Believe it or not, a myriad of checklists, timed reminders, and sticky notes on your monitor is not the most efficient way to make sure your marketing-to-sales funnel flows smoothly. According to HubSpot’s latest Not Another State of Marketing Report, seventy-six percent of companies use marketing automation, and these are the three most sought-after benefits.
1. Lead Management
Automating recurring tasks saves you and your sales team time and energy. In fact, administrative tasks account for 15% of a sales rep’s time. Automating these tasks also ensures a more efficient and accurate process, since human error is largely taken out of the equation.
For example, form submissions from your websites can be routed to specific sales representatives, which is essential as research has shown that fast follow-up increases your close rate. That same information can also be used to automatically populate data for specific reports that can be sent out on a recurring basis to keep all sales and marketing team members updated on the company’s performance and accelerate assessments on whether strategy shifts are necessary.
2. Content Automation
Similarly to your lead management, you can also automate portions of your content strategy. Content automation can be applied to any stage of your process, making it much easier to plan, schedule, distribute and measure your content. This aids in your overall success, which you need to maximize since content marketing results in three times as many leads as traditional marketing alone.
Google Alerts can identify content that is being created by others based on target keywords, making brainstorming and seeing gaps in the marketing much easier than if you were researching yourself. Scheduling email newsletters and social media posts to automatically publish also simplifies distribution. You can also receive reports measuring your content’s performance on a regular basis, rather than tracking each piece yourself.
Sixty-eight percent of B2B customers prefer to research independently online. Eighty-two percent of customers also want an immediate answer to their sales or marketing questions. So what can you do to satisfy both of these needs?
Using chatbots can help you stay connected with customers 24/7. They also prevent customers from leaving your website when they can’t find the information they need quickly and provide an overall more positive experience with your brand. If a qualified lead comes through the chatbot, sales reps can also reach back out quickly and with the information from the chat conversation.
When researching chatbot companies, consider these important factors:
- Is it scalable as your needs change?
- Does it offer dashboards and statistics?
- Does it provide timely responses to the customer?
- How well does it understand natural language, including business jargon and typos?
- How well does it learn from past interactions, queries, and other types of data it has access to?
Marketing automation serves to not only make you more efficient and reduce human error, but it also makes it easier to connect with and meet the needs of your customers. Lead management and content automation can be used for any type of repetitive task, speeding up the sales process, and freeing up more time to focus on higher priority tasks. Chatbots also enable your company to be available 24/7 for your customers, even if they are not actually talking to a real person.