3 Ways Marketing Automation Can Help You Qualify Leads Faster in Salesforce - Archive of IC Blog

3 Ways Marketing Automation Can Help You Qualify Leads Faster in Salesforce



Utilization of marketing automation software is rising quickly across organizations of every size. Today, there are 11 times more B2B organizations using marketing automation than there were in early 2011. Many view marketing automation software as a tool for marketing professionals who want to push their content out to audiences more efficiently. However, many organizations fail to realize that sales teams can also realize the major benefits offered by marketing automation.

Marketing automation software can increase sales by decreasing lead qualification time. Common sense? Absolutely. But sometimes these types of things aren’t obvious across enterprises.

Here are three ways marketing automation integrated with Salesforce can help you qualify leads faster.

1. Marketing Automation Helps Prioritize Sales’ Time

Zig Ziglar said: “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have 24-hour days.”

One of the biggest differences between hitting sales goals and falling short can simply be failing to use time effectively. All too often, sales representatives squander countless hours reaching out to leads who visited their website for half a second before realizing the solution wasn’t a fit. It stands to reason that if your sales reps are limiting time with tire kickers, they will have the ability to more efficiently handle true leads.

Your organization may have a number of ways inbound leads can enter Salesforce (Lead Sources): organic search, trial downloads, a form fill out etc. Marketing automation can assist with prioritization of these leads in two steps:

  1. Marketing automation can track these leads from start to finish (from when the lead enters the system to when the opportunity closes.) This is able to provide concrete metrics on which lead sources provide the most revenue.
  2. You can use this data to tweak the lead scoring process to cater to your specific organization, allowing your sales team to know which leads are more likely to turn into customers based on historical data.

So what exactly is lead scoring? The lead score is a quantitative field usually added to your Lead Page Layout in Salesforce that is calculated based on specific criteria unique to your organization. Marketing automation can play a vital role in ensuring your Sales/Business Development Representatives (SDRs/BDRs) appropriately prioritize their leads by adding a lead score field onto each lead record.

For example, you can determine if a prospect’s lead score should increase or decrease based on specified criteria, such as actions like visiting specific pages on your website or demographic data like company size or annual revenue. Triggers are set up in your marketing automation platform and data value changes are then pushed to the Lead Score field in Salesforce. This action ensures that the hottest leads (leads with the highest score) are given the appropriate attention and that SDR/BDRs are not wasting time chasing uninterested looky-loos.

2. Marketing Automation Decreases the Response Time to New Leads

According to a Lead Response Management study, the odds of qualifying a lead are reduced by 21 times when the prospect is contacted within a half hour of showing interest versus the first five minutes. Therefore, it seems like a no-brainer to make it as easy as possible for SDRs to be notified as soon as a lead is created so they can reach out immediately. Marketing automation allows for a quicker initial touch, which will not only increase the odds of your rep contacting the lead but also of that lead becoming qualified.

There are a few ways marketing automation and Salesforce can ensure a nearly immediate initial touch by the sales department.

  • Some sales organizations will route leads to a sales queue for round-robin assignment or to a specific rep based on territory. In either case, when a lead is created, Salesforce workflow rules will take over to automatically assign an owner.
  • Once the lead is assigned, that’s when the marketing automation platform gets its chance to shine. You can utilize an RSS browser extension, such as Feedly Notifier for Chrome, to push out updates from your marketing automation platform to reps in near-real time as leads complete specific actions (such as filling out a form or installing a trial). Emails can also be scheduled to go out via marketing automation to a new lead instantaneously (or after a wait period). Further, the email can be personalized to come “from” that lead’s owner by using merge fields.

3. Marketing Automation Creates Opportunities for More Meaningful Conversations

Some consumers may take a negative view toward marketing automation; it can feel like “the man” is watching and tracking every click. On the flip side, to Sales (and of course marketing) teams, it is like an online detective that compiles data and enables us to take the most effective approach to providing you with the solution that is right for you.

When integrated with Salesforce, this information can be consolidated into an easy-to-process snapshot as a related list on your lead records. Prior to picking up the phone to call a lead, an SDR/BDR can already know how the lead was sourced, the content that was accessed, web pages that were visited and marketing emails they’ve received (and opened/clicked).

Since all of these “clues” have been collected prior to a qualification call, an SDR/BDR has great insight already into what the lead is interested in learning as well as what they already may know. Not only will this decrease the amount of time the rep has to spend with those potentially annoying probing questions that irritate prospects, but it also allows the representative to seem more in tune with what the person needs specifically. It’s much easier for a sales rep or account manager to become a trusted advisor when the prospect or client believes you are knowledgeable about your products and services and are mindful of their time because you are in sync with their needs from the get-go and as the relationship grows.

How has marketing automation helped you qualify leads faster? Share your tips and experiences with us!