Marketing Automation Is Not The Old Sales Process

There is an astute article at mycustomer.com, “Is It Time To Move On From Marketing Automation?”  It is an indicator of the disenchantment with the claims and hype with marketing automation implementations in organizations.  The frustration is well-founded.  If automating the buying process by creating a sterile technology engagement mimicking an old sales process is the core strategy, then it reveals poor creativity, care and execution.

The old sales process of prospecting leads and selling prospects from skillful and relentless follow-up simply annoys today’s buyers.  Noone wants to be sold.  The internet has empowered self-service.  We all can find what we are looking for with our friends on social media and with our fingers on Google.

The strategies used in marketing automation campaigns need to serve the buyer with what they are looking for.  Sales needs to be triggered like an actor in a play.  They need to know their cues to enter stage left and exit stage right.  The synchrony of your marketing automation system to help them understand timing and context is both dynamic and creates opportunities to be in the right sales conversations at the right time.

Some signs that you have a buyer that is interested in talking with you are:

  1. They are learning.  They see you as a resource and are consuming your content offerings for how your product or service works.  This assumes you have plenty of educational materials on your market, industry and solution.
  2. They watch your online videos.  Your videos provide information which is relevant to their problem and they are watching the full videos.
  3. They request more specific content.  If you have your call to action set up well, then there are other value pieces which you provide that get more technical and deeper into your domain expertise to help the customer.

There are signals which help sales to know when to engage.  Marketing needs to work in relationship to sales to trigger a human touchpoint at the right time based on events, triggers and hints that the buyer welcomes a salesperson’s call.

Marketing is not simply a handoff.  Though it would be convenient, the relationship a true buyer has with you evolves and is organic.  Ensure that your sales alignment to your marketing system creates a natural engagement for sales.  The new sales process demands this kind of care and design.

What are your thoughts?

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