Every salesperson wants things right now, whether that’s quality leads, effective marketing materials, pricing or contract concessions. Whatever is needed to close more deals, reach their goals, earn more commission.
As marketers, we know that the problem is, not every prospect or client, even if showing initial interest, is on their same timetable. They may not have a big enough need to make a purchase right now. Or maybe they’re under contract, satisfied with their current vendor, other projects are taking priority, currently have no budget—or it’s simply taking them time to work through their decision-making process.
Here’s where your CRM with marketing automation platform can help out: while most salespeople may not be blessed with infinite patience, an effective marketing department armed with an effective marketing automation platform can strengthen the chances of closing these opportunities, helping make the marketing department best friends with sales.
How CRM with marketing automation can help sales – when the timing just isn’t right
Your marketing automation platform can work together with your CRM system to you’re your sales team every step along the sales process. While salespeople are working deals to close right now, marketing can nurture those that aren’t quite ready to close.
For example, take a prospect that someone from Sales or Marketing meets at a tradeshow that seems a good fit for your company’s product or service. You have their contact info to enter into Microsoft Dynamics 365 or other CRM, and even had them opt-in to receive your company’s marketing communications – they have expressed interest in your product or service, but they’re travelling the next few weeks and can’t realistically meet or seriously discuss for a couple of months (by the way, be sure you read this post on GDPR before you force opt-in tradeshow contacts). In this case, you could let your marketing department know they need to be added to a pre-meeting nurture campaign. At the same time, your sales team could enter a reminder into CRM to follow up with personal touches at the appropriate time.
What if you’re working a referral from a current client? Let’s say that your new referral replied to a salesperson’s email inquiring about their need and interest and they even had an initial meeting – but they’re still under contract with a competitor for nine months. Marketing—and marketing automation software—can help. While Sales generally has their required steps from introductory/discovery meeting to close, important work can be done “selling in between events” to strengthen Sales’ chances.
A few CRM with marketing automation campaign ideas:
- Email nurture campaign promoting your product or service’s ROI, current best practices and competitive differentiators
- Prospect or client journey (workflow) based on specific digital interactions the prospect has with the provider; this can lead to downloaded whitepapers or other requested information
- Contract renewal campaigns—based on a field in CRM—that launch a six-months prior to renewal email campaign (this works for existing customers and for prospects in contract with a competitor)
- Periodic check-ins—all automated—to “see how things are going”
The key is communication. Communication with the prospect, and communication between Marketing and Sales. This approach can also reinforce with the prospect the company, abilities and value standing behind the salesperson, and simply keep the provider in the mind of the prospect, so the interest doesn’t fade.
As for the salesperson, they can take back complete control of the opportunity when it’s time to move forward and close the account – whenever that again becomes right now.
If you have questions, or would like to learn more about how the emfluence Marketing Platform can help with your CRM with marketing automation initiatives, get information here.