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Examples of marketing and sales automation

Rutger van der Pol
Rutger van der Pol
Co-founder The Sales Strategist
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Automation mini-guide part 3: Marketing and sales plays you can automate

I would like to share with you some insights on marketing and sales automation, and the change it can bring to our sales process and the way we interact with prospects and customers. Automation is a broad term that can be applied to many different domains, in this Mini-Guide we focus specifically on workflow automation and sequences in the execution of marketing and sales. In this third part of the series, we will look at some practical examples of marketing and sales automations you can implement in your business. You can find all parts of this Automation Mini-Guide here:

Interactions in the sales process

In the first part of this Automation Mini-Guide, we already briefly discussed the different types of automation that exist for marketing and sales. In this article, we give you some practical examples of each that you can use in your business. What we have also touched upon in previous sections is that when you start working with automations, you have to take into account the many interactions that can arise between your different workflows. In addition to these interactions, there are often many different functions of your CRM and automation tools that interact with each other.

We advocate the use of all-in-one marketing and sales tools (such as HubSpot for marketing and sales) specifically because this integration of functions allows for streamlined collaboration between your marketing and sales teams. In addition, the automations you introduce into your sales process also benefit greatly from a fully integrated set of tools – especially with the full integration of all your marketing and sales data into one central system. In the examples that follow, we will illustrate how this works.

A selection of marketing and sales automations

Lead capture and rotation

When a contact submits a conversion form that indicates a high intent, such as a ‘talk to sales’ form or a ‘price enquiry’ form, they are segmented based on the information provided, rotated through the SDR team, and an opportunity is created in the inbound pipeline. If the contact already exists, a task is created for the current owner. Depending on the capabilities of your marketing tools, you can also automatically send a link to the lead that allows them to book a meeting with the SDR at a time that suits them, streamlining the process considerably. This way, the SDR does not have to spend time on this and another barrier is removed for the lead.

Online asset download

When a contact submits an online conversion form to download a document, several actions are triggered: an email with a link to the document is sent to the contact, a property is updated to highlight the contact’s interest in that sales topic, the contact is subscribed to the corresponding newsletter, and follow-up emails are sent based on their engagement to draw them further into the engagement funnel.

Target account notification

We always advise our customers to work with target accounts: as a B2B company, your market is often clearly defined and you have a good idea of what your primary target accounts within that market are. When you set up these accounts as targets in your CRM, you can configure an automatic notification for when a contact from a target account becomes active on your website, but does not complete a high-intent sales conversion. A notification is sent to the sales team to prioritise the outbound approach for this account.

First time download nurture

This is a nurturing flow with marketing content for contacts who complete a marketing conversion for the first time (e.g. download white paper). In a short period of time after their first interaction, you want to provide them with more information at the moment they are engaged and doing research, and move them further down the engagement funnel. The aim is to inform and engage them, with call-to-actions around the marketing content delivered aimed at completing a sales conversion.

Alert 60 days (clients) / 90 days (prospects)

Internal alerts are created to avoid losing contact with prospects and current customers. These alerts are not there to manage the sales process, but to prevent mistakes. After a certain number of days of inactivity (depending on your sales process, this could be 60 or 90 days), an alert will be created for the opportunity owner to remind them to reconnect. These workflows are only activated if the next activity date is unknown in the CRM.

Re-engagement alert inactive contact

An internal alert can also be created for contact owners when one of their contacts re-engages with online content after a period of inactivity. This can also be done based on the Engagement Thermometer below.

Engagement thermometer

The Engagement Thermometer consists of a set of rules for lead scoring to gauge the short-term recent engagement of contacts with online assets or digital touchpoints. Instead of a typical set of cumulative points, this is more like a rolling thermometer scoring system, as the graph at the bottom of the blueprint shows. The way it is set up, the Engagement Thermometer score reflects very recent engagement of contacts with our marketing and sales touchpoints. In this article you can read much more about how it works and how to set up the Engagement Thermometer yourself.

Set opportunity stage before lost

Unfortunately, most CRMs do not automatically track what the pipeline stage of an opportunity was before it was lost. This can be solved with a workflow, which copies the opportunity stage of opportunities to a separate opportunity property each time the opportunity stage is updated. These updates will stop as soon as an opportunity is moved to the lost opportunity stage, so the separate property will show the last opportunity stage the opportunity was in before it was moved to lost. This allows you to eliminate a tedious and repetitive task for the sales team, thus ensuring greater completeness and reliability of your CRM data.

Other examples

These are just a few examples of the automations you can implement in your marketing and sales process. Other examples that often contribute greatly to the systematic execution and tracking of your sales process are automations focused on data management within the CRM:

  • Automatic task creation for the sales team in case of inactivity on opportunities.
  • Automatic marking opportunities as lost based on certain conditions.
  • Internal notifications to opportunity owners in case of incorrect data (close date before current date, for example)
  • Internal notifications to streamline the sales process and project management (e.g. notifications to the delivery or success teams when an opportunity has been won).
  • Automatic management of lifecycle stages, property values, or other values in the CRM.

Automation Mini-Guide

You can find all parts of this Automation Mini-Guide here:

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