Marketing automation solutions are often seen as advanced e-mail marketing platforms or direct marketing software. But marketing automation is much more than that. It is in the first place a matter of implementing cross-channel, personalized triggered, event-based and customer lifecycle driven relevant interactions with prospects, clients and leads.
Marketing automation plays a crucial role in the process of lead generation, lead nurturing and the conversion from a lead to a customer. And therefore it has to have a place in the interaction between sales and marketing. Ultimately the goal of marketing automation is to identify leads and nurture them until they are ready to be passed on to the sales division.
Marketing divisions who successfully want to use marketing automation systems, must meet the needs of the prospect and lead but also those of their intern customers: sales who want qualified leads.
Marketing automation and interactive CRM
Therefore of course, a good marketing solution alone is not enough. Bridging the traditional gap between sales and marketing is also a matter of management, company culture, co-ordination and customer-centric thinking and working. There are possibilities and reasons to let the sales division itself do part of the lead management. In times, where the focus shifts from selling to buying and potential customers increasingly find us, the role of sales is changing. Still, the primary goal of marketing automation in most companies is to nurture leads until they are ready to be "taken care off" by the sales department.
That is exactly why an integration between customer relationship management - which is increasingly evolving towards an interactive and social CRM - and interactive marketing automation solutions is a 'must'.
It is obvious that there also has to be a coordination after passing on of a qualified lead to sales.
That is why both sales as marketing have to (and actually the whole company):
- Have a holistic view on the supervision of the leads throughout all divisions (even after sales)
- Be accountable in a measurable way for their contribution throughout the whole funnel
- Transcend the boundaries of different departments and have only one goal in mind: customer-centricity and therefore delivered value for the prospect and client.
This value will lead itself towards value for the company.
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