When properly set up and strategically deployed, essential marketing technology tools can supercharge your business results – something we see time and again when assisting B2B clients with closing the loop in their marketing and sales efforts.
EY reported that as many as 41% of B2B organizations are investing in automation acceleration to prepare for the post-crisis business world.
Marketing technology (aka martech) is a wide world of digital tools that make marketing efforts more targeted, personalized, efficient, and effective. With some upfront investment and ongoing optimization, the right martech stack can save a lot of time, worry, and money while supporting your sales team in ways they might not even imagine possible!
The thousands of apps and platforms that make up the martech universe can be a bit overwhelming.
If you don’t know where to start, here are two important and fundamental martech elements we consider building blocks for driving the digital success of your business, marketing, and sales efforts:
1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Platforms
Most organizations have a CRM, which they use to manage customer data (e.g. contact details, communications, sales leads, order history) consistently and efficiently across the entire organization.
While often viewed as a sales tool, a CRM actually plays a vital role in bringing sales and marketing together. The key is to ensure the wealth of information captured in the CRM is being consistently logged and shared in a way that creates value and insights for both teams.
For example, segmenting buyers based on their past purchasing decisions and tagging where they came from can help the sales team refine their sales pitch. However, this information can also be invaluable for the marketing team to gain insight into how and where to focus their efforts in order to bring more prospects into the sales funnel.
If you are already using a CRM, you should ensure that everyone on your team is following the same processes and protocols. For example, making sure data is being entered the same way and with the same enthusiasm and cadence across your entire team.
With so many CRM systems out there, it’s important to be thoughtful in how you assess and select a platform for your organization. Before you sign up, be sure to read customer/user reviews, sign up for a free version for a test period, go through a robust checklist of what you need the CRM to do and how each option stacks up
Conversations between marketing and sales are also essential. Regular communication between these two teams will ensure there is clarity on how each side intends to use customer data and whether appropriate data rules are in place.
Aligned organizations achieve almost 20% faster revenue growth and 15% higher profitability
(SiriusDecisions Research by Forrester)
2. Marketing Automation Tools
Marketing automation involves using software tools to automate marketing activities. The value of this to you as a business owner or leader is that it allows your team to harness multiple channels, automate multiple tasks, and gain insights into the buyer journey in order to maximize the effeciency of your marketing efforts.
Marketing automation requires a significant investment of energy up front to understand your buyer journey and needs and to develop a logic that suits them. The big payoff is that a thoughtfully developed marketing automation strategy allows your team to scale your marketing efforts and boost productivity.
As many as 90% of marketers report a measurable lift in results as a direct result of personalization.
(Reseach by Evergage, a Salesforce company and Researchscape)
It does this by delivering more qualified leads to your sales team and better data analytics to your senior management team. It puts you in a better position to pursue the right opportunities and make better business decisions while realizing savings in terms of human resources, time, and money.
However, it’s vital that all your technology plays nicely together. Some CRMs have built-in marketing automation that can be activated for an extra monthly fee while others can integrate with external marketing automation apps. Bottom line: start with research and strategic planning so you can make an informed decision and get the most out of marketing automation.
For your clients, prospects, employees, and influencers, the value of marketing automation is its capacity to deliver the right information and messaging at the right time in the right way. To anyone outside of marketing, the first question is always: ‘How?’
63% of consumers expect personalization as a standard of service.
(Poll by RedPoint Global and Harris Insights & Analytics)
With marketing automation, you’re able to create a consistent, seamless, and repeatable experience with your company through personalization and better engagement. And even if things don’t go as planned, marketing automation tools can collect data to help you understand where you may have gone wrong and spark ideas for how to fix it.
Installing technology is easy. Getting your team on board with using a new tech tool can be harder. So before you push ahead with setting up marketing automation tools, speak with your sales team. Understand how they use the CRM and any challenges in how they work with buyers. If possible, also speak with recent buyers to gain firsthand input regarding their experience. Help your sales team understand what you’re hoping to achieve and solve for them. Once they’re on board, you can move ahead with setting up the marketing automation.
Connecting your CRM with marketing automation tools can boost efficiency in communication and engagement. You can automate of a wide range of activities, including email campaigns, surveys, data collection, referral programs and lead nurturing.
It’s crucial that CRM and marketing automation systems are aligned with your goals, scaled to your business, and communicate with each other. Any business development and sales team can reap benefits from having leads nurtured throughout the buyer journey from awareness to qualified sales lead. You just need a little ceativity, planning, and ongoing optimization of marketing automation.