Beyond the rate and terms of a loan, several factors go into choosing a lending institution.
Prospects typically reach out to lenders that they’ve either worked with before, were referred to by a trusted friend or advisor, or found through a quick online search. They expect a fast turn around time and great customer experience. This means that you must be top-of-mind, at the top of a Google Search, and on top of your game.
Marketing Automation, when leveraged effectively, can give you a competitive advantage in an increasingly digital world. In fact, CEB states that 57% of the purchase decision is complete before a customer even speaks to a sales rep. Marketing automation can help you leverage an individual’s digital journey to give you a competitive advantage in three key ways:
1. Increase lead generation.
The percent of loan applications that were generated from digital marketing channels (paid advertising, SEO, SEM, and social media, etc.) has grown exponentially over the past several years. Marketing automation puts a systematic, automated process for generating leads and can provide analytics to help you determine which campaigns are driving the highest ROI.
For example, you can compare the ROI of your Google AdWord search term “small business loan Atlanta” versus the ROI of an eBook you’re promoting via Facebook Ads. As you generate interest across your various digital campaigns, you can leverage landing pages and forms hosted on your marketing automation platform to capture prospect information and automate lead assignments to your sales team.
2. Respond faster than the competition.
According to an IDC survey, we know that 50% of customers purchase from the vendor that engages first. Giving your sales team the ability to respond quickly with a message that resonates is the key to closing more deals.
Let’s look at an example: A prospect comes to your website and requests more information by filling out a form. With the power of marketing automation, that prospect immediately receives an automated follow-up email, is created as a lead in your CRM, and is assigned to a sales rep — all in real time. Prospect activity is tracked and logged in your CRM providing scoring, grading, and compete activity history to your sales team. Sales reps drive more conversions because they can easily prioritize their hottest leads and personalize their outreach.
But let’s say the lead doesn’t convert immediately and your sales reps move on to their newest, hottest leads. Since we’ve already captured that prospect’s information and can track their online engagement, our sales team will receive a real-time alert the moment that prospect re-opens an old email or visits the website, even if its weeks or months later. Now, sales can reach out to the prospect immediately, even before they have a chance to call you (or, maybe more importantly, your competition).
3. Nurture your leads.
Most lending institutions will only close a fraction of the leads they generate each month. More often than not, the leads that do not close will be discarded, forever doomed to sit stagnantly in your CRM. These leads that went cold may have chosen a different lending institution, or just simply decided it wasn’t the right time to secure a new loan. Maybe they were doing preliminary research, or perhaps their need for a loan was delayed (i.e. an individual decided to wait a year before purchasing a house or a small business determined they want to wait until the last possible moment before taking out a loan).
Rather than abandoning these leads for good, you can capitalize on this investment by adding them to personalized lead nurturing programs. With automated nurtures, you can educate, build relationships and stay top-of-mind with your broader lead database with targeted, personalized emails. When these leads decide it’s time to explore lending options again and end back up on your website, your sales team will be receive a real-time alert signaling them to follow up.
Once that lead becomes a customer, you can continue to use nurture programs to maintain those relationships, build on-boarding programs, and up-sell and cross-sell other offerings.
Marketing automation isn’t right for every businesses, so to help you identify if it’s right for you, we’ve compiled a few questions to help:
- Marketing ROI: Am I investing my money in the most effective marketing channels and campaigns? Do I understand my marketing ROI at a granular level?
- Response Time: Am I happy with my loan inquiry response time? Does my sales team know if a former prospect is back on the website? What would be the impact if we could respond in real-time?
- Stagnant Leads: Do I have stagnant leads sitting in my CRM? What would be the impact if I had a structured process to nurture these dead leads as well as up-sell/cross-sell to my existing customers?
If the questions above resonate with you, marketing automation could be the solution you’re looking for. For more information on Salesforce’s native marketing automation platform check out the Pardot website or reach out to your Salesforce Account Executive.