Marketing Automation deals with technologies that support integrated marketing campaigns.

10-Stage Integrated Marketing and Sales Process

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Structured or Unstructured Process?

Some businesses need a highly structured sales process that dictates specific activities sales reps need to execute.  These might include things like a discover call, a demo, a pricing meeting, proposal, signature meeting, etc. Often a structured process is needed for more junior sales reps and where the volume of sales activity is high and the dollar value of the sale is low.

For complex sales cycles and when selling professional services, sales teams do not need a highly structured process. For these teams, a stage-based marketing and sales process works better.  In each stage, there are a range of activities, strategies and tactics teams will use to engage the buyer and DMU (decision making unit) across the buyer’s lifecycle.

Buyers Don’t Care if it is Marketing or Sales

The buyer wants a simple and clean buying process. They don’t care if they are engaging with your marketing a sales team. They are simply following their buying process – often in an unstructured and unpredictable way.  The typical stages of the buyer process are:

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Selecting Marketing Automation and CRM Solutions

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Consider Revenue Architecture When Selecting Your Tech Stack

Face it, buyers don’t care whether they are interacting with your marketing or your sales organization, they follow their buying process – often in an unstructured and unpredictable way. They self-sell on the web,  research with influencers and engage 1:1 with sales people.   An effective buyer experience across a dynamic buyer’s lifecycle requires that your revenue architecture is designed with a coordinated closed-loop process supported by integrated technology stack.

We read a lot about Martech and SalesTech stacks. This is understandable because marketing and sales teams have traditionally pursued  distinct missions with different needs. Yet if your marketing, sales and service “front office”  needs to be more integrated to support dynamic buyer pathways, then you might need to re-think your technology stack.  An integrated revenue process supported by integrated revenue technology helps deliver a single view of the customer and becomes  more responsive and relevant as your buyers jig and jag along their dynamic buying processes.

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Do I Really Need Marketing Automation?

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Marketing Automation is of particular value when pursuing a higher volume lead generation or demand generation model.

In a recent Quora post, we answered a question about the value of marketing automation. If you generate – or seek to generate – a high volume of leads (100+s) from the web from self-directed buyers, then yes, you will value having a Marketing Automation platform.

Consider Marketing Automation as part of a broader “technology stack” – there is the “Martech Stack” and the “SalesTech Stack” – we look at these together as the “RevTech Stack”

Their are a number of leading players in marketing automation – Marketo, HubSpot, Eloqua, Pardot, SharpSpring, Act-On, Infusionsoft, Mautic and others.

Prices range from a few 100 per month to many $1,000s – a lot is based on volumes (size of lists etc), but there are also a wide range of feature sets.

It is difficult to recommend any one system. We use SharpSpring, Pardot, HubSpot and Marketo. All of these are solid systems. Consider the integration and platform ecosystem (e.g. Pardot is part of the Salesforce Cloud).

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SharpSpring Social Now Available

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SharpSpring users now have access to a new social media and calendar features.

  • Content Calendar: A bird’s-eye view of your social posts, email sends, and blog articles.
  • Social Posting: Post directly to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn without leaving SharpSpring.
  • Social Listening: Monitor social media activity with customized listening feeds.
  • New Trigger/Filter: Create automations based on when leads interact with your social media accounts.

SharpSpring has updated Lead Scoring and the Life of the Lead to now include social interactions. SharpSpring will be releasing to all clients in a few days.

Ready to learn more? Contact us for a guided walkthrough of these new features.