20 Tips to Kick Back, Relax and Automate Your Sales

20 Tips to Kick Back, Relax and Automate Your Sales

Marketing automation is one of those buzz phrases that sound good but intimidating at the same time. On the surface, it sounds futuristic and cold. Does it mean that robots are in charge of the Sales Department now? (I walked right into that one.)

Actually marketing automation is super human in more ways than one. You can use it to develop stronger relationships with your sales prospects. And, it can make you look kind of like a superhero for knowing the right time to swoop in with your magic sales powers and save the prospect from the villainous competition. I think I’m getting too wrapped up in my metaphors.

It’s amazing to note that 68% of companies have not even identified their sales funnel yet. But, there are so many powerful ways to use the sales funnel in combination with marketing automation. Not only can you improve the quality of your leads, you can also engage them when they’re most ready to buy. And, you can continue a sales relationship with them, increasing customer retention through consistent engagement.

Sound exciting? Let’s look at the top tips on marketing automation for sales (in no particular order, because they’re all great).

1. Nurture Them Automatically

At least 80% of leads aren’t sales-ready. That doesn’t mean you should disregard them. Remember that they are looking at your product or service for a reason. Nurturing can lead to 50% more sales leads.

This is where marketing automation really shines. If you can capture their email address, use it wisely. Don’t just track them onto a tired newsletter. Create and send an education series that informs them about your product and how to use it. The key word here is series. Don’t dump all of it at one time. Send out weekly emails that tackle a different part of your product until the prospect is fully educated and primed to buy.

2. Use Drip Email to Remain Top of the Mind

Similar to the tip above but not limited to lead nurturing, use a drip email campaign to keep in contact with your customers. This is especially useful if a customer has already made a purchase, and you are hoping they’ll buy from you again a little further down the line. Don’t let them go cold.

Keep your brand at the top of their mind with at least a monthly email campaign. If you don’t have a hot, new product coming out, then share testimonials of happy clients, or interesting company news.

3. Verify Email Address

When a prospect signs up for your newsletter, or you receive an email at an event or by some other means, be sure to verify that address before adding it to your CRM. Unfortunately, prospects give fake emails all the time, and you don’t want to waste your time sending out bounced emails.

Use a service like LeadSpend or BriteVerify to make sure your emails are legit.

4. Purge Your CRM

I know it’s hard, but if the leads run cold, it’s time to let them go. Free up your CRM before you move into marketing automation. You definitely don’t want to engage leads who are no longer listening.

5. Segment

Segmentation is critical. Success in sales depends on finding the key motivator for each person. Fortunately, we can group like-minded people together and create a plan of action for that group. Segmenting saves a lot of time.

How you segment depends greatly on your product and your audience. It may make more sense to segment on gender or age or location or marital status or how long you’ve nurtured that particular lead. Find the demographics that work best for your product. And remember, you can slice and dice your prospects into many different groups.

6. Automate Customer’s Life Cycle

It’s not 1995 anymore. Don’t waste time painstakingly inputting customer data and moving them along the pipeline. That’s why you rely on marketing automation. Set it up so that when a lead converts, they receive a special email series. You can also move a lead onto an alternate product sales path if you don’t see any traction with your current one.

7. Create Content for Different Segment

Personalize everything. That’s how you stop seeming like an automaton. Make your leads and customers feel special with content directed toward them. That’s why segmentation is crucial– it allows you to tailor-make your content for each group. For example, you can send a happy birthday email to everyone born in the month of November along with a special promo.

8. Find Out What’s Most Popular- and Build a Strategy Around It

Figure out what your lead gravitates toward and use that to engage them. For example, if you see that your lead spends a lot of time in the video library of your website, send him or her a link to a relevant video seminar that you use to upsell a product with the note,

“Hey {name}, I just thought you’d like to check out this webinar we did recently on {name of the topic}. Feel free to share it with your friends.”

9. Track the Success of Your Email Marketing

If you send out an email but don’t track it, does it even matter? Probably not. You definitely need to track your email campaign to see what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. You determine that by looking at your open rates and your click-through rates. If both are low, you should definitely re-evaluate your email marketing strategy.

10. Use A/B Testing

Even when you’re segmenting, it’s a good idea to test two different emails on the same group to figure out which converts better. Most marketing automation software allows you to do A/B Testing. Test variations of your call to action, the copy on your landing page, your email subject line, the sender name, and more. Dedicate yourself to continuous testing.

11. Use Real Time Tracking to Initiate A Conversation

Marketing automation allows you to get an inside peek at what users are doing in real time on your website. Use it to inform your next step of engagement. If a lead has downloaded an ebook from your website on a particular subject, use that information to strike up a conversation. For example, if the ebook was on becoming an authority in social media, send over an email offering a quick chat with you about dominating social media.

12. Get Alerts Whenever A Prospect Needs Attention

If a customer needs your help, don’t wait for them to email you. Set up your system to send notifications to you whenever a customer trips an alarm. The alarm can be anything, from abandoning a cart to entering in the wrong password three times in a row. Respond immediately (with the help of automation marketing).

13. Anticipate Everything

If a customer is stuck in the FAQs section of your website, set up an automatic email from your help desk that offers a live chat solution. Not only will they they be impressed by your attentiveness, they’ll probably be surprised that you knew they needed help. Let’s keep it a secret.

14. Use Personalized Emails

Dale Carnegie said that a person’s name is their favorite word. Studies show that using a person’s name in the subject line can increase opens by 5%. Be sure to input the customer’s name into your marketing automation system. It’s the small things.

15. Use CRM and Social Media Profiles

We live in the information age, where a quick look-up on your CRM can tell you so much about a lead, such as their name, location, purchase history, and more. Fill in the blanks by looking up their social media profiles. You can use this information to understand your leads and how you should approach them.

16. Score Your Leads to Identify Hot, Ready to Buy Leads

Not every company needs to score leads, but many find it helpful in deciphering which leads are more sales-ready. If you do choose to go this way, be sure that both the sales and marketing teams are on the same page when it comes to lead scoring.

17. Create a Landing Page to Convert

There’s no such thing as too many landing pages. Whenever you’re sending out targeted emails to your segments, don’t send them to the same location– that defeats the purpose of segmentation in the first place. Use landing pages to continue the funnel.

18. Don’t Forget About Social Media

Remember to present yourself on social media as well as on your website. People will want to connect with you and read about what’s happening with your brand. But, sometimes, it’s hard to keep up with social media and everything else. Automate it! Use scheduling tools to keep you active on social media even when you’re no where around.

19. Upsell and Cross Sell

Two of my favorite things about sales are upselling and cross selling. If you already have a customer on the hook for one item, they’re prime candidates for upselling to an item that’s priced up to 60% more. Also, in your targeted or triggered email campaigns, you can showcase related items that the customer may be interested in purchasing. Use data and purchasing history to make a personalized recommendation list.

20. Be Human

Automation can come across sterile if you’re just sending generic emails, and only looking at data without context. Remember to use your humanity as the biggest selling component of all. Marketing automation is only a tool, but at the end of the day, it’s one human communicating with another.

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