Marketing Automation 2.0 – When Sales Met Marketing!


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I recently came across IDC’s Sales Enablement presentation put together in 2009. While the findings are more than a year old, I feel much of it is still quite relevant to this space.

In the presentation IDC defines Sales Enablement as – “the delivery of the right information to the right person at the right time and in the right place to assist in moving a specific sales opportunity forward.”

The presentation also provides the buyers perspective – on areas sales people can focus on to improve the buyer’s relationship with the vendor they represent.

If I go by the observations of IDC in this presentation, it would be safe to say that Marketing Automation 2.0 solutions like LeadForce1, can easily double up as a sales enablement tool because of their focus on visitor intent which not only reveals the needs and objectives of the prospect but also helps in customizing sales pitches and marketing campaigns around it.

Most marketing automation 1.0 solutions available in the market today, are focused and best at improving the marketing processes – especially that of increased lead generation. When it comes to sales most of these solutions only assist sales but don’t really enable the sales force to perform better or convert better.

In this post let us analyze how marketing automation 2.0 solutions overcome this drawback and emerge as a two-in-one solution.

Finding intent of an enterprise visitor

Intent inference is what really makes marketing automation 2.0 a viable solution for both sales and marketing. It provides an insight into the needs of the prospect and allows both teams to initiate a customized a sales pitch or a lead nurturing program around the intent expressed by the visitor on the website. This feature reiterates what IDC’s buyer survey pointed out – the buyer wants ‘his needs and objectives’ to drive the conversation between him and the vendor. Also the buyer wants the vendor to ‘put aside a generic pitch’ to ensure a better buyer – vendor relationship.

Also, inferring intent of a visitor allows both marketing and sales to have a proactive approach towards leads and prospects – regardless of the actions a prospect performs or fails to perform on the website.

Superior Lead Qualification and no missed sales opportunities

One of the main reasons why marketing automation 2.0 solution works better in closing the sales and marketing gap is because it does not follow the theory of qualifying leads by a mutual definition of a good lead, agreed upon by both sales and marketing, based on the actions performed by a visitor on the site. Now this is a dicey proposition – because it is difficult to always pre-define prospect behavior which definitely varies from person to person. Also, this might result in missed sales opportunities.

Marketing automation 2.0 solutions qualify leads basis their intent – which is captured, irrespective of what else they do on the website. Since the qualification is driven purely by the Lead and his intent– there is no reason for disconnect between sales and marketing on which leads can be termed as good leads.

In addition there are no missed sales opportunities – because even if a lead fails to perform x number of activities on the site to be considered as ‘Hot Lead‘ – if the intent has been expressed – the lead can be pitched to.

Actionable Data

Marketing Automation 2.0 solutions provide enterprises with – the right information on the lead and his intent to buy, information on the person who expressed that intent and information on the right time – the stage of decision making process they are in, enabling the teams to move a specific sales opportunity forward.

Provide both Sales & Marketing with a single lead view

Solutions based on the Marketing automation 2.0 platform provide both marketing and sales with a common ‘Lead View‘. It is common knowledge that in a B2B enterprise, decisions are influenced by multiple people – this platform provides a complete background on all visitors from a single enterprise – their intent, their visit history etc. all in one place – informing both marketing and sales on exactly where the enterprise is in the decision making process.

Increased Sales & Marketing Synergy

Unlike the marketing automation 1.0 solutions, marketing automation 2.0 solutions integrate its processes with the Web2.0 enabled platform, making lead management a collaborative process ensuring real-time communication between the marketing and sales departments. In addition, the common lead view helps them to take action on decisions immediately, eliminating lead-lag, and resulting in higher conversion rates.

Marketing Automation 2.0 solution can be a boon for all enterprises which are looking for a cost- effective, one stop solution that enables both – their marketing and sales teams. The fact the existing solution on this platform integrates well with most CRM providers like Salesforce, NetSuite, SugarCRM add to its appeal and increase its usability even for bigger corporations, who are looking for tools that arm their sales and marketing teams with deeper insight into the minds of their prospects.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Merlin Francis
Merlin Francis is Director of Communications for LeadFormix. Merlin has over a decade of combined experience in the field of print and television Media, PR and Corporate communications. This includes her 3 year stint as an entrepreneur running a successful public relations and event management consultancy.


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