the ring and come out a winner.
Your solution has to be better than that. You have to be better than that. Enough with the low-touch, transactional sales. That’s for retail dot coms, not expensive business commitments.
Bring relationships back to the forefront of your organization by leveraging more meaningful data. Sure, you have to collect some basic data in order to communicate effectively with your prospects.
Name and email address will suffice to start. But once they start traveling through your brand’s ecosystem, you can see so much more than CTR. Look, they visited your website! Check it out, they read that article you posted on Twitter! Hey, they shared that microsite with their boss!
It’s these real-time, REAL LIFE engagements that are blazing the trail for the continuous improvement of sales effectiveness and developing business relationships.
When you know more about your prospect’s behavior, you can make more intelligent decisions as a salesperson. You can make the choice to send a timely and personal email to your hottest lead, catering to their exact needs, rather than spamming them with a slew of pre-planned messages that 10,000 of their closest colleagues received.