Marketing is one of the critical aspects of your business's success. Without marketing, even if you have a good product, chances are you would get nowhere. Marketing involves the production, branding, and selling of your product. It may be tedious especially if you only have a few people handling your marketing work.
It's good that present technology has given us advanced solutions to our problems. This includes the creation of marketing automation software. Anyone with an existing marketing team, especially big businesses with a large marketing workload can benefit from marketing automation.
Marketing automation is a more efficient way for companies to market and breeze through the early stages of their sales pipeline. From using a sales nurturing tool to marketing analytics, any type of business from small startups to large corporations can now get more done at a lesser cost and with a smaller workforce. These tools also help with achieving a high level of personalization in your marketing strategies for your customers.
If you are unfamiliar with marketing automation, continue reading our complete guide to marketing automation!
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation constitutes software and tools that can help companies target potential clients and customers on multiple channels, including:
- Social media, and
- Text and voice messages.
Marketing and Stages of a Sales Pipeline
Marketing automation can easily help a company through the early stages of its sales pipeline. This is basically the journey starting from how you gain customers, to selling your product and closing the deal. This is what we call the sales pipeline. Here are the typical sales pipeline stages and how marketing automation can help:
1. Lead Generation
This is one of the sales pipeline stages where marketing automation is a big help. This stage can also be called prospecting and it is where you find your potential customers. You first identify and define your existing clients, and use this information so that you know who, how, and when to target new ones.
2. Lead Nurturing
Once you find out who your potential clients are, you then need to "nurture" them. You can use the data you gathered from your lead generation to help you with this stage.
During this part of the sales pipeline process, marketing automation provides advertising and automatic email messaging tailored to your leads, their wants, and needs. This can narrow down your leads and send them further into your sales funnel as they become more interested in what you can offer them.
3. Lead Qualification
Once you have narrowed down your leads, you still have a pretty large number of potential customers. It would be unwise to try and convince them one by one, which is why we have the lead qualification step. At this point, their interest in your company is still vague and you don't know whether they are actually going to buy your product.
You will need to pinpoint which leads qualify as your brand's existing customers. Lead qualification is usually done manually, but marketing automation also comes in and helps with this pipeline stage's process. With more specific forms and additional metrics, you can more accurately check your prospect's budget, authority, needs, and timeline.
With the lead qualification stage further narrowing down your prospect pool, it would be time to invest in meeting with your clients. You can do this by meeting in person and showing them what you offer and also by giving out free trials and demos.
After a successful meeting with the client, it is now time to propose your offer. Talk about their expectations, and your scope of work and finalize your pricing. Companies do their best to present their data and why they would be beneficial to their clients during this stage. If all goes well during a proposal, then you will have your clients say yes during their final decision.
The closing stage involves the finalizing of the sale and the fulfillment of the delivery of the goods and services that you offer. This means that you've been successful in gaining a client and selling your product.
Even after a company has made a sale, it is still vital for them to follow up with its client. Marketing automation can still help with this post-purchase sales pipeline stage by automating the task of checking in with all of your customers.
This stage helps you find out if you've made your client happy and helps ensure that they return to your company in the future. During this stage, you can still perform automated email marketing to check in with your customers and also show them additional offers that they might like to avail from you.
Marketing automation can help you with 4 out of 7 of the sales pipeline stages. If your company offers more than one product, trying to cross these stages manually can be tedious and time-consuming. Your lead would differ from product to product and your marketing team may not have enough time and workforce to deal with the repetitions.
Marketing automation can also include CRM tools that help you move forward in these stages easily. You will be provided with data to show you which strategies are effective and which ones are not. Your marketing managers will be able to track your marketing activities and deliver consistent results.
Marketing is a vital part of your sales process and without it, you may not be able to sell your product as effectively as possible. With marketing automation, you can easily handle such tasks even with a large customer lead database. From lead generation to the post-purchase pipeline stages, marketing automation can be useful to you and your company.
We hope that we gave you enough information to help guide you through what marketing automation is and why you need it. Good luck with your marketing endeavors!
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