Remember when I talked about how generating too many leads can actually start killing your business? Reason #3 addressed one of the key reasons this can happen: you simply don’t have the infrastructure to follow up with the leads. As a business owner, you know that a missed follow up opportunity could mean the loss of a sale, but when you’re busy and trying to manage several qualified leads, it’s inevitable that a few could fall through cracks. You need a solution to simplify the lead follow up process.
This is where marketing automation comes into play. While you’re off managing your business, a marketing automation system is working behind the scenes to manage and nurture your leads. Sounds great, right? Let me explain the 5 ways marketing automation can simplify your follow up process…
1. Immediate, Customized Response
According to HubSpot, companies that contact a lead within one hour of receiving a query are nearly 7 times more likely to have a meaningful conversation with that lead than those who took more time. It’s not always feasible to respond within an hour….after all, you have meetings, travel time, etc to consider. The beauty of automation is that you can create a personalized auto responder that will trigger to a lead based on the form they filled out on your website. To add to the value, the auto responder email can also share a piece of content that is customized to the information they provided, i.e. their industry, role in the company, location and many other factors.
2. Automated SMS Messaging
This might just be my favourite benefit of marketing automation — the ability to engage with a lead via SMS, immediately. And since the average person checks their text messages within three minutes, you are going to open up the connection and be top-of-mind quickly. By creating a form with a phone number opt-in, you have the opportunity for quick and easy follow up via SMS. This is effective for sending an immediate offer, but you can also use it to notify a sales rep that there’s a new lead to connect with. Active Campaign explains this process in more detail here.
3. Instant Connection With Your Sales Team
While your sales team is out networking and closing deals, they are able to manage the new leads at the same time. Marketing automation will automatically notify an appropriate sales rep when a form has been completed or an action has been taken online. Depending on how your sales process works and where that lead is in your sales funnel, your sales rep can then reach out to the lead directly, or another email can be triggered to keep the lead engaged until it’s the right time for a more personal connection (see #5 re: lead scoring).
4. Re-Engage Leads
There’s bound to be a time when a lead seemingly gets stuck in your funnel. They’ve stopped opening your emails or clicking on the content within the email. With marketing automation metrics, you can see exactly when this is happening and who it’s happening with. But don’t worry, all is not lost. When you see a lead dropping off, you can move them into a re-engagement sequence, offering up new content, offers and calls-to-action to get them inspired by your business again.
5. Know When a Lead is Ready to be Contacted
Lead scoring, a function within marketing automation software, makes it possible for your sales team to know exactly when to contact a lead. No more guesswork involved. By assigning a number or value to an action within your automated sequence, the sales team can prioritize leads by how likely they are to purchase, the potential purchase size/amount and the purchase timeframe. The result: your sales team will always be focused on the hot leads, rather than the dead ends. There’s so much more I can say about lead scoring so stay tuned for a blog post on the topic in the near future.
With marketing automation there really is no reason why a customer can’t be contacted within an hour of them first reaching out to your business. It simplifies the sales process behind the scenes and does the majority of the work, leaving you to focus your time on the end result: closing sales and leads.
Admittedly, I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to the marketing automation process because I’ve seen first hand how awesome it is to set up and how the results just start rolling in. If you want to see a quick overview of marketing automation in action, let’s connect and I’ll show you around my platform of choice, Active Campaign.