Using Automated Workflows to Convert More Leads
If your company is in the 84% of top performing companies using or planning to use marketing automation in 2015, you probably already have some ideas of the lead nurturing campaigns you can launch to shorten the sales cycle of your leads and boost conversions. So how do you get started?
Here are a couple things to keep in mind as you make your plan:
- Make sure you have what you need to get started.
- Remember that inbound leads are different from sales ready leads and that you will need to nurture them accordingly.
- Use your workflows to stop sending your sales team crap leads that make them angry.
1. Do you have what you need to get started?
Marketing automation describes softwares and techniques that help you create what traditional sales people may call “drip campaigns”. Today, we call these multi-step communication touchpoints workflows and use softwares like Marketo, Pardot, Eloqua, and HubSpot to automate as much of them as possible.
For example: Someone submits an email lead on your website. What happens next? You might want to set up an automatic lead nurturing workflow with your automation software that looks something like this:
If you don’t have a tool in place that can link up multiple emails, social actions, or even SMS messages to the contacts you designate, you’ll need to start there.
2. Think about what workflow pieces will move the reader through the purchase path.
Although setting up a lead nurturing campaign is not a science, there are certain steps you need to follow in order to ensure that your workflows actually work.
When you start using an inbound strategy it is crucial to remember that the leads you’ll get will typically be much further from the “Decision” stage than your typical leads that email you “Let’s meet and talk pricing.” These leads are MQLs– Marketing Qualified Leads– that have given you permission to market to them. You need to help them move from Awareness to Decision before calling to set up a hard sell, converting them to an SQL (Sales Ready Lead) that has opted into a sales call. That’s what your nurturing workflow is for!
For instance, you shouldn’t be pummeling recipients with sales pitches. Instead, you should start out by sending useful, non-biased information that educates your prospect while compelling them to act further. Gradually, you will introduce a middle-of-the-funnel call-to-action that is tightly related to your initial point of contact. Lastly, you will offer your help with a bottom-of-the-funnel offer like a live demo, consultation, or limited time offer.
I can’t convey how crucial this is. I mean, I have this same graphic plastered on my desk at eyeball level at all times… along with some other weird stuff.
3. Use your workflows to qualify and score leads.
There’s no more sure-fire way to tick a sales team off than to send them a slew of leads that are all crap, won’t take their calls, and don’t want to buy from them. Amirite?
On average, 61% of B2B marketers send all leads directly to sales; however, only 27% of those leads will be qualified.
According to Nucleus Research, marketing automation has shown to increase sales productivity by as much as 14.5% and reduce marketing overhead by 12.2% when implemented. This is because automated workflows are built to take MQLs and qualify them into SQLs, which helps the marketing team to only send qualified and sales-ready leads to the sales team.
I bet you had a dream last week that your sales team would get along with your marketing team one day, didn’t you?
4. Take the first step!
This might seem a little overwhelming, but it’s actually easier than you think. If you’re looking to get going with marketing automation to help generate and convert more SQLs for your sales team, download our free worksheet below that outlines just how to do so in 6 easy steps.