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5 Things Marketing Automation Can Help You Do—With or Without Sales

by: Bryan Brown (@getvision)
01 December 2011

If you’re a marketer well-versed in sales and marketing alignment, you know that communicating with sales and getting the team’s buy-in on marketing processes and initiatives is critical to moving prospects through the pipeline more efficiently, delivering more qualified leads and, ultimately, driving more revenue.

But what happens when you’re looking to invest in a marketing automating platform, but sales is uninterested? Can you still reap benefits from marketing automation without sales’ cooperation?

The answer is “yes.” Although sales’ participation in marketing processes is important for maximizing marketing automation’s potential, there’s still a lot you can do with it even if sales is indifferent. Here are five things marketing automation can help you do—even without sales:

1) Know where leads are coming from: There’s a lot of pressure on marketers today to demonstrate their value and impact on the bottom line by offering a clear view into the results of their marketing efforts—from lead acquisition to account close and beyond. With marketing automation you can set up a system that captures both lead source and offer, giving you more insight into how the prospect came to know about your brand (source) and the reason they decided to fill out your form and give you their information (offer). And, just as importantly, you can capture “influence”—what you did during the nurture process that actually convinced someone to buy. (Get more tips for monitoring first touch and overall influence.)

2) Automate content delivery: Sending triggered messages based on prospect actions is a surefire way to increase message relevance and boost engagement—and marketing automation makes it easy. For example, a prospect signing up for a Webinar might automatically trigger a message sent to that individual with an offer to download a white paper on a similar topic. Or, a certain number of visits to a page on your site might trigger a message offering a free service trial.

3) Nurture leads: With marketing automation technology, you can set up programs that gradually help you collect data, build the relationship and are responsive to prospect interests and behaviors. Using a visual campaign builder, it’s easy to build nurture campaigns that gather prospect information gradually through progressive profiling and route prospects down numerous different paths based on whether they opened your email, downloaded your content and/or shared it with their social networks.

4) Score leads: Ideally, you’d develop a lead-scoring system in concert with sales with definitions for “contacts,” “leads,” “qualified opportunities,” etc. that both sides had agreed upon. But even without sales’ participation, you can establish a ranking system to identify hotter prospects based on a wide range of behaviors, which you can then use to more effectively nurture your prospects through the pipeline.

5) Increase visibility into leads: Regardless of whether your salespeople are enthused about marketing automation, they’ll definitely appreciate being able to go into a prospect call equipped with information about that person’s interactions with your company. Marketing automation technology can help provide sales with exactly this type of visibility into what’s been going on with each lead. (See how Cloudwords used Silverpop Engage and Contact Insight to give its sales team immediate insight into prospect engagement.)

So, don’t let an indifferent sales department stop you from tapping the power of marketing automation. Get rolling on the five areas listed above, and not only will you see results, but you might just find yourself getting that elusive sales buy-in after all when the team sees the results you’re generating.


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