How Sales and Marketing Automation Improves Operations

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.

Marketing Automation vs. Marketing Operations

Marketing Automation vs. Marketing Operations: What's the Difference?

We know that the world of marketing can move fast, but sometimes, it seems like it can move a little too fast. Remember when SEO was the next big thing in marketing, then it was social media? Tech has done a lot to transform the industry, and it has recently given us a few more transformative and helpful innovations: marketing automation and marketing operations. 

Not sure what the difference between the two is? Don’t worry, a lot of people have the same problem. Each practice can complement the other, but they have some very distinct differences.

Let us be your guide to the growing world of marketing technology! Read on to learn everything you need to know about the difference between marketing automation and marketing operations.

Marketing Automation Defined

When people talk about marketing automation, they’re not talking about one single thing. In truth, marketing automation could be considered a blanket term for all of the software platforms and technology people in marketing and sales use to bring in leads, spread their message, and essentially, do their jobs better.

In fact, we’d bet that some people reading this are using marketing automation tools at work and may not know it yet.

Do you use Pardot or Marketing Cloud to send emails or distribute leads to your sales team? Is HubSpot your main platform for updating website content and managing social media? Congratulations! You’re a marketing automation expert, and you didn’t even know it!Marketing automation can do wonders for generating leads, measuring analytics, and managing different stages of your marketing funnel. With the right tools, you can score prospects, distribute targeted content, nurture leads, and more.

Marketing Operations Defined

Now that you have all of these amazing tools at work, you’re going to need someone who can do more than just ensure that they’re being used properly. You’ll need someone who can develop processes, implement new technology, and help analyze the effectiveness of your overall marketing strategy to enable you to scale your business. This is where marketing operations come into play.

Marketing operations, also known as marketing ops or MOPs, is the backbone of the marketing team. The Marketing Ops team develops consistent processes to ensure repeatable results, proper integration of all of the tools used by the marketing team, and reliable data collection so that data-driven decisions can be made to increase business.

The MOPs team creates the necessary automations to allow the marketing team to do less work but have a greater reach. The data and analytics gathered and analyzed provide the entire company a transparent view of the efficacy of their marketing activities. Data and analytics collected through appropriate technology and processes implemented by the marketing operations team will be a valuable resource to draw upon when planning and budgeting. They assist leadership with measuring progress against marketing goals.

 

marketing automation vs. marketing operations

Marketing Automation vs. Marketing Operations: What Do I Need Most?

 The answer to this question is simple: you’re going to need both. 

Marketing automation can do a lot to transform the way your business views marketing. You’ll be able to work efficiently, and you’ll have the tools you need to truly bring your marketing game to the next level.

However, if you want to use your new tools correctly, you’re going to need context and insight into the data you’re gathering. A strong marketing operations plan can help ensure that you’re using your tools the right way, and it will let you know if any improvements can be made.

It’s also important to note the significant role both practices can play for revenue operations, also known as RevOps.

Bringing in money is only half of the picture, so those in revenue operations understand how important forecasting and growth are to the company. Marketing automation and operations are both critical to success and provide a solid foundation for setting important company goals around revenue.

Tips For Getting the Most Out of Both

As you can see, marketing automation and marketing operations go hand in hand. Marketing automation comprises the tools and processes used to scale up marketing activities while the marketing operations team implements and drives those systems.

Now that you know the difference between both practices let’s dive into how you can get the most out of them at work.

Prep Your Content Strategy

You might be ready to invest in automation and strategy, but is your content plan ready for the change?

Lead-nurturing programs are the bread and butter of marketing automation. In order to have a stellar lead-nurturing program, you’re going to need different kinds of content that can help people at each stage of the marketing funnel.

Take the time to think about your current approach to content before investing in either operations or strategy. Think about your current content calendar and whether you have the internal resources needed to produce content regularly.

Encourage Cross Collaboration

Marketing operations is one part of a larger revenue operations strategy, which seeks to break down the traditional silos between the sales and marketing teams, improve communication, and increase effectiveness.

By implementing the right technology and processes, the entire marketing automation system will drive the front half of the revenue operation strategy, increase the effectiveness of the entire sales and marketing funnel, and improve ROI.

Get Started Now

Marketing operations and automation can be what you need to truly transform your current approach to marketing. When you have the power of tech on your side, anything is possible in sales and marketing!

You’re going to need an expert in marketing and revenue to help you launch the next stage of your business. Luckily, we’re here and happy to help. Reach out to us today, so we can make a plan for your company.

Sales Ops: Becoming More Strategic

Sales Ops: Becoming More Strategic Infographic

Sales Operations – what is it, and what does it mean to you?

Sales Operations, also known as Sales Ops, is a general term that refers to processes, technology, and activities that support the sales team and enable them to sell more efficiently and effectively. While Sales Ops has been part of the sales process for many years, it has only recently been recognized as a strategic powerhouse within the Revenue Operations function, helping to support and define the sales strategy.

Sales Ops is generally comprised of processes, technology, and data and analytics. Sales Ops professionals use these three pillars to create a strategy that makes it possible for the sales team to increase revenue while minimizing costs and streamlining tasks to complete more work with less effort.

Salesforce, the world’s leading customer relationship management (CRM) platform, surveyed nearly 6,000 sales professionals as part of their “State of Sales” report. They took some of that data and created a companion piece, “Trends in Sales Ops,” which is meant to help emphasize the growing importance of the Sales Ops function and help others understand its strategic importance.

This infographic contains some of the key metrics contained in that report highlights some of the ways that Sales Ops is becoming more strategic within organizations. The Sales Operations job description is expanding and there has been increased involvement in the following areas since 2019:

  •  Sales Strategy Planning
  •  Sales Performance Analysis
  • Sales Strategy Coordination
  • Sales Technology Management
  • Sales Training Management
  • Cross-functional Workstream Management 

Why is this important? Roughly 78% of customers expect consistent interactions across departments, but a whopping 59% of customers say it generally feels like they’re communicating with separate departments, not one company. It’s important to unify and empower the various functional groups to create a uniform and organized customer experience. You can achieve this by involving all of the relevant parties in the process. 

Sales Ops is becoming more strategic. 81% of Sales Operations professionals say that sales technology needs have changed. 89% say Sales Ops plays a critical role in growing the business. 85% of sales professionals agree that Sales Ops is increasingly strategic.

Sales Operations Demystified

Understanding the increasing role of Sales Ops within your business is critical to increasing your revenue. We are a team of strategic revenue operations experts who help our clients maximize their revenue through process improvements, technology enhancements, and meaningful data analysis. We are well-versed in sales enablement tools, marketing automation solutions, and digital analytics applications. Feel free to contact us if you’d like to learn more about our services or schedule a free initial consultation.