If you’ve read any of our articles, you’re probably tired of hearing how lead generation and automation should be used to create an emotional connection to potential buyers. I get it, you say. But you’re probably asking: how does this affect my bottom line? At what point will I see profitable results? When will my business grow?
Marketing automation and lead generation are automated programs which use a variety of personalized content and tools to convert prospects to qualified leads and qualified leads into customers. The automation piece achieves sales in a faster, more efficient way with a greater ROI. By obtaining more sales qualified leads through automation, marketers can pass on leads with a higher interest and knowledge level onto sales.
According to research cited by artillerymarketing.com, “Businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads.” This drastic increase happens because automation nurtures a prospect through the sales cycle.
Gone are the days of cold, uninterested prospects. Instead, leads that have been digitally identified, tracked, and scored on their interest and interaction level based on quantifiable data will proceed to sales. Automation’s process allows sales and marketing to work together to achieve success by having a potential customer primed to buy by the time sales interacts with them.
But what does this process look like?
The Automated Lead Generation Process
When preparing a meal, a chef wouldn’t start cooking a dish without first prepping the ingredients. And they definitely wouldn’t serve it without ensuring the food was fully cooked. Like cooking, there is a process a lead must go through before being ready to be “served” to sales. Marketing needs to do the right prep work at the right time to make sure a lead is sales-ready. Lead generation and marketing automation make sure this happens by taking each digital ingredient and optimizing them to work synergistically. This allows marketing and sales to have the right type interactions with a lead at the right time in the sales process. Lead generation automation works like a funnel with four key phases:
1) Awareness: At this part of the funnel, marketing automation generates demand by implementing a series of tools to make a potential lead aware that your business offers what they need or want. The awareness of your brand is generated through tools like:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
- Content Marketing
- Event Webinars
- Social Media
- and Content Syndication
2) Interest: In this portion of the funnel, marketing automation helps identify and profile a lead. This is determined through a previously established buyer persona and identification of a lead’s digital habits and interactions in the awareness state. Interest content includes:
- Gated Content
- White Papers
- Valuable infographics
- Case Studies
3) Consideration: Once a prospect reaches this stage, you can now release your BEST and most high-value content. This is because your lead has interacted with your content properly thus far. As an example, someone who has opened your emails but have not interacted with them (clicked on links, visited your webpage, etc.) would not be qualified to receive consideration-level content. Your lead generation and marketing automation technologies will tell you once a lead has been nurtured enough and will give you quantifiable data for consideration prospects. Consideration content includes:
- Product Comparison
- Buying Guides
- How To’s
4) Now that you’ve got the lead considering your product or service it’s time to see how intent they are on buying. NOW it’s time to sell. Knowing how likely your lead is to start the buying process is key to knowing if they are a sales qualified lead. By acquiring quantifiable data through lead scoring you can understand how qualified your lead is. At this step in the process, marketing automation will send them:
- Company Information
- Get Started Information
- and Promotions
By going through the marketing automation process, a business can ensure qualified leads are coming out the end instead of just a large quantity. This saves sales time and money since stage four has a lead recycled if it has an insufficient lead score. Once a lead has worked its way through the automation funnel and comes out as a qualified lead, it can be transferred to a sales representative. The lead will then continue down the sales funnel to be evaluated and sold as a primed and informed consumer.
The Software Behind Automated Marketing
To start the automation process, your business will need automation software. Lead generation software integrates all of your marketing efforts into one system that monitors, implements, improves and corrects them. It can do a variety of things:
- Show what campaigns are driving the most sales
- Show provable ROI through the use of metrics
- Track the sales cycle from beginning to end
- Merge with your third-party CRM program to allow two-way sync of data
- Allow sales access to critical information and data to close a sale
- Identify the best sales representatives and where there is room to improve
- Understand why sales close and why they fail
- Identify interested prospects through lead scoring based on interaction with your page, tracking, fit, and more
- Automate a lead nurturing program
- Redefine and improve your PPC strategies
- Use workflows to automatically engage a lead with text and emails at the right point in the buying process
- Build dynamic lists that update contact lists as they meet certain criteria
- Use behavioral based tracking to understand your customer’s motives
- Track each type of device used to interact with your webpage
- Allow you to choose specific industries you want to target along with what level of professionalism within a company
- Let your company specify certain pages of your website that are most important and would add more to a lead score
- Track when a lead opens an email
- Create a timeline of events for leads based on tracking information collected from their digital movements
This and much more can be achieved through the implementation of marketing automation software. But while marketing automation software is great for businesses to obtain more quality leads, increase conversions and ROI, it does take a lot of work and effort to maintain. Here at Biznet, we can help implement and manage your automation software to achieve your desired results. Take our free “marketing automation health check” today and get started on the path to growing your business.