Sometimes just signing up to a marketing automation software or a CRM (Customer Relationship Management software), doesn’t necessarily lead to better sales and marketing performance. You need to have a marketing automation plan for your business first before you start to roll out a marketing automation platform in your business.
Typically, the reason why someone will consider an automation software is to be able to either save time or save money – and sometimes it’s about nurturing your leads into a transaction. A good marketing automation platform will help you achieve all of these 3 things…..granted if you have a plan in place.
At Bumper Leads, we use a marketing automation platform (we use ActiveCampaign CRM) that combines both sales and marketing activities which helps us keep track of leads and customers behaviours. Having both sales and marketing together, on one platform, actually keeps information about the leads transparent and in full view of the sales teams.
But if you’ve just signed up for one of these platforms, how do you start to apply the principles of marketing automation to fit your business objectives? After all, the software is here to help you scale your business and not hinder your growth – hence you need a marketing automation plan.
After years of working with clients on business growth and marketing, we have developed our own unique 6 step system designed to achieve real growth for clients the fastest way possible. We call it The Bumper Blueprint.
This works in ANY business – ecommerce, SaaS, B2B or online business.
In order to get the most out of your CRM, we need to first look inside the business before we start looking at the CRM platform features.
Step 1 – Deep Dive
This is the first step we take to understand what you’ve been doing with your marketing to date; what is going on with your sales process and how often do you create new products (or launch new products). This will highlight if there are any processes in your business that you already do, repeatedly, which can easily be automated using a CRM or an alternative tool that plays nice with your CRM. You can check out our recommended resources here.
An example of this is if your sales teams always have to write sales proposals using emails. If the content is always the same, it becomes easy to automate this process. A good CRM platform will be able to tell you if the “recipient” has actually opened the email and if they clicked on any links. You start to collect information about your leads in a centralised database which makes marketing for new prospects easy since all the data lives in one platform.
Step 2 – Optimise
Now we can begin to rationalise your sales and marketing data. Why do we want to do this? Any data insight will give us a better understanding on how to nurture your leads and customers – because they are not created equal. The marketing buzzword for this is Segmentation.
This is important because it becomes our foundation on which software to pick to help us track our marketing and sales efforts.
Let’s share an example of how segmentation would work in your business. If you have an incentive to attract a lead to your business – we call this a lead magnet (you can read more about what lead magnets are here). If a lead downloads a whitepaper from your website, but doesn’t book a call to speak with your sales teams, then the system can register this behaviour. You can then assign a wait period, where an automation can follow this lead up on your behalf. Now what if this lead becomes a customer, and they want to download the same whitepaper because they misplaced the original? You would need to make provisions for this type of behaviour inside your CRM, so that “it” knows not to follow up since this ‘lead’ is a customer…. And we know that a customer doesn’t need to be nurtured into a transaction since they have already purchased our products or services.
Step 3 – Simplify
The third step in forming your marketing automation plan for your business is to rationalize our customer data, and assess the CRM platform market landscape. This step is all about mapping out our ideal sales process on how we can convert strangers into customers thus ultimately shortening our sales cycle.
This process normally starts at your premises such as a retail shop or, on your website because this is the first step your prospects will take before they decide to buy from you. We need to review how many steps a lead must take before they become a customer. How many touch points are required before a lead becomes a customer? This is not the same answer for every business. You will find that in your business, it may take 9 steps or it may take 12 steps before a lead becomes a customer. Then we can decide on what type of upselling or cross selling opportunities exist and how we can retain more customers using our automated marketing system.
Step 4 – Connect
This is the stage of our process, when we start to bring sales and marketing together using technology.
If you have a large team, then this may require a few internal workshops to nut out your sales qualifying criteria and your marketing qualifying criteria.
Normally, this becomes your blueprint for how you convert leads into sales.
You may have heard of lead scoring? Well most CRM’s will have this option, but we find that our clients struggle to implement this feature in their business. We believe this is all due to the subjective nature of applying scores to leads based on the opinions of your sales and marketing teams, so it requires a bit of brainstorming to figure out what points to add or take away – which can also result in interesting debates! Who knows, you may uncover more issues that you can solve using technology and eliminate headaches for your sales teams. Make sure you grab a cuppa and not leave your office before you have agreed on this step!
Step 5 – Personalise
This is the most exciting stage of any marketing automation plan. This is where we get to be really creative about how we use technology to only present information to your leads or customers based on what they are interested in. It shows that you listen to your customers.
A good marketing automation plan will help you identify exactly what products and services your customers want to buy more of using behavioural data.
You will be able to stay front of mind with your customers by sending them the right messages at the right time. Do you know many of your competitors who do this? I think there are hardly any businesses that really think about personalising their marketing in order to talk to the right leads in the right manner.
If you get this right, this will certainly place you ahead of the curve in terms of your competition.
Step 6 – Automate
Now we are ready to design, build and turn on automations! This is where you get to see the transformation of your business where things just happen without you spending more time “at work”. With automation, scaling your business becomes a reality.
In summary, as you can see, there is quite a bit of planning involved if you’re considering rolling out marketing automation in your business. Marketing automation cannot operate in isolation to the rest of your business. For real growth, marketing needs to operate in synchronisation with the complete business. As you can see, with a robust marketing automation plan, you can achieve outstanding growth and differentiate your brand from your competitors.
If you’re looking for some help in creating your own marketing automation plan for your business, you can speak to us – just head on over here and schedule a 30-min quick Zoom chat with us.
You can also contact us here.
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