Sales and marketing automation tools obviously suit sales and marketing teams, respectively — but that doesn't mean that the utility of those kinds of resources is siloed by department.
There's a fair amount of crossover between the two — meaning marketing can benefit from sales automation and sales can benefit from marketing automation. Here, we'll take a closer look at that interplay and see what it might look like in practice. Let's jump in.
What is sales and marketing automation?
'Sales and marketing automation' refers to a productive interplay between sales and marketing departments that can be achieved by leveraging sales and marketing automation tools in tandem. Doing so makes for better interdepartmental alignment, more pointed campaigns, higher quality leads, and other mutual benefits.
The value of sales and marketing automation rests on your resources' ability to provide mutually beneficial intel between departments. Sales and marketing automation tools are most valuable to both sides of the business when they provide insight into prospect and customer behavior.
The information you accrue through sales automation can inform more complete, pointed marketing efforts — and vice versa. Let's take a closer look at what that interplay might look like for both departments.
What does sales gain from marketing automation?
Marketing automation essentially refers to a sum of tools businesses use to simplify and streamline top- and middle-of-the-funnel activities. The term encompasses a series of resources, including:
- Web tracking and analytics
- Campaign construction and tracking
- Lead scoring resources
So what does sales stand to gain from well-executed marketing automation? Well, a lot of it boils down to locking in on the right prospects. Leveraging marketing automation tools often leads to higher-quality, more thoroughly nurtured leads — along with a more fully fleshed understanding of customer preferences and behavior.
Web Tracking and Analytics
Your sales department stands to gain a lot from tracking prospects' web activity. How potential customers engage with your web presence provides invaluable insight into their needs, interests, and inclinations.
If your sales reps have a feel for which aspects of your website are registering more than others, they can have a more accurate picture of the benefits they should be stressing in their sales conversations.
Campaign Construction and Tracking
Constructing and analyzing marketing campaigns can provide actionable intel about the prospects most interested in your brand. Like web analytics and tracking, these kinds of activities let you see who's engaging with your company and where that engagement is coming from. That pointed insight can inform more thoughtful, specific, effective sales efforts from your reps.
Lead Scoring Resources
Predictive lead scoring resources can help marketing and sales departments alike by distinguishing higher quality leads from lower quality ones via automation and machine learning. These tools make the handoff between departments smoother and allow for simpler, more efficient sales efforts.
Now that we have a feel for how marketing automation can impact sales, let's see how the inverse works.
What does marketing gain from sales automation?
Sales automation refers to resources that facilitate the mechanization of manual sales tasks — using elements like machine learning to streamline and simplify sales professionals' responsibilities. And while these kinds of programs are obviously geared towards assisting sales departments, marketing teams stand to gain a lot from them as well.
Some common sales automation tools that marketing can draw from include:
- Order fulfillment software
In a similar vein to how marketing automation can contribute to sales, the value sales automation offers marketing departments mostly has to do with freely sharing information between both sides of the business.
A customer relationship management (CRM) system is a multifaceted software that allows your business to track and monitor its interactions with customers. At its core, a CRM is a resource for improving customer experience and boosting sales — but that doesn't mean it doesn't pose some serious benefits for marketing departments.
A CRM helps you accrue information about who your customers are, their defining qualities, their preferences, the people within your organization they engage with, and other key insights about prospect behavior and tendencies. All of that can be leveraged to help structure more thoughtful, locked-in marketing materials and campaigns.
Order fulfillment software is particularly useful for B2C sales and marketing efforts. These kinds of programs track data related to individual ecommerce or brick and mortar sales. Beyond that, they can allow for more organized inventory management.
While order fulfillment software typically falls under the "sales automation" umbrella, it can also help marketing departments see what products are selling particularly well — giving them a more refined picture of which parts of their product suite they should be focusing on when putting together advertisements, marketing collateral, or other promotional materials.
Companies leveraging sales automation tools exclusively for sales and marketing automation tools exclusively for marketing are selling themselves short. When used in tandem, these kinds of resources can help you get more from both departments.
If your business has invested in sales and marketing automation programs, be sure to look at how the intel and analytics you gather with one can feed into the other. When used properly, these tools can enhance both departments' operations — making for better-informed, more effective sales and marketing efforts.