Influence The Buying Process with Automated Marketing


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Another great white paper from Engagement Systems! Read to find out how companies are using marketing automation to help companies make sales decisions.

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Influence The Buying Process with Automated Marketing

  1. 1. WHITE PAPER | ENGAGEMENT SYSTEMS influence the buying process with AutomAted mArketing 10 TAcTicS For iMproviNG rEvENuE ANd roi Now
  2. 2. WHITE PAPER | 1 influence the buying process with AutomAted mArketing 10 tactics For improving revenue and roi now Today’s decision maker has changed. He now scrutinizes his buying options more The traditional selling carefully. His expectations are higher across the board. He wants to understand process has become the opportunity costs of making a purchasing decision; or rather, the value of the a buying process alternatives that he is giving up to choose you. He may even want to feel more controlled by the buyer, confident about your company as a whole. undoubtedly he controls the buying not the supplier. 80% process. And even with established customers, all this research and analysis may of decision makers take place before a conversation with a salesperson has even occurred, or before research and reach out the new purchase is in sight. to technology vendors and don’t wait to be decision makers want more information. We’re not just talking about an contacted. This buyer extended list of features and benefits. We’re talking about empowerment behavior is repeated in through education, fact finding and knowledge acquisition. companies other industries as well, are currently grappling for pole position as the trusted advisor, a role now clearly demonstrating paramount to success for not only new business, but for up selling and cross- that in today’s world selling existing clients as well. The question for you is whether your company will the empowered be the source of this information, whether your company will craft the messages customer controls the the buyer receives, or whether he will go elsewhere to satisfy his curiosity. buying process. chances are, you purchased a crM (customer relationship Management) system - Marketing Sherpa’s Business Technology Marketing to help you achieve these goals. You sold it to your sales team as a better Benchmark Guide 2007-08 means to manage and track customers’ and buyers’ behavior. Your marketing department hoped to gain keener insight into market needs and interests. ultimately you were hoping to use crM to influence enough new buyers and customers to see a significant sales increase. if you are now struggling to achieve your sales goals, you are not alone. However, there are immediate actions that you can take to influence decision makers and buyers to increase revenue and roMi (return on Marketing investment).
  3. 3. WHITE PAPER | 2 Influence The Buying Process With Automated Marketing in this paper, you’ll learn 10 hands-on tactics you can start using today to begin improving your revenue and roi. using Automated marketing To Influence The buying Process 10 tactics for improving revenue and roi Now Tactic #1 delivering leads to sales at the right time in the buying process. Tactic #2 Getting Sales and Marketing to work together. Tactic #3 The five phases of the customer life cycle and which produce the highest roMi. Tactic #4 driving the buying decision process with the right types of marketing. Tactic #5 How to map out the buying decision process. Tactic #6 using your crM system to trigger automatic marketing communications. Tactic #7 Making automated marketing campaigns relevant. Tactic #8 obtaining ongoing intelligence on your customers and prospects. Tactic #9 When to use what marketing medium for communications. Tactic #10 Building trust and rapport while reducing the cost of sales. Tactic #1: Develop Qualified Leads Delivering Leads to Sales at the Right Time in the Buying Process. Here is a typical scenario: marketing is under constant pressure to deliver more leads. often, there is no process in place to qualify where the lead is in the buying process before passing them off to sales. Marketing believes that they’re passing along good leads. conversely, sales feels the leads aren’t very good. However, when leads aren’t ready to buy when a salesperson makes an initial contact, they often drop them in favor of prospects they believe they can close right now in order to hit their monthly quota. For the company, this means that good leads are falling through gaps in your sales and marketing process. Soon, a giant black hole is created in your crM system. Studies show that as many as 80% of leads passed to sales never have a Automated lead nurturing meaningful conversation with a rep because they are either abandoned after two can be the cure for the attempts or disqualified because the prospect is not immediately ready to buy.1 common cold call. 1 80% of marketing efforts to generate leads are wasted and ignored by sales. - The Aberdeen Group it takes an average of 12 attempts for a salesperson to get a decision maker on the telephone, but 83 percent of sales professionals report that they only have time to make one or two attempts. - Wendover
  4. 4. WHITE PAPER | 3 When there is poor lead follow-up, it’s not surprising that conversion rates are disappointing. Your company also incurs greater expense when the same leads are recaptured over and over again as prospects. So what should be done? Automated lead nurturing programs can quickly repair the black holes in your marketing and sales processes by keeping prospects engaged and maintaining TACTIC #1 TAKEAWAY top-of-mind awareness for your company throughout the buying process. Lead don’t let prospects fall through nurturing programs usually consist of a series of marketing touches that develop the cracks. protect your marketing investment and a relationship with the prospect, break down common sales barriers, and gauge maximize resources through their progress in the buying process. When the lead completes certain qualifying better lead qualification and actions, such as requesting a product demo or visiting a number of pages on your lead nurturing. website, signaling that they are getting closer to a buying decision they can be automatically transitioned to your sales team. Tactic #2: Redefine the Metrics for Sales and Marketing Getting Sales and Marketing to Work Together. it’s time to take a closer look at the metrics companies use to monitor results. A huge problem is the misalignment of the metrics used to motivate sales and marketing. Sales and marketing are in essence driven to different end points using divergent metrics. Sales tends to be focused on achieving short-term revenue goals – making monthly or quarterly quotas. Marketing tends to be focused on the number of leads generated. Both lose sight of the main company objective: to influence the buying process in order to generate new business and increase revenue from existing customers. performance measurements based solely on monthly sales quotas and response rates for individual marketing initiatives create conflicting objectives and polarize the effectiveness of the two departments. Both sales and marketing should be measured based on the organization’s goals: increased revenue, lower acquistion cost and improved profitability. Your chosen metrics should recognize and reward coordinated sales and marketing efforts that spur positive changes in customer buying behavior.
  5. 5. WHITE PAPER | 4 Sales marketing current metrics And meAsures tied response rates of Latest Monthly and Quarterly to compensAtion Marketing initiative (number Sales Quotas And success of leads generated) Bottom-Line profitability Aligned metrics return on investment And meAsures closed Sales for sAles And cost per Qualified Lead TACTIC #2 TAKEAWAY mArketing cost per Lead converted customer retention rate unify sales and marketing in the pursuit of common goals. Tactic #3: Address All Phases of the Customer Life Cycle The Five Phases of the Customer Life Cycle and Which Produce the Most ROMI Academically speaking, the customer life cycle begins with a prospect: an interested party who may potentially need your product or service. Adept companies qualify their prospects to pinpoint their sales efforts on leads who are ready to buy, while using lead nurturing tactics to continue to develop leads at the beginning of the buying process. Following a first purchase, a period of customer assimilation or on-boarding takes place. This is a prime time to start building loyalty and influencing ongoing purchases. particularly adroit companies employ retention programs to continue Five Stages of Customer Life Cycle to provide value and to educate their customers to enhance cross-selling and up- Lead Generation - Suspects selling opportunities. The final frontier recognizes when a customer’s attention Lead Nurturing - Qualified prospects has waned, and alerts sales and marketing to deploy a winback strategy to onboarding/Assimilation - New customers preserve the customer relationship and future revenues. retention - Established customers Winback - declining/Lost customers While everyone knows that it costs 6-10 times more to acquire a new customer than to maintain a loyal customer, most marketing budgets are heavily weighted toward lead generation. Minimal effort is given to nurturing qualified leads until they are ready to purchase. At the other end of the spectrum, responsibility for improving the customer experience is largely a reactive tactic left to the customer service department, which usually means trying to appease a customer after they have become dissatisfied and have a complaint.
  6. 6. WHITE PAPER | 5 By reviewing your marketing focus, and adjusting it if needed to address the TACTIC #3 TAKEAWAY entire customer life cycle, you can significantly improve lead conversion and continue generating leads, but put greater emphasis on customer lifetime value. Because this not only increases the flow of revenue nurturing activities as well but “stops the bleeding” from customer attrition. companies that implement as retention and winback complete-life cycle approaches can experience dramatic improvements in revenue strategies to maximize customer lifetime revenue. and marketing roi. Tactic #4: Audit Thyself Driving the Buying Decision Process with the Right Types of Marketing. perform an audit of how you support buyers and current customers in their education process about your product or service and their impending purchase decisions. Make a list of all the potential touch points with prospects and customers. Ask yourself the following questions: 1. do you have the appropriate sales and marketing processes and materials in place to be proactive rather than reactive? 2. What does the buyer or customer have to do in order to access that information? Make a phone call? visit a store? Go to your website? 3. is the medium used to deliver the message appropriate for the communication and comfort level of the buyer or customer? Email is typically ignored until a relationship has been established, and mail does not provide an immediate delivery. Keep in mind that it can take up to 12 attempts for a salesperson to get a decision maker on the telephone.2 4. is a timely response required? 5. What kind of follow-up is expected? remove any excessive hurdles keeping your potential buyers and customers from the information that they are seeking. consider marketing technologies that are less dependent upon sales intervention to provide the initial touch points. A TACTIC #4 TAKEAWAY strong website, an investment in keyword searches using search engine marketing Make sure that you have all tools, or other methods of providing resource materials through the myriad of the materials in place to be the searchable trade publications is a wise investment. However, all methods need resource for information to to be tied back to your buyer’s ability, interest, and time to make use of these support your buyer. divergent methods. 2 Wendover
  7. 7. WHITE PAPER | 6 Tactic #5: Design a Roadmap for Access to Your Products and Services How to Map Out the Buying Decision Process. Before the roadmap can be built, both sales and marketing have to understand that it is the customer or potential customer who is behind the wheel. it is the buyer or customer who controls the buying process. He or she needs to feel good about his or her buying decision. The job of sales and marketing is to help the customer make a choice, fill a need, or answer a question. Your sales and marketing people are problem-solvers who must continually build credibility, comfort and trust. Bring key sales and marketing players together. Have the team map out the decision process of your potential and existing buyers. imagine your team of sales and marketing professionals as city planners; or moreover, heads of transportation. it is their task to build onramps and highways, and to coordinate the traffic lights throughout town. in the center of town are your products and services. it is the job of your team to keep the traffic moving to the center of town to the destination: a buying decision. Use information to help buyers through their decision process. As heads of transportation, sales and marketing need to define the key points in this educational and relationship-building process. Not every interaction with the buyer or customer is about closing a new deal; it’s about delivering relevant information at the right time to the right individual. TACTIC #5 TAKEAWAY This activity tactically pulls sales and marketing back to the drawing board. Map out the buying process it cohesively identifies the entire buying process. it forces both sales and and help prospects and marketing to adjust to the ever-changing profile of the buyer, and the current customers navigate their way to state of the industry and economy. Marketing campaigns and initiatives must a buying decision. work together towards a common purpose. Add too many haphazard campaigns and congestion ensues. Tactic #6: Automate For Systematic Success Using Your CRM System to Trigger Automatic Marketing Communications. crM was designed to collect, store and track information, but a crM system alone is just a data warehouse if additional technology isn’t added to trigger communications that reach out to customers to influence the purchase decision. The key word is trigger.
  8. 8. WHITE PAPER | 7 using intelligent marketing automation, triggers detect a change in behaviors or events by keying off the data in your crM system; triggers are what turn a database into an automated marketing machine. To continue with the roadmap discussion, triggers identify when the buyer or customer gets to an intersection. Automated touch points deliver what is needed in order for the buyer or customer to pass through that intersection. can their question be answered by an email? does this intersection require a sales call? What do they need to see or hear to keep driving to the center of town? in areas where the buyer or customer is nearing a purchase decision, Automatic touch points what types of actions are necessary to build momentum? You want to carefully guide leads and customers to buying decisions. place street signs - or automated touch points - to direct buyers and customers towards a product or service and motivate them to progress more quickly towards a purchase decision. Triggers can anticipate where the buyer or customer may veer away from your TACTIC #6 TAKEAWAY product or service. Automatic touch points help route that lead or customer back Automate the sales and to a buying decision. marketing process by setting event and behavior triggers that utilize intelligent Automated processes alleviate the complaint that crM creates additional work for marketing automation to auto- users. This will go a long way in addressing the adoption issue most organizations execute marketing touches. face. With no extra work for the sales team – they can focus on selling activities. Tactic #7: Make it Personal Making Automated Marketing Campaigns Relevant. What’s the best way to engage someone in a conversation? use their name and make it about them. one-to-one communications have greater impact because the customer receives a message that is tailored to them, with content focused on their unique needs and interests. Would you send a new product promotion to a current customer who is already TACTIC #7 TAKEAWAY buying that product from you? if you do, you have just trained your customer to deploy one-to-one ignore future communications. The beauty of intelligent marketing automation communications for more is that it supports a one-to-one outreach. one-to-one communications must be meaningful dialogue with relevant and timely. These communications are only sent in response to a change prospects and customers to shorten the buying process. in an individual’s information in your database, or because the information is highly relevant to the individual.
  9. 9. WHITE PAPER | 8 Tactic #8: Focus on Gathering Information Obtaining Ongoing Intelligence on Your Customers and Prospects. Building intelligence into your sales and marketing process is perhaps the most effective method of influencing the buying decision process. However, learning about your prospects and customers is an ongoing process. Their interests today will not be their main points of concern or need tomorrow. As you plan your roadmap, think about the appropriate times to gather information to be stored in your crM system. This will empower your marketing automation system to take additional actions to influence buying decisions: Gather information that can be 1. Observational Learning used to take additional actions The prospect or customer may seek more information about your company to influence buying decisions. without contacting you directly. during this process you have the opportunity to learn from that interest. observational learning uses tools to monitor and record buyer interest and behavior. case in point, an interested party visits your website or a purL (personalized urL). You can learn about her interests by following the path she takes from one web page to another within your site. What information is the customer interested in? How long does she peruse each landing page? What links does she follow? Your crM system can be optimized to track and record this information. pre-programmed business rules then monitor the data and activate triggers for automated touch points. 2. Learning Through Surveys Sometimes all you have to do is ask. utilizing marketing automation, surveys can be deployed via email, mail, purL or live interview. prospects and customers appreciate that you ask their opinion. What they don’t appreciate: an all-out assault by a salesperson trying to force them to buy when they respond to a survey. With marketing automation, survey responses initiate touch points that help to advance the buying process. TACTIC #8 TAKEAWAY 3. Learning Through Direct Contact commit to an ongoing learning process; employ a valuable Although today’s prospects and customers are in control of the buying process, exchange of information to there are times that live interaction is wanted and needed. When a prospect align your product and service offerings with the changing or customer wants to see a demonstration, asks for a consultation, or just asks needs and interests of each a question, he is engaging you in live conversation. utilize these interactions individual buyer. to learn more about where the prospect or customer is in the buying process. As knowledge is gained and crM fields are updated, triggers can detect those changes and alter the touch points accordingly.
  10. 10. WHITE PAPER | 9 Tactic #9: Employ Multi-Channel Marketing When to Use What Marketing Medium for Communications. remember the road map from Tactic #5? Multi-touch and cross-media marketing campaigns put leads in the pencil of your sales and marketing teams, by defining the best possible touch points to influence the decision process. it allows you to use a combination of mediums, whether it be email, direct mail, personal purLs, phone calls, or personal visits within a single campaign to best connect with the TACTIC #9 TAKEAWAY prospect or customer. deploy multiple means of outreach to ensure that your New prospects may not accept your email messages, but will receive direct message is received, and to move the customer towards mail. Established customers are more likely to successfully receive email a purchase position relative communications. By employing multiple mediums in your campaigns, you to their individual needs and interests. build synergy among your marketing pieces, ensure that your message gets through, and gain the flexibility to communicate with your contacts in the medium they prefer. Tactic #10: Maintain a Continuous Dialogue Building Trust and Rapport While Reducing the Cost of Sales. The old traditional sales process is no longer profitable. in the old model, a sales person was required to call, call, call, in order to generate business. This type of push strategy is no longer effective, economically feasible or humanly possible with today’s longer buying cycles. other forms of interaction must augment more conventional selling efforts. TACTIC #10 TAKEAWAY With buyers driving the timing of purchases, marketing must be in constant Establish ongoing contact contact to ensure that the company understands the buyer’s position and needs, with customers to preserve satisfaction, increase up-selling and the buyer understands the company’s solutions and services. This requires and cross-selling, and decrease a cycle of learning with both parties engaged in “conversations” that share customer defections. information back and forth, and one that develops trust and rapport – marketing initiatives should reflect this relationship building and provide for it.
  11. 11. WHITE PAPER | 10 COnCLuSIOn in today’s fast-paced marketplace where buyers are now more in control than ever, communications must support the buying process to improve top- and bottom-line performance. Automating communications should be a hands-on decision and a hands-off process. Sales and marketing work together to define the triggers and touchs: that’s the hands-on portion of the process. To truly make your marketing streamlined, automated campaigns need to be deployed: that’s the hands-off portion of the process. Know your prospect and customer. Align the goals for your sales and marketing teams. define your triggers. develop your touch points. Automate your response. These activities put the buyer and customer at the forefront of the communication stream, while improving the efficiency of your sales and marketing teams. do this well and you will increase your market share and profitability. AbOuT EngAgEmEnT SYSTEmS Engagement Systems helps organizations leverage their crM investment to grow sales and improve roi with automated marketing campaigns. The web-enabled software works with existing crM programs to help capture and nurture leads, retain customers, and win back defecting clients by automating personalized communications at the exact moment prospects and customers need it. Engagement Systems is the first and only marketing automation solution where the creation and execution of multi-touch, multi-channel communications, including direct mail, email and personalized urLs, is executed within the application itself; eliminating the need to export files and coordinate web- developers, printers or email providers. Engagement Systems accesses the data stored within your existing crM system to make it actionable throughout the entire customer life cycle. To learn more about Engagement Systems, visit, call 866.938.3658, or email WHITE PAPER • JULY 2009 ©Engagement Systems, All rights reserved