Plan Before Purchasing Marketing Automation

LeadLife blogger, Lisa Cramer, writes an interesting post about planning a marketing automation campaign in 5 Places Marketing Automation Will Affect Your Current Process.  Here is a different business process she thinks need to be understood before implementing a marketing automation solution…

  1. Lead Capture. The point at which you capture leads and how you capture them should be evaluated.  If you start nurturing leads when implementing marketing automation then would you need to capture all their information upfront? Maybe not , or maybe you could ask for less information at first and build their prospect profile over time as you nurture them with relevant content.
  2. Marketing to Sales Process. How does marketing currently move leads to sales?  Are leads generated and sent via spreadsheets, email notifications off the website, or are leads manually typed into the CRM tool after a trade show? After implementing marketing automation, marketers can take more responsibility for nurturing these suspects first and passing the more qualified leads to sales– all from within one cohesive database and view.
  3. Lead Nurturing. Is there a current lead nurturing process in place? Maybe sales people are responsible for nurturing their own leads.  If so, evaluate how effective lead nurturing is within you organization and where that nurturing occurs.  Most likely you’ll want to nurture early and throughout the sales process and put together programs with appropriate content to drive prospects.
  4. Sales to Marketing Process (leads and opportunities in pipeline). Does your company have a process for sales to “throw back” leads that are no longer “sales ready” because they are unqualified or just won’t answer the phone? If you are like most companies the answer is “no”.  So what’s happening to the not yet ready to buy prospects? Potentially, they are being nurtured by your competitor and lost by your company.  Marketing automation gives you the ability to systematize the process of moving leads/opportunities back into nurture mode so your company doesn’t experience costly lead leakage issues.
  5. Content Evaluation and Creation. Do you create content today with the thought of driving prospects through a nurturing process? Do you change content based on where your prospect is in their buy cycle? Most likely not… not yet. With marketing automation the content you put together changes, the conversation and communication you establish with your prospect changes. This is a great opportunity to deliver what the prospect finds interesting, when it’s important to the prospect.

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