Selling Your Sales Team on Marketing Automation

You’ve seen the demos, you’ve heard the success stories — you’re completely sold on the value of marketing automation and you’re ready to dive in. Your sales team? Not so much.

It’s hard to petition upper management for an investment like marketing automation without your whole team on board, and sometimes your sales team might need a little extra persuading. After all, it’s called marketing automation — why should your sales team take an interest? The fact is, marketing automation has just as many benefits for sales reps as it has for marketers, it’s just a matter of making them see that. Here are three common arguments you may hear from a resistant sales team and how to handle them.


If you hear… “We’re making our numbers and everything is going well.”

Then…  It’s the classic, if-it’s-not-broken-don’t-fix-it argument. But why not try to improve the system, if you have access to the resources? And the evidence is out there that marketing automation can improve the efficiency of the sales cycle. Let your sales team check out some of the case studies on our website, or send them Marketing Sherpa’s coverage of Pardot client ECi Solutions. After implementing marketing automation, ECi reduced their unqualified leads by 341%, and increased their email response rate by 242% — all over the course of one year. It’s hard to argue with numbers like that!


If you hear… “Learning a new software takes time — time we could be spending closing deals and making money.”

Then… Yes, learning any new software can sometimes be time-consuming, but the time investment required to learn marketing automation has a substantial pay off in the end. Ask your sales team to think about all the time they spend calling and emailing leads that are clearly not ready to talk. Then imagine that they could spend all that time dealing with only the leads that are already well on their way through the buying cycle. Sounds like a huge time-saver, doesn’t it?

Saving time is actually one of the biggest selling points of marketing automation — and one of the ways in which it most impacts the sales side of things. By allowing marketers to place cold leads on a nurturing track until they are ready to be handled by a sales rep, marketing automation frees up your sales team to deal with warmer leads and close more deals in less time.

Don’t forget that since most of the sales features can be integrated with your CRM, the sales team gets the added benefit of marketing automation within their current system.


If you hear… “A non-salesperson telling me how I should be doing my job? No thank you.”

Then…  Okay, hopefully they find a slightly more polite way to put this, but it’s an understandable sentiment. After all, you wouldn’t like it if a non-marketing person came by your desk and started telling you how to do your job. As a marketing professional, you’re not an expert in sales (or at least you may not be perceived as one), so get help from someone who is and let your sales team hear about the benefits of marketing automation from one of their own. Have one of your sales reps sit through a demo with you and take part in a free trial, or share the following webinar, “How Your Sales Team Can Benefit From Marketing Automation,” presented by Pardot Senior Sales Manager, Kevin Goldstein.

For more pointers on convincing your sales team of the need for marketing automation, check out Presenting the Value: Marketing Automation & Your Sales Team with Pardot’s Kati Newburg.