Choosing the right marketing automation platform isn’t easy. Businesses have a wide variety of choices and the process of finding the “perfect fit” can be very confusing. But with the right amount of planning and insight into how your business works, the process won’t be such a headache. We outline four key steps to help your business find and implement a marketing automation solution smoothly and efficiently.
1. Do you need a marketing automation platform?
Self-assessment should be the very first step. Evaluate your organization’s business needs and goals, staff capabilities, management support, and financial resources. You need to understand your business inside and out before selecting a system. In this way, you’ll get a sense of the marketing automation toolset that your business needs.
2. Examine your marketing funnel.
Look at how your funnel functions and how current marketing activities translate into revenue. Ask the hard questions: How are you qualifying your leads? How are you measuring conversion rates? What does sales do with leads that don’t close? The answers to these questions will make it easier to apply marketing automation solutions and measure success.
3. Identify and contact the right vendors.
Now that you’ve determined if marketing automation fits in with your business goals, look into all the appropriate vendors. Schedule demos so you can make relevant comparisons and see if a platform meets your business and marketing needs. Pay attention to ease of use and how the software will be integrated into your organization. Also consider speaking with one or two customer references, preferably from someone in the same business industry.
4. Implement the platform.
The last stage represents the final commitment of your business to the marketing automation solution. Once you have decided on a vendor that best meets your business requirements, it’s time to implement it. The platform that you choose should have all the necessary components in place, from lead scoring to lead nurturing to close, as well as complete integration with other business solutions such as CRM.
What all of this boils down to is simply knowing your business. Understand how your current marketing and sales processes are doing before deciding whether marketing automation will help boost your performance. Instead of seeing it as a one-stop solution, look at marketing automation as an investment that ties in with your bigger business needs and goals. The keys to success ultimately lie in having a well-defined process, a team to support your growth as a business, and the right tools to carry out your goals.