Automate and Integrate: The Funnel – Part 2

Part two of this three part blog series is a review some of the key takeaways from our webinar, “Movin’ on Down: The Funnel,” and a deeper look at some additional best practices for optimizing your sales and marketing funnel.

It can take a fair amount of planning to avoid confusion between sales and marketing teams after an event has taken place, whether it be a webinar or tradeshow. When you have taken the time to assess (and re-assess) your  marketing funnel after each of your campaigns, you will begin to notice a much smoother transition  from moving marketing-generated leads over to the sales team to further qualify and hopefully turn into new revenue.

One of the main takeaways of the joint webinar with MarketingSherpa and Eloqua was the importance of automation and integrated marketing campaigns. Without the power of automation, timely lead follow-up and precise campaign tracking is virtually impossible. Having numerous marketing campaigns funneling to the same call to action (new product demo, free trail, service discounts, etc.), makes it easier for the marketing team focus on putting out the most applicable content if leads are pushed toward one desired outcome. You don’t want to create distractions for your prospects by giving them a hundred different options. Push them to your desired outcome. You may capture their attention through different means – landing pages, banner ads, website copy, webinars, tradeshows, direct mail, PPC and SEO campaigns – that’s the point of integrated campaigns, but you don’t want to deter them from your main call to action. Each of these sources points to the same offer; you’re just ahead of the game because you know you are likely to capture your target audience in a number of different places.

So, we understand the integrated campaigns, but let’s chat a little more about the automation piece. How can we make all these great campaigns work more efficiently? As marketers we wear a hundred different hats. So how do we make efficient use of our time when it comes to managing all of these moving parts? We get something that manages it for us – marketing automation. This tool can help us to understand who these leads are that are continuously coming into the funnel from the various campaigns.  It helps hone in on the quality of the quantity that is being generated. Automation can help with:

Lead nurturing – that consistent dialog with a prospect as they move toward (or even away) from a purchasing decision.

Lead Scoring – qualifying prospects based on both implicit and behavioral criteria. Implicit being the right demographic (company size, title, role, etc.) and behavioral being the actions they have taken to show their level of interest (whitepaper download, attended and/or registered for a webinar, page visits on your website, etc.)

Generating Revenue – obviously the more leads being dumped in the funnel, the better chance there is for revenue. However, the right leads are the ones that matter. Quality trumps volume. But when you are able to capture the correct information with your integrated campaigns and begin to both nurture and score those leads, you will ultimately end up with your target prospect looking for your product at the right time. And that equals revenue.

All this talk about automation brings me to my last point for this post – integration. This is a crucial piece of the pie. You may have all your platforms in place to generate, track, score and nurture leads but if they can’t communicate with one another, you’re almost back at square one. Sure, there are workarounds, but not without having to implement lengthy manual processes which can ultimately hurt the overall success of your campaign due to the lack of timely follow-up.

ReadyTalk recently launched both CRM and marketing automation integrations designed to increase the accuracy of your campaign data, specifically those leads coming in through your webinar platform. This helps move leads through the sales pipeline faster and eliminate those time-consuming manual tasks. These integrations were designed to help marketers skip the tedious spreadsheet work and streamline the process, increasing data accuracy and speeding sales follow-up. If you’d like to learn more about our CRM integration specifically, check out the upcoming webinar on September 27 at 2:00ET featuring three progressive companies that have automated their webinar process by integrating their conferencing platform with their CRM. And stay tuned for the third and final part of our “Funnel” blog series!

 

Simone has been involved with both the sales and marketing teams at ReadyTalk and is currently the role Marketing Demand Manager and manages the monthly ReadyTalk Webinar Series, which is a free  forum for professionals to interact with their peers and other experts on topics ranging from sales and marketing to nonprofits and funding to leadership and professional development. Simone is an outdoor enthusiast – skiing, climbing, triathlons, and trail runs with her dog, Bucket, are just a few of the things she enjoys outside of the office.

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