10 Ways Manufacturing Companies Benefit from Marketing Automation

Posted by Tom Smith on Thu, Oct, 16, 2014 @ 10:10 AM

marketing automation for manufacturing







Over the past few years I've helped several manufacturing companies implement marketing automation solutions to improve their business and their marketing.


To date, 20% of larger companies (500+ employees) are using marketing automation, while firms with 20+ employees have a 4% adoption rate. 


Following are 10 benefits manufacturing companies can realize by using marketing automation:


  1. Save time. You can create marketing campaigns and posts for different products and target audiences ahead of time and schedule to run once the customer or prospect takes an action in the future.

    For example, if you're attending a tradeshow and having people visit your booth, you can have an automated message go out each evening when the show closes thanking them for coming by the booth and inviting them to reconnect if they need more information on a particular product.

  2. Ability to provide personalized, targeted relevant information to clients and prospects when and where they need it.

    If a channel partner needed a case study for an end-user customer, you are able to provide it instanteously.

  3. Marketing staffs are able to get more done in less time. One employee can execute complex and ongoing campaigns that can connect with many more customers and prospects than is possible to do manually.

    Marketing automation is very scalable and allows you to grow your business without the commensurate growth in your marketing department.

  4. Ensures consistent messaging across time and channels. You're able to ensure that all of your graphic standards are met as well as delivering consistent, relevant messages to the right target audience. Consistency builds trust. Inconsistency breeds confusion and distrust.

    This capability is particuarly important if the company is going through a brand identity change as one company I worked with was doing.

  5. You receive detailed reports on the performance of each campaign by channel so you know what's working and where improvements can be made.

  6. You are able to A/B test different elements of a campaign like who an email is coming from, the subject line, the offer, the layout, the call-to-action, the landing page and the images.

    One marketing automation platform even enables you do do A/B/C/D testing.

  7. A tremendous benefit for manufacturing firms with sales forces or channel partners is the ability to score leads.

    Marketing and sales must sit down and agree upon what constitutes a marketing qualified lead (MQLs) versus a sales qualified lead (SQLs) and how the MQL is best nurtured into an SQL.

    This must be constantly monitored so the scoring and nuturing process can be refined over time.

  8. You are able to learn more about your customers and profiles through progressive profiling.

    By integrating your CRM and your marketing automation software, you are able to prepopulate forms for website visitors. This lets visitors know you know them and keep track of their valuable information. It also enables you to ask more relevant questions so you can better qualify them over time.
  9. You build a repository of marketing elements, supported by data, so your marketing team is not "reinventing the wheel" every time a campaign is needed.

    You also know what has worked in the past when a new campaign is needed.

  10. According to Aberdeen, firms that use marketing automation improve lead conversion 107%, have a greater average deal size of 40%, have a 20% higher attainment of quota and 17% beter forecast accuracy.


Is your manufacturing firm using marketing automation to increase productivity and sales?


If not, let me know if I can help you identify the right marketing automation platform for your firm.


Click Here To Schedule a 30-Minute Consultation  to Discuss Marketing or Sales Issues


Tags: trust, consistent messaging, marketing qualified lead, sales qualified lead, content, MQL, SQL, marketing automation, call to action

10 Ways IT Companies Benefit from Content Marketing

Posted by Tom Smith on Wed, Oct, 15, 2014 @ 10:10 AM

content marketing accelerates sales









I've been using inbound/content marketing for the past few years in conjunction with outbound, traditional and digital marketing.


IT, both hardware and software, companies were one of the first to see the benefits of sharing information of value and continue to do so today because:


  1. The more information of value you share, the more you build awareness of the problem companies are facing and the solution your product or service provides.
  2. By sharing information of value, answering people's questions before they even ask them, you are gaining trust and establishing you, and your firm, as a trusted advisor on the topic.

  3. Answering questions when, or before, they are asked is providing a service. You are making those who are researching the topic lives easier, saving them time and enhancing their knowledge.

  4. The more information of value you share the more you are establishing yourself, and your firm as a thought-leader, and problem-solver.

  5. Sharing information via blog posts and social media drives more traffic to your website.

  6. Driving more traffic to your website generates more leads assuming that your website is offering the prospect something of value for which they're willing to give you a "real" name and email address. You don't need to ask for more than that.

  7. The more information of value you share, the more you are able to establish a dialogue with those interested in the topic you are addressing. People like to do business with those they know, like and trust. Sharing information of value is a great way to start a dialogue.

  8. Content marketing gives you the opportunity to nuruture marketing qualified leads (MQLs), those who aren't yet ready to buy, into sales qualified leads (SQLs), those who are ready to engage with a sales person.

  9. The more information of value you publish on your website, the more your grassroots SEO improves. The more frequently you add information of value to your site, the more frequently the search engines will crawl it to see what you've added.

  10. Ultimately, more awareness, more traffic, more leads and nurturing MQLs to SQLs will lead to fewer lost leads and more sales all because you and your firm were willing to share information of value and provide a solution to a problem.

Is your firm using content marketing to drive awarness, traffic, leads and sales?


Click Here to Download Your Lead Generation eBook 

Tags: information of value, marketing qualified lead, sales qualified lead, content, trusted advisor, MQL, SQL

10 Ways Marketing Automation Benefits IT Companies

Posted by Tom Smith on Wed, Oct, 08, 2014 @ 10:10 AM

marketing automation in information technology







I've been using marketing automation since 2009 when I went through HubSpot's Inbound Marketing University and became convinced of the benefits of inbound, content, marketing in conjunction with outbound marketing.


Here are the 10 benefits I've found using marketing automation:


  1. Save time by creating campaigns and posts ahead of time and schedule them for a time, event and target persona in the future. This ensures the right message is being delivered to the right person at the right time.

  2. Provide personalized, targeted relevant information of value. If I know what you are looking for and am able to provide the answer to your question or a case study that addresses your situation, I'm simplifying your buying process and your life.

  3. Improve marketing staff efficiency. One employee can create complex and ongoing campaigns that can connect with many more customers of prospects than is possible to do manually.

  4. Improve marketing operations efficiency as you define and document processes, technology, best practices and measurements so that you are constantly refining and improving rather than "reinventing the wheel."

  5. Ensure consistent messaging across all channels (traditional, digital and social) with regards to content, time and branding. This is critical since consistent messaging builds trust, while inconsistent messaging breeds confusion and distrust among customers and prospects.

  6. Access detailed reports on the performance of each campaign across each channel so you know what's working and where improvements are needed.

  7. Field A/B tests on different elements of your marketing campaign including -- subject lines, from addresses, primary messages, images, offers and calls-to-action. One marketing automation platform even enables you to execute A/B/C/D tests.

  8. Score and nurture leads so you can differentiate between marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and sales qualified leads (SQLs). This enables you to continue a lead nurturing campaign with MQLs while the sales team pursues SQLs.

  9. Learn more about your customers and prospects via progressive profiling whereby you ask them to provide additional, relevant, information based on the information you have already collected in your CRM. This is also a great way to ask customers and prospects to verify the information in your CRM which atrophies at the rate of 33% per year.

  10. Improve business results per the Aberdeen Group: lead conversion up 107%, average deal size up 40%, team attainment of quota up 20% and forecast accuracy up 17%.
IT companies are the most aggressive users of marketing automation.
It's easy to see why with the benefits they are realizing.
Is you IT firm using marketing automation?
Not sure, which platform is right for you and your team? 
Give me a call and I'll help you identify the right platform as I've done for several other firms.
Click Here To Schedule a 30-Minute Consultation  to Discuss Marketing or Sales Issues

Tags: consistent messaging, CRM, marketing qualified lead, sales qualified lead, MQL, SQL, marketing automation, integrated marketing, call to action

10 Ways Healthcare Companies Benefit from Marketing Automation

Posted by Tom Smith on Wed, Oct, 01, 2014 @ 10:10 AM

marketing automation for healthcare







Over the course of my career, I've worked with hospitals, insurance companies, physicians, dentists and centers for living.


Healthcare companies are notorious for failing to treat patients like customers.


As patients become more responsible for their own healthcare, healthcare companies need to be more conscientious about treating prospective, and current patients, as customers.


Marketing automation offers healthcare companies many benefits for engaging with prospective and current patients:


  1. Save time by creating campaigns, posts, email responses in advance of a particular time or a particular situation. For example, sending email reminders to schedule flu shots, the annual physical or follow-up visits.

  2. Provide personalized, targeted, relevant, pre-approved information of value that answers patients', and prospects', questions in advance of being asked, in response to recent news or in response to questions.

  3. Make your marketing staff more efficient whereby a single employee can execute several complex and ongoing campaigns that enable them to connect with many more patients and prospects than is possible through manual communications.

  4. Enable consistent messaging across channels with regard to time and content. It's important to be where your patients expect you to be, when they expect you to be there. Likewise, it's important to deliver a consistent message since consistency builds trust while inconsistency breeds distrust.

  5. Provide detailed reports on the performance of each campaign regardless of channel.

  6. Enable A/B tests of different elements (i.e., subject lines, content, images, offers and calls-to-action) of emails, posts and landing pages.

  7. Enable the scoring and nurturing of leads from marketing qualified leads (MQLs) to sales qualified leads (SQLs) so you, and your sales team, know who you should be targeting at any given time.

  8. Learn more about patients and prospects via progressive profiling. This requires a seamless integration with your CRM database.

  9. Improve performance. According to  Aberdeen, companies that use marketing automation have 107% greater lead conversion, 40% greater average deal size, 20% greater attainment of team quota and 17% better forecast accuracy.

  10. Lets patients, and prospects, know you care about them as individuals and are conscientious about providing a better customer/patient experience.

Are you a healthcare company that is using marketing automation to improve the patient/customer experience?


What are the greatest benefits you and your team have found?


Click Here to Download Your Lead Generation eBook 

Tags: customer experience, information of value, marketing qualified lead, sales qualified lead, MQL, SQL, marketing automation

10 Benefits Manufacturers Receive from Content Marketing

Posted by Tom Smith on Tue, Sep, 30, 2014 @ 10:09 AM

content marketing for manufacturers







I introduced content marketing to Anua (formerly Bord na Mona Environmental Products, N.A.) when I was their director of operation and marketing.


The firm is the leading energy company in Ireland and provides wastewater, water reuse and odor and volatile organic compound control solutions to municipalities, industry, commercial developers and the residential market in the U.S.


We went to market via distributors and manufacturers' reps.


Since Bord na Mona has been in the business of providing wastewater solutions for more than 75 years, there was plenty of content to share with channel partners, as well as end-user prospects and customers.


By posting at least a couple of blog posts every week, we were able to:


  1. Build awarenesss of Anua and our wastewater, water reuse and odor and volatile organic compound control solutions.

  2. Build trust among our channel partners and end-user customers by sharing our knowledge of, and commitment to, wastewater, water reuse and odor and volatile organic compound control solutions.

  3. Provide a service by educating and answering partners' and clients' questions before they asked them, as well as answers to questions they had not yet considered.

  4. Become the thought-leader in the industry by addressing relevant topics of interest and answering questions in a responsive and transparent way.

  5. Doubled traffic to the new, rebranded website via inbound marketing.

  6. Generate leads from end user customers that we were able to forward to our distributors and manufacturers' reps resulting in our channel partners' perception that we had done more marketing in the last six months than in the first 12 years in the market.

  7. Begin a relationship, and have a dialogue, with prospects and personally introduce them to channel partners as well qualified leads.

  8. Nurture marketing qualified leads (MQLs) to sales qualified leads (SQLs) by continuing to provide information of value, answer questions and understand prospects' objections prior to engaging with them in person.

  9. Improve search engine optimization (organic SEO) by adding content, with keywords and metatags, to our website and links to relevant websites and channel partner sites.

  10. Accelerate sales by getting more leads and understanding where each prospect was in the buying process so our sales force and channel partners could pursue SQLs and marketing could nurture MQLs.


Are you a manufacturer or channel partner who has benefitted from content marketing?


What have you found to be the most successful content to share?


Click Here to Download Your Lead Generation eBook 

Tags: accelerate sales, marketing qualified lead, sales qualified lead, content, trusted advisor, MQL, SQL

How to Nurture Marketing Qualified Leads to Sales Qualified Leads

Posted by Tom Smith on Thu, Sep, 04, 2014 @ 10:09 AM

lead nurturing








I've worked with a lot of companies that are driven by sales, and only sales.


If a lead doesn't express interest after one of two calls, the sales person deems the lead to be poorly qualified, gives up and moves to the next.


There are a lot of studies showing how many touches a company must make with a prospect, before the prospect buys.


It takes patience and a good CRM to implement a lead nurturing program that will help you maximize the close-rate of the leads you've worked hard to acquire.


It's important to grade leads based on the buying cycle of your customer.


To know the buying cycle of your customer, map all the steps your customer goes through before buying your product or service.


Once you've mapper the buyer's journey, share it with several customers to make sure you aren't missing any steps.


As you learn how your customers evaluate and buy your product or service, you'll also begin to learn the difference between a marketing qualified lead (MQL) and a sales qualified lead (SQL).


Once marketing and sales have agreed on the lead scoring that differentiates an MQL from an SQL, you will want to develop a lead nurturing program to help convert MQLs to SQLs over time.


Here's what a lead nurturing program could look like that results in 16 touches over the course of 12 months:

  • Month 1 = weekly touches (4)
  • Months 2 – 4 = 2 touches per month

  • Months 5 – 12 = 1 touch per month


Prototypical schedule of touches:

  1. Month 1/Week 1: Letter or video (no more than 90 seconds) from CEO or V.P. of Sales sharing a story why we believe our product or service is right for the prospect.
  2. Month 1/Week2: Dimensional mailer with case study exemplifying a problem your product or service has solved.
  3. Month 1/Week 3: Email flyer on how others have benefited from your product or service.
  4. Month 1/Week 4: Snail mail article reprint from industry publication validating the success of your product or service.
  5. Month 2/Week 2: Email flyer answering the most frequently asked question for your product or service.
  6. Month 2/Week4: Snail mail flyer/postcard answering the second most frequently asked question.
  7. Month 3/Week 2: Dimensional mailer with another example of a problem solved.
  8. Month 3/Week 4: Email flyer providing educational information about how your product or service has been used to simplify a customer's life.
  9. Month 4/Week 2: Email video testimonial from earlier adopter (no more than 90 seconds).
  10. Month 4/Week 4: Snail mail flyer/postcard answering the third most frequently asked question.
  11. Month 5: Email with information of value relevant to the prospect.
  12. Month 6: Email new testimonials (up to 3).
  13. Month 7: Snail mail flyer/postcard answering fourth most frequently asked question.
  14. Month 8: Email flyer with information of value about your product or service.
  15. Month 9: Snail mail most relevant case study.
  16. Month 10: Email video testimonial of another user (no more than 90 seconds).
Marketing and sales need to stay in close communication to know what's working and what's not working to nurture MQLs to SQLs.
It's very possible to create different lead nurturing programs based on the persona, or other relevant data, of the MQL.
What is key is to monitor and measure what's working and to keep the lines of communications open between marketing, sales and recent customers so you know how to refine your lead nurturing program.
Have you been successful nurturing MQLs to SQLs?
What's been most effective for you?
Need More Insights From Your Analytics? Download the Free e-book "How To Get Insights From Analytics" to Accelerate Sales

Tags: CRM, marketing qualified lead, sales qualified lead, MQL, SQL, nurture leads

12 Steps to Improve Your Marketing Automation

Posted by Tom Smith on Wed, Sep, 03, 2014 @ 10:09 AM

marketing automation accelerates sales







I've evaluated marketing automation platforms for a number of different companies.


While the right marketing automation platform depends on a company's vision, mission, values and go-to-market plan, there are a few steps every company can take to ensure they get the most out of their marketing automation investment.


  1. Map lead flow so you can create a process map/workflow for each product/service you are selling. Identify what’s the most effective way to promote/nurture/sell/follow-up a download, a webinar or a sale.

  2. Deliver targeted, relevant information of value in a timely manner. Don’t sell, inform, help, solve problems, simplify your prospects' and customers’ lives – you’ll add value to their puchase and the time they spent with you.

  3. Know your prospects’ buying process/cycles so you can deliver information of value when they need it. How does the buying process/cycle vary for a product you are selling versus a service you are providing?

  4. Create buyer personas (two or three for each product). Think of your target audience as real people.

  5. Tell stories. They’re more memorable that features, benefits, facts and figures. Even better, get your members to tell stories about how a particular product or event helped them accomplish a goal.

  6. Understand your email’s reputation and deliverability. Provide subscription management options. Invite customers and prospects to tell you what information they value most, how and when they want to receive it. Be open to engaging in the customer’s channel of choice (i.e., social media, telephone, snail mail, SMS).

  7. Keep your database clean. Use only opt-in, de-duped, non-spam-trap emails. Encourage customers to update their profiles annually or every time they engage with you by prepopulating forms.

  8. Develop naming conventions for all of the digital marketing assets in your marketing automation platform (i.e., email templates, invitations, thank you’s, confirmations, calls-to-action, landing pages, forms) to make them easy to find and to reduce the need to recreate something that already exists.

  9. Make your forms short. Don’t ask for more information than you need. Prepopulate fields based on the knowledge you have of the member and give them the opportunity to self-correct. This lets your customer know you care about them and you’re trying to simplify things for them.

  10. Identify the difference between marketing qualified leads (MQL’s) and sales qualified leads (SQL’s) with lead scoring. Use the knowledge of your customers and prospects, and their searching and buying trends, to make the sales process more efficient. Nurture MQL’s with information of value until they become SQL’s.

  11. Talk with your customers to understand what’s working and what’s not. Data is valuable, but it doesn’t tell you everything – like why a customer ultimately made the decision they did.

  12. Think holistically about the information you are providing a customer/prospect and use the opportunity to make them aware of other products that may be relevant to their needs and areas of interest.


Marketing automation is a powerful tool; however, you must plan how you are going to use it to enhance the customer experience and make your marketing more efficient and effective.


Need More Insights From Your Analytics? Download the Free e-book "How To Get Insights From Analytics" to Accelerate Sales

Tags: information of value, marketing qualified lead, sales qualified lead, MQL, SQL, marketing automation

ISO Opportunity to Use Analytics and Insights to Accelerate Sales

Posted by Tom Smith on Fri, Aug, 22, 2014 @ 06:08 AM

use data to accelerate sales







In reading the latest edition of Direct Marketing News, I came across the following statistics:

  • 80% of CMOs cite a lack of in-house talent to implement an effective omnichannel strategy.
  • 85% of CMOs attempting to implement omnichannel marketing are challenged by lack of access to data and inadequate tools/technology.
  • 82% of CMOs say inability to measure cross-channel performance is interfering with implementing an effective strategy.
  • 75% of retailers rate omnichannel fulfillment “very important.”


During a recent webinar, an executive from Adobe noted the lack of experienced marketing professionals with: 1) business logic; 2) buying cycles; and, 3) marketing automation skills.


During a meeting with the Triangle AMA Marketing Automation Special Interest Group (SIG) this week, I met a young man who’s been in marketing for four years.


He expressed concern that the companies for which he has worked did nothing to help him understand how his email marketing, social media marketing and marketing automation were supposed to be integrated with the rest of the firms’ marketing efforts.


While these skills appear to be lacking in many companies, they are skills I have personally employed successfully for numerous clients.    


I have used analytics to solve business problems throughout my career.


I’ve been using, and evaluating, marketing automation software for the past five years.


I have ensured that traditional, digital and social media marketing were all integrated and communicating a consistent message to prospects and customers.


Are you and your firm using the data you have to create buyer personas, understand and map the buyer’s journey and create a sales and marketing process that will generate more awareness, traffic, leads and sales?


If not, give me a call. I can help.


Need More Insights From Your Analytics? Download the Free e-book "How To Get Insights From Analytics" to Accelerate Sales

Tags: consumer insights, VoC, voice of the customer, accelerate sales, CRM, marketing qualified lead, sales qualified lead, MQL, SQL, customer relationship management

Marketing Automation Accelerates Sales

Posted by Tom Smith on Wed, Aug, 20, 2014 @ 10:08 AM

marketing automation accelerates sales







I just completed an evaluation of nine marketing automation platforms for a client.


Having been involved in marketing automation for the past five years, it's very interesting to see the evolution in the industry and the solutions.


You need to understand your business and marketing objectives to help determine which marketing automation platform is best for your business.


A company committed to increasing traffic, leads and sales via inbound marketing will need a very different platform than a sales-driven firm who wants to score leads and get them to sales reps for immediate pursuit.


Marketing automation is a subset of customer relationship management (CRM) that focuses on scheduling, segmentation and tracking of marketing campaigns.


It's important that your marketing automation platform is tightly integrated with your CRM since there will be an ongoing exchange of invaluable information between your CRM and your marketing automation platform.


The use of marketing automation makes processes that would otherwise have been perfromed manually much more efficient and makes new processes possible.


Ultimately, marketing automation enables marketers to align their marketing process with the customer's buying process by providing relevant information of value to the customer when and where they want it.


Marketing automation reduces repetitive tasks assosciated with the marketing process (e.g., automated thank you emails, confirmations and drip marketing campaigns).


There are two key tasks the software handles: customer segmentation and campaign management. This enhances relationship building, enables the customization of content, smarter engagement and provides predictive analytics.


Marketers use explicit data such as sex, age, geography, and product/service needs to divide and classify customers and segment them so they can deliver relevant, information of value.


Relevance improves trust and responsiveness.


Marketing automation software has become the best solution for developing and delivering relevant email marketing and sales campaigns that drive revenue.


A typical closed-loop marketing campaign powered by automation will include:


  1. Building targeted lists

  2. Creating information of value

  3. Executing marketing campaigns

  4. Measuring email and website behavior and activity

  5. Segmentation based on activity and lead scores. 

  6. Entering qualified leads into the CRM

  7. Nurturing Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) until they become Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs)

  8. Analyzing marketing and sales performance and refining the process


The benefits of marketing automation are significant as determined by Aberdeen Group:


  • Improves lead conversion by 107%

  • 40% greater average deal size

  • 20% higher team attainment of quota

  • 17% better forecast accuracy


There are additional benefits which will improve the productivity, efficiency and effectiveness of your marketing efforts:


  • You will know more about your prospects and customers enabling you to deliver more relevant information in a more timely way.

  • You'll be able to know who is downloading information of value from your site and how they are interacting with your site.

  • You will be able to see how a visitor that clicked on a link in an email or newsletter progressed through you site to buy something completely different than what your communication was discussing, thereby providing greater insight into the buyer's journey.

  • You will have the opportunity to more fully engage customers and prospects by asking them about their experience and then using their feedback to improve their future experience. 
I have identified five keys necessary to successfully implement a marketing automation platform:
  1. Create buyer personas -- think about who you are talking to as people rather than demographics. Look at everything you do and communicate from the perspective of the customer or prospect. Consult internal stakeholders. Review CRM, survey, web and social media data. Interview real buyers.

  2. Map the buyer's journey -- know how customers come to find and buy your product or service. Talk to your customers to verify that you know their buying journey -- don't assume you already know it.

  3. Map, and track lead flow -- know how many leads you need to convert to a marketing qualified lead, to a sales qualified lead, to a closed sale to achieve your goals.

  4. Create a process map/workflow of your marketing process. This needs to align with the buyer's journey and consider serving the customer after the sale as well. 

  5. Inform rather than sell -- educate, provide information of value, answer questions before they are asked, simplify lives. As Guy Kawasaki says, "The internet rewards those who share information and penalizes those who hoard it." 
Once implementation is complete and you are realizing the value marketing automation can provide, test everything. 
Virtually every marketing automation platform enables A/B testing, so test subject lines, from lines, days, times, images and channels to constantly refine and improve your marketing efforts.
Use the analytics from your marketing automation to evaluate hypotheses and predict future behavior that will enable you to generate more leads, accelerate the sales process and realize more revenue, more quickly.
Are you using marketing automation to accelerate sales?
Click Here to Download Your Lead Generation eBook 

Tags: accelerate sales, CRM, marketing qualified lead, sales qualified lead, MQL, SQL

3-Step Process to Accelerate Sales

Posted by Tom Smith on Mon, Aug, 18, 2014 @ 10:08 AM

process to accelerate sales








I just saw a report from Pursway that says 77% of marketers are under pressure to make better use of existing marketing and CRM data?


I wonder how many of these companies have a valid, written, well-defined marketing and sales process in place?


Following is a three-step process you may want to consider:


  1. Generate more leads.
  2. Optimize lead flow.
  3. Close more deals.

You can plan and execute marketing campaigns that generate demand by doing the following:

  • Capture all leads from all channels: website, search, email, online ads, social ads, social channels, partners, blog posts, events, tradeshows and P.R.

  • Website visitors from organic search, paid search and email response.

  • Web forms from "contact us," free trials, event registration, content download, offers.

  • Inbound calls from yellow pages, search engines, Google maps and word-of-mouth referrals.

  • New leads from organic search, paid search and those captured in your CRM.

  • Use marketing automation to: capture leads and respond automatically; score leads by geography, opportunity size and product of interest; and, assign by lead score, geography and buying stage.


Optimize lead flow by creating a closed-loop follow-up process for all leads establishing a lead qualification process to differentiate marketing qualified leads (MQLs) from sales qualified leads (SQLs) and ensure sales reps use the same methodology, as follows:


  • Track open leads and set up different views to manage leads by type, size, MQL/SQL, geography, etc.

  • Ensure that all leads are deduped and properly formatted before going into the CRM since this is the source of your 360-degree view of the prospect, and ultimately, the customer.

  • Work the leads with a series of predefined touches. This can be automated with marketing automation software.

  • Establish contact with the prospect keeping track of all touches whether it's lead nurturing MQLs or sales calls on SQLs.

  • Qualify all leads by learning their current situation, their product or service of interest, their timeframe for decision/purchase and whether or not they are a decision maker, influencer or researcher. This is information will help determine whether a lead is an MQL or an SQL.


To close more deals, faster, have a single CRM for tracking a prospect's status, deal information, key opportunity milestones and recording all interactions.


Analyze the sales pipeline to identify and eliminate bottlenecks by tracking:


  • Open opportunities prioritized by lead score.

  • Initial presentation by sales.

  • Objections and questions.

  • Additional presentation(s) by sales.

  • Proposal

  • Negotiation

  • Won/Loss

  • New customer on-boarding process with sales, support and marketing.


Keep measuring, testing and discussing what's working and what isn't and refine the process as you get smarter about what does and does not work.


KPIs at each step might look like:

  1. Generate more leads = campaign ROI, top search terms, leads by source, lead quality as defined by score

  2. Optimize lead flow = leads by geography, lead conversion percentage, leads converted by month and top-performing sales reps.

  3. Close more deals = top 10 deals each month, month-to-date trends, closed business by month/quarter or year and top-performing sales reps. 


Do you have a valid, well-defined, written sales process that works well for your firm?


What steps are we missing and how can this be improved upon? 


Click Here To Schedule a 30-Minute Consultation  to Discuss Marketing or Sales Issues

Tags: accelerate sales, CRM, marketing qualified lead, sales qualified lead, MQL, SQL