Marketing automation + sales engagement platforms: the ultimate power couple for converting leads

Posted February 26, 2018

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By Chelsey Feldman

Product Marketing at Outreach

How many different software solutions does your company use? Probably a lot, and it’s causing an epidemic of software fatigue. With so many tools to stay on top of, it’s tempting to make the most out of what you already have. Yet sometimes, these tools exist for a reason. Think about how overwhelming your inbox would be if your IT department said, “We don’t need Slack. We already have Gmail!” I personally wouldn’t want to live in that kind of world.

The same goes with your expensive marketing automation software. It’s mission critical for marketing, but it’s really only built for your marketing department. I know it’s tempting to get the most mileage out of the software you have, but here’s a PSA for sales leaders around the world:

If you’re using Marketing Automation for your sales reps to complete their task, you’re losing potential customers and wasting valuable time not converting leads.

There. I said it. Please don’t come to my house with pitchforks and torches. Instead, I want to help you follow up on leads in record time, consistently land emails in your prospects’ “important” inbox, and ultimately book more meetings. All you have to do is empower your team with software that was actually made for sales: a Sales Engagement Platform.

What's a Sales Engagement Platform and why is it a more effective tool for salespeople than Marketing Automation Platforms? Read the infographic below to learn more!

infographic explaining the difference between a marketing automation platform and a sales engagement platform

What are Sales Engagement Platforms, and why are they important?

Sales Engagement Platforms (SEPs) enable sales teams to increase revenue and measure performance in an efficient and scalable way. Sales reps can manage and prioritize their tasks, prospect at scale, and measure and optimize results. In the same way marketing automation enables marketers to reach out at scale, SEP enables reps to prospect at scale and measure results -- but without sacrificing the important personal relationships in sales.

How are Sales Engagement Platforms different from Marketing Automation?

So I told you that you shouldn’t use marketing automation for sales. Why? Because they are optimized for a completely different set of results. Think about it this way: SEPs pick up where marketing automation leaves off. Marketing automation helps marketing teams generate leads for sales teams convert into prospects. SEPs ensure every inbound lead the marketing team brings in is worked to its fullest potential. These two technologies work hand in hand to bring sales and marketing alignment.

If marketing automation is so great, why can’t I use it for sales?

Marketing automation IS great! Truthfully, you might not be reading this post if not for platforms like Eloqua, Marketo, or Pardot. However, it’s not designed for the specific two-way communication needs sales people have. Here are four reasons marketing automation is not a substitute for an SEP.

  1. Marketing automation is ideal for generating leads, but not for working them. It’s great for standardized, branded email templates but lacks the flexibility reps need for truly personal conversation.
  2. Marketing automation sends emails via a third party server, not a rep’s inbox, which increases the chance of getting caught in spam filters.
  3. Marketing automation is too technical and feature-heavy to onboard new sales reps quickly. True confession: I (a seasoned marketer!) can barely send an email in Marketo. How the heck will your brand new sales rep learn how without taking a serious productivity hit?
  4. Marketing automation is great for one-to-many email communications (like newsletters), but it doesn’t allow reps to reach out over the phone or an social media. The most successful reps are using a multi-channel strategy to prospect, not just email.

Don’t despair! Marketing automation + SEPs are the ultimate pipeline power couple.

Marketing automation generates inbound leads through mass marketing, and then SEPs pick up to empower reps to do what they do best: book meetings with the most qualified of those leads. With this dynamic duo, both marketing and sales is satisfied. Sales retains control over their outreach methods and messaging, while marketing has a way to test and improve the quality of inbound leads with a repeatable and measurable sales playbook. 

When marketing and sales are aligned, your whole business will thrive!


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