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Game Changer: 3 Ways to Use Marketing Automation to Shorten Your Sales Cycle

Are you only using Pardot for email sends today? If so, it’s time to step up your game! Or maybe you are considering marketing automation for the first time and you’ve been hesitant on trading in your Connecticut Avenue for a Park Place. Either way, you should know that marketing automation can be your much needed game changer to shorten your buyer’s journey. The following three tips will show you how to leverage marketing automation beyond basic list email sends and keep you three gumdrops ahead of your competition. (Hey, readers, can you count the classic game references hidden within this post? Play along!)

Visitor and Prospect Tracking

When you press send on your emails today, do you have a full understanding of your prospects’ next moves? Pardot allows you to not only track engagement with your actual email, but provides valuable insight into their engagement with your website and other online campaigns, so that your next move can be “Checkmate!”

How, you may ask? Consider this scenario:

You send an email sharing exciting details on a new product launch to a list of warm prospects. Several prospects open the email and even click the link the see more about this product on your website. With Pardot tracking code, you can see the time they’ve spent browsing your product details. Prospects are revved up about this new product (and why wouldn’t they be? Your content is on point!). They decide to take that next action to check out your pricing page. At this point, you’d want to leverage a page action to assign these prospects to a sales rep and set it as a priority page to highlight their visit to the pricing page, which may indicate they are ready to pass GO! You collect $200.

Lead Nurturing

If you are just sending list emails today, you may be missing out on one of the most powerful pieces of Pardot. Are you using your masterfully created content to intelligently nurture prospects and shorten their buying journey? If not, Pardot will help you send the right content at the right time. Check out drip programs to push your prospects right up the ladders (and ensure they skip the chutes!). This allows you to send your prospects on the path that best fits their needs and allow them to self-segment based on their interactions with your content. One way to stack the cards in your favor and facilitate self-segmentation is to use your predefined marketing stages and the content that best fits those categories. Using a simple drip program, start out by sending your “Stage 3” content (that content that is closest to sales-ready). Then, when prospects engage with that content, you’ll know that you can pass them on to Sales like a hot potato! The rest of your prospects will continue along the journey until they engage.

Lead Qualification

Many clients already take advantage of Pardot’s out-of-the-box scoring model to help quicken the qualification process. We know sales reps can be like hungry hippos, eager to devour as many leads as possible, and we want to make sure you are sending them the best of the best! While scoring alone is fantastic, using a customized grading system along with your scoring model could help you identify the best leads more quickly, and toss out any bad apples. Scoring reflects how interested a prospect is in your company, and grading reflects how interested you should be in that prospect. Think Interns vs. CEOs, potential leads vs. potential employees.

Did you catch all of the game-related references? We counted at least seven. What’s your favorite classic board game?