What Sales Reps Must Know About Marketing Automation

marketing automationMarketing automation has become an increasingly effective tool in today’s technology-driven business landscape. In fact, studies show that the use of a marketing automation platform produces, on average, 60% revenue growth for B2B businesses (source). While its name implies marketing automation is strictly for marketers, sales teams can also use marketing automation to boost productivity and efficiency.

Unfortunately, many sales reps are still in the dark when it comes to marketing automation and it’s easy to see why. Sales reps are constantly busy selling, so they don’t often have the time or reason to look into tools primarily used for marketing purposes.

But, we’re here to tell you that marketing automation can become an essential tool for sales reps who take the time to learn about its benefits. Keep reading for the most important things sales reps must know about marketing automation and how to leverage this knowledge for sales success.

1. Marketing automation improves sales and marketing alignment.

Strong sales and marketing alignment is crucial to a productive, efficient workflow and the overall growth of your company. Consider these statistics:

  • Companies with strong sales and marketing alignment achieve a 20% annual growth rate (source).
  • Companies with strong sales and marketing alignment enjoy 36% higher customer retention rates (source).
  • Sales and marketing alignment can help your company become 67% better at closing deals (source).

As you can see, it’s in a sales team’s best interest to be on the same page as their marketing counterparts. But, this is easier said than done. Sales reps and marketers have different perspectives regarding prospects and customers– and that can lead to opposing goals and workflows.

Marketing automation facilitates open communication between marketing and sales by providing in-depth reports and feedback between the two teams. Sales reps who spend time with marketing automation tools are more likely to see customers from a marketer’s perspective. As a result, these reps can offer firsthand insights and feedback to improve lead management and follow-up processes.

2. Sales reps can automate prospect outreach using marketing automation.

Prospecting emails take up a large portion of the average sales rep’s day. Fortunately, if you have limited resources for sales automation, you can leverage marketing automation technology to streamline your sales outreach process for efficient, organized sales follow-ups. In fact, automated sales outreach is a primary reason that marketing automation can drive a 14.5% increase in sales productivity (source).

Automated emails scare off some sales reps who want to steer clear of one-size-fits-all messaging– but advanced marketing automation technology can send prospects targeted, personalized emails. Take the time to set up automated follow-ups – you’ll not only save time, you’ll also guarantee that no prospects slip through the cracks.

3. Marketing automation facilitates real-time outreach.

One of the many benefits of marketing automation is that it can track customers’ online behavior in real-time. You can see what pages and content your prospects view and the exact time they view it. Reps can set up custom notifications to receive alerts the moment a lead views a certain page, downloads a piece of content, or completes a web form.

Timing is everything when reaching out to prospects– 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first (source). By monitoring online behavior with marketing automation, sales reps can reach potential customers at the precise moment they’re ready to discuss a deal.

4. Marketing automation helps reps prioritize high-quality leads.

Poor lead quality is one of the most frustrating problems sales reps face. And, unfortunately, it’s all too common. Studies show that only 27% of the leads sales reps receive from marketing are qualified (source).  Marketing automation helps to eliminate this problem with its lead scoring capabilities.

Lead scoring is the process of defining a lead’s sales-readiness by attributing a numerical score to each lead, based on specific criteria. A fine-tuned lead scoring system helps marketers know which leads to pass to sales, and helps sales reps focus on the highest-quality leads. Sales reps should work alongside the marketing team to create lead scoring rules within the marketing automation platform. That way, each department operates with the same definition of a sales-qualified lead.

5. Marketing automation helps leads become sales-ready through nurturing.

When leads are not ready to make a purchase, marketers nurture them through the buying journey until they are sales-ready. Lead nurturing is the process of developing relationships with leads by providing them with informational content throughout the buyer’s journey.

Marketing automation tools can nurture leads through the sales process and automatically send them relevant and targeted content. Expertise in lead nurturing results in a 50% increase in sales-ready leads (source).

Sales reps often leave nurturing up to marketers– but they can improve the process significantly by getting involved. Salespeople offer a unique perspective that can influence every part of the nurturing process, including lead scoring and content creation. By the time a lead is sales-ready, reps using marketing automation will understand the preferences and needs of each lead.

Key Takeaways About Marketing Automation for Sales Reps

Don’t let marketing automation fool you—they can be just as useful for sales reps as for marketers. Sales reps who embrace marketing automation will develop a more complete understanding of their audience. They’ll also be able to discover and target higher-quality leads and become more productive and efficient in their outreach efforts.

If you haven’t looked into marketing automation, now is the time. Before you know it, marketing automation will help you exceed your sales goals and grow your business.

For more information about empowering your sales team, contact ZoomInfo today. We are the leading business information company and we have the tools you need to grow your business.