R.I.P Cold Calling – Welcome Marketing Automation

Marketing AutomationMost companies are still using traditional sales and marketing approaches and techniques – email blasts, cold calls, direct marketing, large sales teams, inside sales reps, etc.  Very few companies are taking advantage of marketing automation solutions.  What is marketing automation?  A marketing automation solution allows you to orchestrate the delivery of personalized communications and information to your leads in order to automatically nurture, score, and qualify prospects.  The system allows you to focus on marketing and selling to the prospects that are interested in buying your product or service while minimizing the amount of time and resources wasted on unqualified leads.  If done properly, you will never have to make another cold call again.

Here’s an example:

  • You just returned from your annual industry conference and now have a list of all the attendees.
  • You load the attendee list into your CRM as leads and now you want to start marketing and selling to them.
  • You fire off an email blast to the new leads with a link to your latest whitepaper along with a special offer to the conference attendees.
  • You set up a workflow in your marketing automation solution to send follow-up content based on how each lead responds to your email.
  • The marketing automation solution tracks how each lead interacts with the email and your website and starts scoring the lead in your CRM.
  • Let’s say you now want to focus on the “hot” leads.  Let’s define our “hot” leads as those leads that opened the email, clicked on the whitepaper, and spent at least 2 minutes on your website reading the whitepaper.  The marketing automation solution does all the lead scoring for you automatically.
  • You can set up a workflow within the marketing automation solution to automatically send a follow-up email to a “hot” lead as soon as they score high enough in the system.  You then set up the email so that it’s very personalized and comes from your assigned sales rep for the region where the lead is located.  You set up the email to come directly from the sales rep’s personal email address and look as if they sent it from their mobile phone (you don’t want the email to look like it was automated).  If the “hot” lead responds or shows more interest, you now have a highly qualified potential client.
  • Your sales reps now spend their days selling to qualified potential clients by triaging the data in the marketing automation solution instead of randomly dialing for dollars.
  • The system continues to nurture the leads as you continue to market to them.  You can build in other workflows to continue to market to the list based on their interest level and the content you develop.  Most marketing automation systems also support real-time alerts so you’ll know when that former “hot” lead that turned “cold” comes back to your website and starts showing an interest again.

Marketing automation is a game-changer.  The days of cold calling and traditional sales and marketing approaches are over.

The good news is that there are a lot of great marketing automation solutions on the market – Pardot (owned by Salesforce.com), Marketo, HubSpot, Silverpop (owned by IBM), and many others.  However, a tool is just a tool.  It doesn’t matter how great the product is if you don’t know how to use it correctly.  As always, do your homework and hire a professional to ensure you choose and implement the right solution for your business.