Marketing Automation Checklist
Sales and marketing automation has come along way and was previously only affordable for large corporations; however, now it’s even more accessible and affordable for small businesses with an abundance of tools and software available.
More than ever, it’s vital you understand how to select the best sales and marketing automation tools for your business because, without them, you’ll likely be throwing sales opportunities away. Consequently, we have compiled an essential 8 point sales and marketing automation checklist to help you make informed decisions when choosing the best tools for your business in 2019 and beyond.
To get started, read on and let us help you automate your sales and marketing.
1. The Need For Sales and Marketing Automation
Firstly, automation can result in a targeted engagement, improved productivity, and clear insights into conversion rates. Though, before you consider new technologies and tools, you should first aim to identify the target areas which require sales and marketing automation, and this will involve a thorough plan.
Secondly, its necessary to understand which areas of your business require automation, start small, focus on one area of your business (say email) test, test some more, run split campaigns, test, test some more, measure their effectiveness, and then proceed towards building a strategy which is cost-effective resulting in higher conversion rates and much happier prospects or customers. An effective strategy is crucial to the success of any marketing automation plan.
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Critical takeaway #1
Devise a strategy before you think about adding new technologies to your business, our Trello board will kickstart your strategic thinking.
Who would like more sales?
Yes me, please!
I thought so, read on.
2. Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) Integration
CRM software and sales and marketing automation seamlessly sync hand in hand. Generally, CRM software is not regarded as marketing automation, although I’m more inclined to think they are as most CRM’s are starting to morph into an all-in-one marketing automation tool; CRM, Email Marketing, Campaign Management and landing pages. I think it’s essential you consider setting up a CRM before you start building out your marketing automation software. The marketing automation features that can effortlessly integrate with CRM platforms make for a solid combination.
CRM’s enable sales teams to act accurately based on the lead history captured. When leads are generated, a new user record will be created, and you can assign a salesperson or better still trigger an email based on personalized preferences. CRM’s can significantly improve the efficiencies of your marketing outcomes.
CRM’s are an essential step in setting up any marketing automation software as they work hand in hand. There are many CRM’s that fit business of all different shapes and sizes, and it’s, therefore, essential to think carefully about which CRM you will select for your business. Most CRM’s offer a free trial, give it a go at setting up your own CRM.
Critical takeaway #2
CRM’s can be complicated and time-consuming setting up, take the time to research how your business will benefit from a CRM or talk to an expert or better still start a free trial, CLICK HERE
3. Automated Lead Nurturing
With the advancement of lead nurturing technology, the ability to develop long-term personalized relationships with clients and buyers has become even easier.
You may ask what is lead nurturing?
Lead nurturing automates your prospects and customers entire buying journey, delivering personalized and relevant content when it counts.
Not all prospects are sales-ready. Therefore, it is essential to set up lead nurturing tools so that you understand how prospects and customers engage with your content, products or service offerings.
When it comes to email, think about providing your prospects or customers with content offers and create segmented lists that send an email trigger when a lead fulfils specific criteria. A smart marketing automation tool would allow you to automatically improve the content that your prospects or customers have already seen, in turn enabling you to add new personalized content to your campaigns.
The measurements of lead nurturing is to not only cultivate a prospect or customer through a sale but to also focus on what’s beyond direct sales, don’t forget that.
Critical takeaway #3
Never forget who your prospects or customers are, its easy to set and forget with automation, something you do not want to do. What works today might not work tomorrow.
4. Landing Pages
When a prospective buyer clicks on an advertisement or a lead magnet, they are most likely directed to a landing page with a download link or offer.
The most powerful WordPress landing page builder ThriveThemes describes a landing page as:
“A landing page is a standalone page, designed specifically around one conversion goal. It is created to eliminate distractions on the page, such as navigation menus or sidebars. A landing page can be used for any online marketing & advertising campaign to maximize conversions by focusing on a single call to action.”
If you would like to learn more about ThriveThemes, CLICK HERE
Then there is Clickfunnels, a hosted software as a service landing page builder on steroids. Clickfunnels describes landing pages as:
“Your landing page is the first thing somebody sees after clicking on one of your ads or campaign links. It’s your chance to make a first impression.”
If you would like to learn more about ClickFunnels, CLICK HERE
Most landing page builders are conversion-focused and give you the ability to track and automate data, is this something you are doing?
If you are new to landing page builders I would recommend Clickfunnels One Funnel Away Challenge, be prepared for some crazy commitment or if you join as a member with ThriveThemes that gives you access to premium content, insert image here :
2 x Insert Challenge link here
Critical takeaway #4
Directing ads or conversion-focused campaigns to your home page or generic pages are over. Instead, you want to create optimized conversion-focused landing pages so that you can personalize every aspect of a users click!
5. Lead Scoring
Lead scoring is the process of ranking leads to their perceived value to your company based on different metrics and scales. It will align your sales and marketing for ranking leads into specific order based on their readiness of likeliness to convert into sales in order of importance. Lead scoring lets you use multiple scores for website visits, form-fills and products, based on complex behaviours and interests.
This feature can help you identify the stage of the prospect in the buying cycle, gather more data about different opportunities, and use the information received to improve their experience with your company. For lead scoring, you can add scores for positive engagements, for example, when a prospect visits your pricing page. Moreover, you can subtract scores for negative engagements like inactivity for long periods of unopened emails.
Critical takeaway #5
Lead scoring gives you the ability to understand which leads are ready for sales and which leads require further nurturing.
6. Sales Automation Insight
The objective of the right sales automation should be to unite both the buyer and seller. Once a lead performs a specific action, you will be able to position their activity within particular workflows, and in most cases setting them up to resolve the problem, they first came to you about.
For example, I am triggering sales alerts based on the activity of multiple leads or prioritizing alerts based on content downloaded. The idea behind sale automation is to filter and present the sales team with the most relevant and useful prospect data that they can act upon on priority.
A basic CRM will record user contact information and transactions, whereas an ActiveCampaign CRM will Know, which leads to focus on and when to wait; Which leads are the highest priority? Who is most likely to become a customer? Lead scoring, win probability, and automated segmentation makes it easy to identify your best leads.
[Image Source ActiveCampaign]
Critical takeaway #6
Sales automation software should integrate well with all parts of automation software; Sales reporting, Lead Scoring, Segmentation, Lead Nurturing, Deal Updates, Notification Emails, Task assignment and Note creation
7. Social Marketing
In today’s times, every business is incorporating social media platforms in their digital marketing campaigns to promote their products or services. Given the backdrop, it makes sense to opt for a built-in social media marketing and management tool. If not integrated, you should at least be able to seamlessly integrate with the multiple social media marketing tools available today.
Users can conveniently share content across all social media networks to build engagement that can further result in generating new leads. Your social media automation tools should give you the ability to create, schedule, analyze the content and track sales from the same platform.
Social media marketing automation should be used for efficiency and engaging with your community so that you can enhance their experiences. Don’t think you can avoid conversations with your customer’s, like replies and comments. Real humans, coupled with real conversations, is how you should engage with most of your customers on social media.
Critical takeaway #7
Social media automation gives you the ability to bulk preschedule posts, comment, inbuilt analytics to help you determine the best time to post and in most cases, in-depth reporting on your social media accounts.
8. Tracking Performance
As your business evolves, you may need a change in your marketing automation strategy. Ensure you make the necessary adjustments as and when required, so your leads stay engaged with your products or service offering. Keep a tab on the performance of existing sales and the lead reconversion rates. If you can find problems within the sales process; reconversions, email open and click-through rates, unsubscribe rate and site traffic, then it might be time to update your approach and improve it with new tools.
You must routinely analyze your businesses performance; otherwise, what is the point in using automation software. Before you get started analyzing your automation software, make sure your team is using it, what is the point in tracking your automation software if it won’t be used.
Critical takeaway #8
Know your metrics before you start and regularly measure and review them for inconsistencies or successes so that you can pivot earlier then later.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach that you can follow. So, it is essential that you start by establishing the goals you want to achieve for your company through sales and marketing automation and then explore the solutions available to you. A side-by-side comparison of different tools can help you decide better as to which functionalities you genuinely need.
If you need help with your sales and marketing strategy, please reach out via our contact page.