The quintessential marketing automation strategy is to become more efficient and effective at moving people/companies from lead to customer aka improve sales funnel conversion.

What is sales funnel conversion?

Clearly there are many steps involved in each stage: 1) a prospect becoming a lead 2) a lead becoming an opportunity 3) an opportunity becoming a customer and 4) post-customer communications. (This is a high level example of a funnel, you business will likely have different stages, like MQL, SQL, etc. that you will want to track performance on).
This is what marketing automation was truly meant to do.
You will find many marketing automation platform have a mix of other cursory marketing-related add-ons to help marketers require a few less disparate marketing technologies, but at the core, marketing automation is meant for improving sales funnel conversions.
Now that you have a basic idea of what  your ideal marketing automation strategy is, what are the functions within marketing automation platforms that actually execute upon it?

10 key ways you can improve sales funnel conversion with marketing automation

The best marketing automation platforms will let you utilize these 10 key functions to help improve effectiveness and efficiency in moving people through the marketing/sales funnel using marketing automation software:

  • Triggered actions (e.g. email) when a lead shows a change in their buying interest
  • Being on top of the status changing for your leads can often be the difference between winning and losing a deal. Being attentive and responsive in real-time is possible using marketing automation alerts.

  • Use lead forms to build prospect profiles that can help your team easily qualify prospects and provide deeper intel on what kinds of content would best help them
  • Utilizing progressive profiling in your forms  can help you build a more comprehensive picture and understanding of who your prospect is. Using just one web form  throughout your site and landing pages lets you progressively build your lead’s record so you can best serve them answers to their most pressing challenges.

  • Use website behavior to learn more about prospects interests, intentions and current buying status to better segment and nurture
  • By seeing what pages your leads interact with can tell you more about what problems they are currently trying to solve, giving you insight into what type of content to provide and questions to ask them. By asking and answering the questions most relevant to them, you’re helping your chances at closing the deal.

  • Execute advanced email nurturing campaigns to stay top of mind and move prospects through lead stages with campaign actions
  • Use your marketing automation platform to continually educate your prospects, reminding them that you are a great resource when it comes time to make important buying decisions.

  • Personalize content for a more 1-to-1 interactive experience, building recognition and trust for your brand and brand representatives
  • If selling is about building relationships, it’s critical to provide personalized interactions to help deepen those relationships. If someone feels they are receiving truly helpful information that is clearly relevant to them, they’ll feel more understood. Providing that kind of positive experience will make you a more trusted organization when it comes time to make a sale.

  • Use dynamic content to maximize your  prospects’ interactions with your websites and other digital assets
  • A prospect doesn’t want to see the same content over and over again, especially when they’ve already read or consumed it. Create a better user experience by replacing content offers on your site depending on your prospects specific interests and stage in the sales cycle.

  • Analyze effectiveness of campaigns and content to better understand what is best at moving people through the funnel
  • As you execute more campaigns, look back at what best worked (e.g. greatest engagement, helped close deals) so that you can integrate that into your nurturing programs. By getting the best content/campaigns as part of your automated nurturing, you’ll be helping your sales organization to move leads through the funnel faster.

  • Score leads by lead stage to help sales team prioritize time
  • Everyone’s time is precious in business today, especially your sales team. Stop making them work any lead that comes to the door. Instead, set up and use lead scoring systems (at each stage of the funnel) so your sales team knows who to contact next.

  • Push data into CRM to help sales staff have a better understanding of their active prospects, allowing for creating more relevant conversations
  • Customer Relationship Management software came along before marketing automation so naturally your sales team is more accustomed and comfortable using a CRM. Sending your CRM all the data and intelligence you collect with your marketing automation provides sales with the information they need to have better conversations with their leads. And, they can do it all without having to change the way they manage their pipeline.

  • Integrate with other marketing/sales technologies that help scale marketing and sales operations effectiveness and efficiency (e.g. GoToWebinar, Oktopost)
  • Marketing automation paired  with selling tools makes life easier for your sales team and helps sales conversions. Using platforms like GoToWebinar to do group presentations clearly scales your sales funnel performance. And having a social tool like Oktopost working with your marketing automation gives sales added intelligence about what social conversations they are having are most fruitful.

Using any of these functions of your marketing automation platform will improve your sales funnel conversion.  Let me know in the comments below what ways you’ve used marketing automation to improve conversions in your own sales funnel.

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