Both marketing and sales teams face challenges in developing buyer relationships and communicating effectively with clients and prospects and with each other. Challenges like overly-complicated workflows and passing marketing qualified leads don’t just make for less efficiency, they can also have a direct impact on the customer experience. Tools like marketing automation platforms can help streamline these processes for both marketing and sales.
These five challenges your sales teams face can all be solved by creating a clear workflow and streamlining your processes with marketing automation:
Challenge #1: Multitasking
Sales reps are juggling discovery calls, qualifying calls, closing calls, and prospecting tasks that simultaneously require their attention – balls inevitably get dropped.
Marketing automation tools like Salesforce Engage allow quick communications to occur so more opportunities can be effectively managed without sacrificing your nurturing and prospecting efforts.
It can be hard for sales reps to prioritize who they should contact first. All prospects are important right? And if you don’t prospect, you won’t know who in your database can make a business decision for your product or services. If you don’t follow up with those identified decision makers, you can’t vet them for interest. But if you don’t contact the most interested candidates in a timely manner, you may lose them to competition or make them feel that your business doesn’t keep its commitments. The prospect will judge your service team by your ability to properly stay focused and deliver the right message at the right time. Salesforce engage allows you to quickly communicate to more than one opportunity at a time allowing you to effectively manage without sacrifice your prospecting, nurturing and closing abilities. It even allows you to ‘multiply yourself’ and send more than one email at a time using Variable Tags to personalize the content.
Challenge #2: Miscommunications Between Sales and Marketing
These two departments don’t always see eye to eye or communicate in real time resulting in conflicting or unrelated communications with prospects.
Marketing automation can streamline the process of passing marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) to prospects. Marketing can then turn their attention to supporting sales with content and driving engagement.
How many times has your sales team received emails that start like this: “I got this email from your marketing team and I don’t think they know we are talking…” Messages like this are egg on the face of a professional sales person who always wants to present the right message at exactly the right time. If the marketing and sales teams aren’t in sync, it can make the entire business look bad in the eyes of the customer. Using a marketing automation platform, you can leverage automatic alerts so that your sales reps are instantly notified when marketing has passed them a lead. And if they aren’t ready to close, sales can then bounce leads back to marketing by adding them to nurturing campaigns to warm them up to a sales-ready state – all from a single dashboard.
Challenge #3: Information Accuracy
Sales reps are often left to craft their own emails and often those emails might be inaccurate or ineffective.
Marketing automation allows your marketing team to craft an encyclopedia of accurate and effective email templates that can be utilized by sales reps as they see fit.
Each sales rep needs to engage with their prospects and clients, but every rep and every buyer is different. This can lead to non-standardized email messages and varying levels of success when reps are communicating with prospects and clients. It can be especially difficult for new reps who need structure to get off the ground. With automation, marketing can ensure that all reps have access to marketing-approved messaging and on-brand templates and content that can be quickly and easily accessed by all members of the sales team.
Challenge #4: Visibility Into Prospect’s Activity
Not knowing who is interacting with your emails can lead to lost opportunities and wasted time.
Marketing automation tools like Salesforce Engage not only show the sales rep who opens the email, but it also shows valuable marketing automation insights as to the prospect’s specific activity and engagement with the email; from what links were clicked to whether the prospect landed on the website or a landing page afterwards.
Communicating with prospects who aren’t interested results in sales reps losing valuable time that could have been invested with potential clients or existing clients for additional business. As a salesperson you are required to quickly qualify levels of interest, and while we’ve all read about the sales person that doggedly pursued a prospect for 8 emails and then on the 9th managed to close the deal, that kind of approach shouldn’t and can’t be multiplied across the volume of prospects that the typical rep sees.
Challenge #5: Continuing Customer Relationships Post-Sale
Customer relationships shouldn’t end after the deal closes. Sales reps need to bring in new revenue but also continue to nurture the relationships with existing customers.
How many times do new customers get pushed over to client support as soon as the deal closes? That steady regular contact with the sales rep suddenly goes quiet, but it’s loud to the client! It’s true that salespeople need to continue to generate revenue and gaining new clients should be part of their focus. However, your newly current customers should also be part of that. They need to know that your business has invested in them and their success, and that the sales team didn’t just sell them. With marketing automation, you’ll be able to keep track of your current customers’ levels of engagement and send them specially personalized emails and content to keep them strongly invested in your brand. Marketing can create nurturing campaigns just for your current clients, giving reps access to everything they need to maintain those customer relationships and even go for up-sell opportunities.