We’ve been talking a lot about sales cycle acceleration this week, as well as new trends for 2017. There’s a lot of information out there and we know you don’t necessarily have the time to wade through the incredible white papers out there. We thought we’d do it for you with Pardot + SalesForce’s Ten Tips for Accelerating your Pipeline with marketing automation. Here are the highlights.
The Need for Speed
Question: With 25% of B2B sales cycles taking more than 7 months to close (Harvard University Research), how can I speed up the customer’s pipeline journey?
Short Answer -Marketing Automation
We know that to be effective, marketing and sales can no longer stay in their respective silos. Both are responsible for shortening the sales cycle and speeding up the close. Marketing automation is working with your CRM to help B2B Marketers source and nurture the right leads so that sales can close the deal quickly. This collaborative new era is only possible through the advancements in marketing automation technology.
What Lightening Speed Tricks Are Up the Marketing Automation Sleeve?
Automated lead generation = big time savings. This function ensures only qualified leads make it to sales. No more will marketing feed a vast quantity of low quality leads to sales and hope for the best. The shortest route from vast quantity to useful quality, is lead scoring, grading and assignment.
Lead scoring: measures the amount of interest a prospect shows in your organization
Lead grading: how good a fit the prospect is with your company.
Lead assignment: when a threshold lead score and grade are reached, it is easy to assign the quality lead.
This powerful trio drives quality leads at top speed through the funnel.
Real Time Tracking and Analytics
No guesswork is required. Where is my prospect sitting on the pipeline road? Right here. Marketing automation provides their exact location, their intention GPS. No mystery, no gut feelings, no wishful thinking – only real time facts. Want to know what your prospect has been searching for, what they have engaged with on your website, what their interests are right now and what their pain points are straight away? Simply look it up and you’ll get detailed, precise data that can propel your sales call to a close.
One To One
You want your presence felt at every step of the way through the funnel. Building 1:1 relationships is essential – it can’t only be about lead qualification. Marketing automation cuts through the time consuming manual hours by doing all of the communication and follow ups for you.
Different Content at Every Stage of a Prospects Research
You can now ‘drip’ appropriate content to prospects depending on where they are in the sales cycle. This is possible with lead nurturing. As the prospect responds to your interaction you can adjust your content accordingly. By the time they reach out to a sales rep they will be completely in the know about your offering, and you’ll know everything about their needs and pain points.
Top of Mind
Should you be nurturing leads that are qualified but not ready to buy? Yes, definitely! You want to stay around, offering helpful content and making your presence felt, otherwise your competition is going to swoop in and prize them away. The largest monetary investment in your marketing department is your lead and prospect database.
Forget Me Not
Save the date and automate. You know it’s important to follow up but then things get busy and you have to prioritize other tasks. Your follow up messages can be personalized and automated. No neglect by the rep. You’ll keep your prospect in your funnel and out of the clutches of your competition with regular touch points.
Diagnosing Pipeline Health
Start reporting on:
- What are we doing well?
- Is there room for improvement?
- Where are the prospects getting stuck in the funnel?
- Where are conversion rates suffering?
- How is our marketing campaign and drip programs faring?
- Is the lead qualification process running smoothly?
- Where are we losing potential new leads?
With marketing automation, you can look at both sales and marketing’s detailed reports on one dashboard and diagnose the health of your sales funnel. The metrics collected will reveal net new prospects, new opportunities, won opportunities as well as the percentage change over time. The insights can assist you with revisiting and reassessing your scoring and grading models.
The Fast and The Funnel
Short and Sweet: The faster your sales cycle, the higher your revenue. Marketing automation optimizes your processes. It will instantaneously shorten your sales cycle with automated lead nurturing, scoring and grading. Automated sales funnel reporting will reveal your entire company’s efficacy at every step of its lifecycle. And that’s the long…and short of it.