Marketing is now tasked with getting leads most of the way through the funnel, to a well-timed handoff to sales for closure.
In the course of this, marketers need to engage with buyers more directly than before, for a longer period of time, and cater to niche interests. It has grown more labor-intensive. Marketing automation offers a way to build and manage relationships at scale – and let both sales and marketing see and touch those relationships.
The benefits of marketing automation solutions, such as Act-On are now well established and adoption has been growing at an explosive rate. According to industry analyst David Raab, the market for B2B marketing automation is expected to grow 50% in 2015. And much of the growth is happening in small and mid-sized businesses.
Marketing automation is the one system that allows marketers to build more intimate relationships with more prospects over more channels and across the entire lead-to-customer lifecycle, while enabling sales with the right information at the right time to close more deals.
A typical automation platform includes email marketing and integrates automated programs, such as a Customer Relationship Management platform, which can identify buyers, their interests and sales readiness, and enables effective tactics – such as lead nurturing, scoring, and tracking – that simply aren’t feasible to do by hand.
Marketers can engage prospects throughout the full spectrum of the purchase process, building personalized, trusted relationships along the way, and see clear indications of when the right time is to hand off to sales. Sales can see the buyer’s interests and concerns, and will know how to enter an already-warm relationship with the right conversation.
Companies that invest in marketing automation see a 70% faster sales cycle and a 54% improvement in terms of quotas achieved.
84% of today’s top-performing companies use or intend to deploy marketing automation (between 2012 and 2015 if the latter is true).
Users of marketing automation platforms enjoy a 50% higher conversion rate of initial marketing responses to qualified leads than their traditional counterparts.
63% of respondents in a survey of marketers pointed to goal-setting and measurability as the chief drivers of value in marketing automation.
77% of the CMOs serving today’s biggest companies cite increases in revenue as the most compelling benefit of/reason for marketing automation.