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A Step-by-Step Guide to Choosing Your Marketing and Sales Automation Tool

A Step-by-Step Guide to Choosing Your Marketing and Sales Automation Tool

Sales and Marketing automation is key to scaling your small business.

There are many different tools available, so choosing one that meets your individual needs can be challenging. Each tool offers sophisticated features and requirements, so choosing one can be a tough decision.

Some business tasks, like closing a deal, can only be completed through the help of human interaction. However, many other parts of the sales process – such as gathering and scoring leads and sales pipeline management – can be made more efficient using technology.

Marketing and sales automation tools allow for calendar notifications and nurturing email messages to be placed into a pre-determined sequence without needing any human input. This saves employees time by automating these processes instead of requiring them to perform each step manually.

Once you understand the value of automation and the benefits it will bring to your business, the next step is deciding which Marketing and Sales Automation solution is best for your needs.

You don’t need a patchwork of technologies — but just the correct tools to run your company.

Here are three simple steps you must follow before choosing the best sales pipeline software that is a perfect fit for your company:

Steps for Choosing the Right Marketing and Sales Automation Tool

Step 1: Know your workflows and processes

At the end of the first step, you will have figured out what you want to automate.

Begin by scrutinizing the sales pipeline management processes you currently follow.

Let’s say your standard procedure is to source prospects through email marketing, set up phone meetings, schedule a demo, get verbal approval, submit proposals, and finally close the deal over the phone.

Your chosen sales lead management software must be able to support that process in order to be valuable.

Here are a few examples of what workflows and tasks may be automated in a sales process:

  • Using a set of criteria to qualify leads can help you decide in what order your sales staff should get in touch with them.
  • Automated content marketing for lead nurturing to keep prospects interested and foster trust.
  • Setting up follow-up phone calls at scheduled intervals.
  • Cross-selling to current clients who have purchased related products.
  • Renewal reminder emails for services that are about to expire.

And this is just a drop in the ocean of the different sales activities that can be automated.

You should first map out your workflows and processes in a simple flow chart. This will help you identify the existing gaps within the current tools.

You will have an answer to what metrics you want to track, and how can automation benefit your business.

Step 2 : Make a list of important features

Once you know your internal requirements, you should think about what additional product features you’ll need.

A customer lead management software with mobile functionality can be particularly helpful if your staff is always on the go. The same goes for integration with already-existing tools and platforms, like your email marketing platform.

Otherwise, you can find yourself doing a lot of manual work, which would negate the original goal of deploying sales automation.

List the features that are a must-have for your company, and then evaluate each platform against that list.

When you start your research, you will find many tools have similar features. Marketing automation and sales client management software have some core basic functions with a lot of add-ons. You need to have an understanding of the company’s priorities in order to discern among them.

Find out what makes them unique at their core by spending some time on their website and reading their blog. As a result, you’ll be able to rest assured they’ll continue to be a good match for your company.

Step 3 : Be a choosy shopper

You should be able to shortlist a few options once you’ve created a list of automated processes and essential features. Compare those marketing automation tools next to determine which one best suits your company’s requirements.

Make sure you do your due diligence by requesting software demos and comparing free trials.

Ideally, trying out each product by arranging an interactive demo should give you a more complete understanding of what each one has to offer and aid in your decision-making. (To further simplify matters, we’ve already done a lot of the groundwork. See our comparisons of automation tools here.)

Conclusion

This may appear to be a lot of work upfront, but trust us when we say that a little time spent now will pay off greatly in the future.

Finally, automating your operations can help your company in a variety of ways. Marketing automation is a great time and energy saver and a tried-and-true technique to strengthen your engagement with your clients.

I’m hoping that this guide can serve as a starting point for selecting the best tools and setting up the most effective automation to help your business.

If you’re looking to streamline and automate your sales and marketing data, Abaca Digital AIM is designed for you. Get in touch if you need more direct assistance.