Picture of Heather Davis Lam

Heather Davis Lam

Heather Davis Lam is the Founder & CEO of Revenue Ops LLC, and holds multiple certifications from Salesforce, Salesloft, Hubspot, and other revenue operations platforms.


Sales and Marketing Automation

It seems that we’re all doing more with less these days. There isn’t enough time and resources – human, material, capital, etc. – to do everything we need or want despite our best intentions. That’s when we might turn to technology to help us out. I’m specifically talking about sales and marketing automation. Creating a system that manages fundamental sales and marketing tasks takes us out of the weeds and makes us more mindful of and intentional with our customers.

We generally rely on automation to manage repetitive functions, including email communications, social media promotions, and digital advertising campaigns. By alleviating some of the responsibility of this work, we can focus on attracting and serving customers.

When it comes to automation, the best advice we can offer is to ask yourself this question: “Even though we CAN automate something, SHOULD we automate it?”

While the ability to create automation allows a marketing team to increase the amount of work that can be done without drastically increasing headcount, if we over automate the system and don’t have a solid understanding of how all of the automations interact with each other, there could be unintended consequences which could have a negative impact on the relationship we have with our prospects. For example, message fatigue can occur when too many messages are automatically sent to contacts.

Instead, by being thoughtful about what we’re looking to automate and why, we can ensure that the journey we’re building for our contacts is personalized and takes into consideration the types of messages they want to receive, along with a reasonable frequency for outreach.

Ideally, contacts will receive a customized journey through a mix of automated messages and manual touchpoints, leading to increased engagement and higher conversion rates. In addition, the marketing team will extend its reach and bring in more qualified leads by automating the appropriate tasks.

Automation and CRM

We can automatically send contacts to Salesforce, our customer relationship management (CRM) system, for the sales team to follow up accordingly. For the sales team to handle the vast quantity of leads assigned to them from marketing, we need to provide them with the tools to follow up adequately. Therefore, we can leverage sales enablement tools that allow the sales team to use pre-built, customizable templates to distribute personalized messages and content to prospects at scale. And, those communication activities can be automatically sent to the CRM, so the sales team doesn’t have to update contact records manually. 

The level of detail that we capture and share is outstanding. For example, our sales and marketing automation gives us visibility into what sales messaging is working best since we can track distribution quantities, opens, and click rates for each email campaign. In addition, we use dynamic fields to automatically help us personalize messages to the prospects, allowing us to send relevant messages at scale.

We enroll all of our prospects into a cadence, which automates the outreach timeline and notifies the sales rep when it’s time to complete a step like making a phone call or sending an email. In addition, the email templates in our system have dynamic tags embedded in them. As a result, the sales reps only need to press a few buttons to drip out thousands of emails from their inbox, one-by-one, instead of taking the time to send them individually. All that time saved allows them to focus on more revenue-generating activities.

Benefits of Sales and Marketing Automation

One of the most significant benefits of using a sales enablement tool is that the sales team can spend more time on high-value parts of their job, like building relationships with prospects and clients. All the while, the business still collects the necessary data and analytics needed to make data-driven decisions to optimize revenue. 

Generally, the sales staff feels more productive, which contributes to job satisfaction. Happy employees lead to higher employee engagement and retention numbers. The team feels successful as they’re helping boost ROI because they have the time to engage in revenue-driving activities instead of spending inordinate amounts of time manually entering data into a CRM system.

When our marketing and sales activities are automated, we can trust that our data and reporting are accurate and reliable. The system records when activities are taking place and schedules the next steps accordingly, thereby removing a lot of the manual work and eliminating errors.

From an administrative perspective, it’s easy to create reports and dashboards that show what types of activities the sales team members are doing due to the automation and whether it’s positively or negatively affecting sales. In addition, we can closely monitor what communications resonate well and adjust the messaging that the sales team relays.

From a marketing perspective, we can measure efficacy based on the first touch, even touch, and last touch attribution models. This framework allows us to see what marketing tactics work best to get the prospects in the door, which marketing activities they interacted with while in the prospect stage, and their last action before closing the deal. This information allows the marketing team to streamline their messaging to eliminate what isn’t working and double down on what is.

See how we helped Soil Connect improve its sales operations with automation.

Are you interested in improving your operational efficiency and maximizing revenue? Then, schedule a free consultation with one of our sales and marketing automation experts to learn how to implement automation the right way.

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