Marketing automation is a large and growing market. Marketing automation software offers many benefits to its users — it offers processes for closed loop marketing, nurturing sales and more. Generally, companies purchase marketing automation software to help maximize marketing dollars, understand marketing ROI and ultimately, increase sales conversions.
Recently I’ve worked with a few startups who’ve purchased and used marketing automation software. While I’m not sure I would spend precious startup money on marketing automation, I understand the need for accelerating sales.
While one can’t necessarily come to big conclusions based on two individual cases, what I’ve seen with startups using marketing automation software is concerning. In both cases the marketing personnel focused on lead generation activities, getting potential prospects in to the top of the funnel.
All good so far.
And then they let the marketing automation software nurture the leads. Once a lead got to the bottom of the funnel, the marketing person used Salesforce to schedule a demo.
This was the first instance in that marketing/sales person actually talking to the prospect. Needless to say, the sales close rate did not meet expectations.
In the second case, once a prospect was put in to the top of the funnel, the sales person used the automated system to send a canned sales note. Essentially, it said, our product does this, and you can buy it here.
Again, no actual conversation with the prospect before attempting to close the sale.
Sure, automating marketing may seem like a money-saving proposition. After all, you’re spending less money per sales call.
But if you’re not actually closing the sale, does it matter if you are saving money?