Making Automation Work for You: Put Your Sales Leads on Autopilot

Having a stellar product is an impressive feat during a time when most markets are infiltrated with new businesses and entrepreneurs sprouting up left and right. This makes finding qualified leads a job unto itself. Especially for small businesses and start-ups, simplifying and automating this task can be tricky. Fortunately with the right tools and skills, qualified leads could come right to your doorstep, eager to demo, purchase and refer future leads.

Bonus Download: Need pointers on where your target audience spends its time online? Look no further than our whitepaper, How To Identify Your Customers On The Web.

Understand your target audience’s behavior

To attract qualified leads, you have to understand their online behavior. A few places you must be tracking:

  • Engagement on your website. Are you capturing new leads with landing pages and using automation to nurture them immediately?
  • Activity with your social media. What content is being shared and by whom?
  • Propensity to open and click your email marketing content. Are your emails being read?

Content must engage buyers in a continuous, highly-relevant story where the buyer has a problem, and you have the answer that can solve it. The “buyer” is more than just the person who cuts the check — this also includes the full team of people who influence the buying decision,” is what Ardath Albee, CEO of Marketing Interactions Inc. explained at Content Marketing World 2014. Her session recap can be found here.

Once you clearly understand the people coming to your website, engaging with your content and reacting (positively!) on social media you can create more of that content. Create content, monitor the engagement and generate leads. Rinse and repeat!

Automation is your friend

Marketing automation in the right hands can have wondrous effects on your sales and marketing team’s time management. Given that you’re curating meaningful content, you can easily score and rank contacts automatically, signaling to your sales reps when a lead is ready for a phone call or demo.

[Tweet “The key is to maintain regular conversations and social engagements without always pushing a sales-based agenda”]

Don’t waste your time with someone who on paper looks like the ideal lead. If said lead isn’t attending your webinars, downloading your white white papers or reading your emails, chances are likely that they’re not interested.

Automation tools like lead scoring are easy mechanisms to qualify leads and make every sales team more effective. If your sales team is new to lead scoring, we suggest you make them well versed in its glory ASAP.

As defined by Business2Community in their post, 5 Beginner Steps for Implementing Lead Scoring, “Leading scoring systems in the simplest terms rank leads according the behavior, action or characteristics logged in contacts’ properties within the leads database. Those who have the most qualified attributes get the highest score.”

Just as your qualifying leads with ease, you can also be disqualifying. If your marketing team speaks efficiently to the sales team and vice versa, the company will be in agreement about what defines a qualified and unqualified lead.

If you nurture them, qualified leads will come

If you send helpful resources into the online universe, your leads will come forth educated and grateful, with you to thank. If you really care about your leads, you’ll take your efforts a step further with a strong one-to-one marketing strategy. Put helpful resources in the hands of your key audience, but also have personalized follow-through.

“One to one marketing is growing. And what could be more personal than a one-on-one phone call where a sales associate works with the prospect to help them solve their problems? In doing so, the prospect develops a personalized relationship with the company,” explains Jeff Kalter in his Business2Community post, Turn Leads into Qualified Leads — How to Rock Sales Development in 2015.

Download Now: Ready to foray into marketing automation but don’t want to sound like a robot? Download our free guide, Toolkit To Natural Marketing Automation: How to Not Look Like a Robot.

William Flanagan

CEO & Founder, Audienti. Former VP-Cognio, Founder-sentitO/Verso, SALIX/Tellabs, PrimaryAccess/3Com, CompuServe. Expert in data-driven marketing.

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