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Written by: Seth Patton
Closing a sale used to begin with a cold call: meeting a customer who may or may not be happy with the product or service they own, and guiding them through the process of purchasing new or upgrading to something better—all of this based on proven methods of providing information to bring the customer to the logical conclusion that they want to purchase. Today, a telesales rep has less than a 9 percent chance of even getting a prospect on the phone, much less converting them to an opportunity. Sending a cold email message with an offer averages less than a 1 percent response rate. Prospects get a majority of their information from sources other than sales reps—often online, from web sites, search, and of course social networks. A recent CEB study found that on average, customers are 57 percent of the way through the purchase process before ever contacting a vendor.
How can companies and their sales teams look their best and win the sale over the competition? We think that the key to success starts with marketing departments—and their alignment with sales teams. Marketing can bring it all together because marketing is at the center of driving closed-loop business processes and ROI measurement spanning the entire customer lifecycle. Marketing has always had “early access” to this audience, but the duration and opportunities for impressions are increasing.
Marketing automation can help marketing teams carry out campaigns more effectively, control their brand, and drive significant revenue contribution with real-time insight into return on marketing investment (ROMI) by:
Products like MarketingPilot can help with these tasks, as Nova Southeastern University recently discovered. “By automating these communications as well as giving us the ability to keep all of our marketing information in a consistent format that can be accessed at a glance,” explains Brian Croswhite, Marketing Director, Nova Southeastern University. “MarketingPilot is giving us the tools to do our job better as well as to keep our clients better informed.”
In addition, these marketing activities help reduce the effort on the sales team while increasing the number of times an organization can “touch” the prospect and grow a relationship as a trusted advisor. They also build engagement and a relationship, so that it will be clear when the lead is truly qualified and ready for sales handoff.
At the top level, organizations are focusing more and more on driving top line revenue growth. Our vision is to arm marketing teams with the tools and insights to help their organizations execute and measure closed-loop, integrated marketing that helps them better acquire, retain, and grow customers.
Post originally written for Forbes.com: http://www.forbes.com/sites/microsoftdynamics/2013/03/07/helping-sales-succeed-through-better-automated-marketing/
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