5 Tips for Getting More Out of Marketing Automation

Posted on by Malinda Wilkinson

Stock Market Robot TradingThe good news is that of the 62% of companies under $100 million in revenue that have adopted a marketing automation platform, 85% are happy with their solution, according to a recent survey from Salesfusion. But the bad news is that 15% are shaking aspirin from a bottle, complaining about their tech’s inefficiencies and scaring off the 38% that haven’t yet invested.

Here’s a few simple tips to help those in the latter category find marketing automation success.

1. Identify your biggest challenges and needs.

Conduct an in-depth analysis of your marketing needs, unique processes and team capabilities. It may seem simple, but this frequently overlooked step can derail your marketing automation plans if not executed. When discussing these priorities, it helps to bring in the sales team. This sets the tone for open communication.

2. Create explicit sales-marketing service level agreements.

While including sales in conversations on marketing priorities remains important, much of the breakdown in the sales-marketing relationship occurs because a service level agreement (SLA)—detailing processes and expectations—doesn’t exist between the two departments.

At a minimum, your SLA should detail the following:

  • Your ideal customer profile
  • Standardized lead definitions
  • Appropriate lead handoff protocols
  • Models to track progress

This may seem too granular, but consider this: of survey respondents using SLAs, 60 percent report strong communications between marketing and sales compared to only 30 percent who don’t have a MAP or SLAs. Simply by defining SLAs to support your marketing automation process, you can double your likelihood of having strong communications with sales.

3. Evaluate your CRM integration

One other crucial element to consider: CRM integration. Survey respondents were more than twice as likely to be unhappy with their marketing automation solution if it lacked CRM integration.

This occurs because most marketing and sales teams achieve more when their CRM and marketing automation solutions integrate seamlessly. A lack of integration creates a barrier in the marketing-sales interchange and leads slip through the cracks.

4. Continue to train, test, analyze and update.

With your system up and running and a clearly defined SLA, you’re well on your way to a successful marketing automation experience. However, there will always be room for improvement.

Whether you’re redesigning a nurture campaign or tweaking your lead scoring, you should always evaluate your results and adjust accordingly. And of course, use the data provided by your system to create a better strategy.

5. Sometimes, you have to let go.

It’s important to remember that no solution is perfect. However, that’s no reason to hold on to an underperforming provider.

If you realize your solution’s strengths don’t match your organization’s needs, head for bluer waters. The short-term stress of finding a new solution will be worth the long-term reward of liking your marketing automation provider. And you just might leave the aspirin at home.

Salesfusion commissioned the Learn Marketing Automation survey to evaluate whether value is being derived from marketing automation solutions. Nearly 700 B2B marketers from companies with less than $100 million in revenue were surveyed. More than 40 MAP vendors were represented by survey participants; Act-On, Eloqua, Hubspot, Marketo, Pardot and Salesfusion were the most common solutions reported.

Malinda Wilkinson is CMO of Salesfusion.

Related Articles:

5 Ways to Adapt to the Evolution of Marketing Automation

Special Report: Optimizing Marketing Automation

How Marketing Automation Drives Lead Gen


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