Using Sales and Marketing Automation to Improve Your Bottomline / Sales / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Regardless of industry, marketing and sales can take up a huge chunk of the operating budget. Enter: sales and marketing automation.

Regardless of industry, marketing and sales can take up a huge chunk of the operating budget.

As the saying goes, “You have to spend money to make money.”

While that may be true, using modern IT solutions can amplify and automate your marketing efforts while reducing cost.

After all, 78 percent of successful marketers say their marketing automation systems are the most responsible for improving revenues.

Related Article: 4 Ways to Use Marketing Automation to Boost Leads and Conversions

Improved Workflow and Efficiency

Better lead nurturing means a shorter workflow overall. You’re focusing your time and effort on the prospects you know are most likely to convert, and spending less time wading through prospects that may not convert. Studies show companies using marketing automation see 53 percent higher conversion rates, and a 3.1 percent higher annualized growth rate than those that do not.

Sales and marketing teams need to be aligned to ensure an optimal sales cycle. All too often, the sales and marketing teams aren’t in sync, but marketing automation allows them to work from the same central database, with up-to-date information. Sixty-nine percent of the top performing companies say cooperation between marketing and sales is the most critical driver for maximizing ROI for marketing automation.

When the two are aligned, there’s better productivity, which translates to more profit. Using automation for social media lead generation can also boost profits, as nearly three quarters of salespeople who use social media outperform those who are not. It’s absolutely essential to use a potent Social Media dashboard to monitor your overall activity.

Enhanced Data for Decision Making

Data from marketing automation platforms helps you see what’s going on in your business. With it, you can determine areas of the business that need improvement, as well as areas of the business that are doing well.

Say your data indicates a poor conversion rate on a certain webpage. You can turn to split testing to adjust various elements of the page – this includes color and layout, placement of CTA and buttons, to copy and more, to see what performs better with your audience. You may have to run multiple split tests to find the magic formula for your niche. The data will show you a path to take for improvement.

As your prospect moves through the sales funnel, you’re gathering data about how they’re interacting with the brand - everything from email clicks, website visits, content downloads, and other actions. Each of these data points provides clues about how ready they are to buy, which allows you to adjust your messaging in terms of content and timelines, to help the buyer move along in their decision-making process.

Perhaps most importantly, you can quantify your sales and marketing team efforts with real data, in order to see which team members are performing well. You can use the data to reward the employees for their efforts, which provides incentive for them to keep doing a good job. Implementing a strategic recognition program can help save you money, since those that have programs in place report 23.4 percent lower employee turnover rate compared to companies that do not.

Improved Customer Experience

With all the data at hand, you can create a faster and more flexible customer experience. Use the data to determine what your customers are looking for, and the best way you can give it to them. It’s important to remember that by the year 2020, customer experience will become the key brand differentiator over price. Customers are willing to pay more for a product or service, if they get better customer service and support in return.

Related Article: Ready, Set, Go: 14 Favorite Automation Tools for Smarter Sales

Grow Your Customer Loyalty

While it's certainly cheaper to sell to existing customers than it is to acquire new ones, customer loyalty is harder to gain, and much more difficult to retain. By improving the customer experience, you’re taking steps to grow customer loyalty. Your marketing automation tools can help you see where you’ve gone wrong with unhappy customers, so you can take the necessary steps to rectify it and prevent it from happening again.

A 5 percent increase in customer retention can increase your company’s profit by 75 percent, as statistics show 80 percent of your business comes from 20 percent of your customers.

Marketing is no doubt complex. It requires diving inside the minds of your customers, and creating products and services that fill a need, then creating messaging that alerts customers of how well your products and services work to help them. Dealing with the complexities of marketing is a full-time job that never stops, but marketing automation can help ease some of that stress, and create a clearer path from prospect to loyal customer.

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