You’ve done your research, chosen a solution, pitched it to upper management, and now it’s time to get your sales team on board. The only problem is: they’re not interested in learning another solution.
Selling your sales team on marketing automation can be a task in and of itself. While the value is readily apparent for marketing (after all, the tool is called “marketing” automation), many sales reps don’t immediately understand how they’ll benefit from implementing a new solution at their organization. Arguments like “our sales team is already hitting our numbers” or “this is going to take too much time to learn” are commonly used as excuses for passing up a tool like marketing automation, but the bottom line is this: sales reps have just as much to gain from automation as marketers.
In fact, marketing automation is just as much a marketing tool as it is a tool for marketers to enable sales. Take a look at the following four ways that sales can benefit from an automation solution, and use these as talking points in future negotiations with your sales team.
Track Emails & Reach out with Relevant Communications
Many B2B organizations have members of their sales teams who are strictly devoted to cold calling. This is a hard enough job on its own, but is even harder when reps are left guessing at their leads’ activities and motivations. Marketing automation uses link tracking in emails to simplify the cold-calling process by telling reps when leads are clicking on links in their emails, which links they’re clicking on, and which content they’re interested in. This gives sales reps the intel they need to take the conversation from “Hey, I just wanted to touch base again on Product XYZ” to “I saw you were interested in some of our content on email marketing. Did you have any questions, or want to talk further about email or deliverability?”
Respond to Prospect Actions in Real Time
Similar to the insight provided through email tracking, most marketing automation tools provide prospect tracking to give you real-time insight into your prospects’ activities (Pardot’s real-time sales dashboard is called LeadDeck). By customizing these real-time notifications to the actions that are most important to your sales team, reps can be notified the moment that one of their prospects downloads a piece of content, views the pricing page, submits a form, and more. The notifications signal to sales reps that appropriate action is needed, and arms them with the information they need to reach out to individual prospects with a personalized sales message.
Enhance Message Targeting and Personalization
According to the State of Marketing Automation 2014 report, 66% of marketers reported that enhanced targeting and personalization were top benefits of marketing automation. This applies to your sales team just as much as it does to marketing, since these personalized messages are often sent by marketing on sales’ behalf. With segmentation, marketers can target messages to specific segments of their database (product interest, location, job title, etc), providing a more personalized selling experience for their prospects. Sales emails can even be personalized with specific signatures, so that emails appear to be 1:1 communications from a sales rep.
Prevent Lead Loss with Lead Nurturing
Today’s buyers are researching products on their own before reaching out to a sales rep — and that’s how they prefer it. This can make it difficult for sales reps to target the leads who aren’t quite ready to talk. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t get a head start on the nurturing process before leads get passed over to sales. Lead nurturing, which is typically handled by the marketing team, serves as an unobtrusive way to introduce prospects to the sales rep they’ll be working with, while simultaneously establishing your company as a credible source of information. When a prospect is ready to talk to sales, a foundation of trust has already been built.
What other points are important to emphasize when selling your sales team on marketing automation? Share your thoughts in the comments! And feel free to grab a copy of our CSO Toolkit, which has everything your sales leadership would need to know about marketing automation.