Marketing Automation: Everyone’s Doing It, Should You?

The number of solution providers that help sales and marketing teams have skyrocketed over the past 20 years. With the shifts in business operations as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic in 2020, many organizations have recognized the need to adapt new ways of supporting integral business processes. Marketing automation has been helping sales and marketing teams to streamline processes and execute one-to-many campaigns for many years now, but is this solution right for your business? If you can answer “yes” to these questions, marketing automation might be the right investment for your team.

Question 1: Are there are shared goals and strategic alignment between marketing and sales leads OR do your marketing and sales leaders see the need for, and are committed to, designing shared goals and strategic alignment?

One of the key benefits of marketing automation is to create a seamless prospect-to-lead experience for your potential customers and for your sales and marketing teams. A leadership team that understands how these two teams can work together to create and enhance this experience is absolutely critical for an investment in marketing automation to produce meaningful results.

Without strategic alignment at the leadership level, neither marketing or sales will be truly set up for success. Your sales and marketing leads should understand the symbiotic relationship between sales and marketing and be committed to fostering a collaborative, closed loop marketing to sales cycle. Need help with marketing and sales alignment? Check out our blog post on some thought starters to help you get started.

Question 2: Is leadership committed to dedicating time and resources to champion the solution?

Solutions don’t just implement themselves and change management requires planning and commitment. Your organization should be prepared to have a few dedicated automation champions who are enthusiastic about learning the tool and who are excited to support fellow team members. Change, even when it’s for the better, is hard. Dedicating in house champions will ensure that your team feels supported and empowered to adapt, learn and utilize all the solution has to offer.

Question 3: Does your organization have specific goals and/or measures of success for a marketing automation solution?

Your competitors might be using marketing automation and, yes, it’s appearing on all the B2B “must have” lists, but if your organization doesn’t have specific goals in place to measure its success, a marketing automation tool will be a source of frustration, rather than an improvement. As with any investment, your team has to understand what the solution is trying to achieve and why those improvements are beneficial to their role and to the business in order to define the goals and objective to measure success.

By defining S.M.A.R.T. goals for the solution at the outset, your sales and marketing teams will have a clear understanding of what success looks like and will easily be able to identify areas to improve upon.

Marketing automation tools can be incredibly effective and create impactful efficiencies while also delivering critical prospect insights to enhance marketing efforts and the sales cycle. However, a marketing automation solution can also be a large investment for your business so setting the stage to ensure you can realize ROI is critical to ensure the investment is worth it.

If you answered “yes” to the three questions above, marketing automation is a good fit for your organization. Explore some of the most popular marketing automation solutions and other martech tools here.

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