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How to Plan for Success with Marketing Automation

So, you’ve signed the contract. You have marketing automation.

What next? How do you make the exciting things that you saw in the demos a reality for your business?

Marketing automation is a powerful tool, but like most technologies, just signing a contract doesn’t ensure success. To see optimal results with your platform, you need a strategy in place that aligns with the needs and processes of your business. Sound abstract and complex? Let’s break it down a bit.

Consider your current processes.

You can’t define success until you understand what you want to improve upon. Ask yourself the following questions to identify the current health of your marketing and sales efforts:

  • What ratio of sales engagements currently results in a closed deal? What steps can you take towards better qualifying leads and improving this ratio?
  • Are you using your website for lead generation? If so, how can you expand this?
  • How can you incorporate cross-channel marketing into your efforts?
  • What are your current KPIs, and how can you show each department’s value?

Remembering why you invested in marketing automation in the first place (what jumped out at you most during that first demo?) can help you decide where to focus your attention first to meet your most immediate needs. Check out five more important considerations in How to Set Yourself Up for Success with Marketing Automation.

Get the whole team on board.

The importance of internal buy-in for your new platform cannot be stressed enough. Marketing automation is a solution that ties together all of your marketing and sales efforts, so making sure everyone is on the same page is important for a couple of reasons:

  • Identify top priorities. When you pull your whole team into planning, you get a big-picture view of what areas of your sales cycle need improvement. Are your sales reps calling the wrong leads? Or are they just unable to personalize their calls enough? Are colder marketing leads never getting followed up with? Marketing automation can address all of these issues, but determining what your top pain points are can help you identify some quick (and significant) wins.
  • Gain sales’ support. As mentioned, sales is a huge part of marketing automation success. Not only do you need their help to figure out how marketing automation can best impact revenue at your company, but the sooner you can get sales using the buyer insights that you’re gathering with marketing automation, the sooner you’ll see results with the solution.

The bottom line? You not only need a strategy, you need your whole team to understand — and be on board with — this strategy. And we’ve put together some content that can help: the Marketing Automation Success Plan template. Download it, customize it, and present it to your team. You’ll add structure around your strategy, start the right conversations with your team, and build a unified effort around your new solution.

Download our free, customizable planning template:

Create some quick wins to drive results.

This is obviously a goal for all marketing automation users, but it’s particularly important for new adopters. The biggest threat to new marketing automation users is analysis paralysis — you have this robust new tool that can impact your marketing in so many ways, but what should you do first? Where do you start when a platform touches so many different areas of your strategy?

If conversations with your team didn’t point you in a clear direction of where to start (maybe you disagree on your biggest pain point, or maybe your business hasn’t been selling your product long enough to really understand where you need to improve), try using our free Marketing Automation Success Kit.

This kit will walk you through getting started with the features of marketing automation, building out the most basic functionality first and working your way towards a more complex strategy (advice that is, by the way, based on our own experience with using our product to build out our marketing efforts). For instance, implementing lead scoring and grading, and building out a couple of extremely basic nurture tracks are great ways for you and your entire team to see an impact from your new platform. You can refine your approach later based on what’s working (that’s what marketing automation is all about) — just get started so you have something to improve upon.

Whether you’re in a state of analysis paralysis when it comes to kicking off your marketing automation efforts, or you’ve been using a platform but sense that you’re not reaping the full benefits, check out the resources above to see how you can optimize your strategy and map out a well-defined success plan. And be sure to share your thoughts on achieving marketing automation success in our comments section!

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