Sales and marketing automation is a powerful thing.

Whether you’re looking for ways to scale your sales and marketing without making more demands on your resources; or you just want to add some consistency and reliability to your existing processes; automation could be the answer.

However, implementing something as powerful and flexible as marketing automation, isn’t always plain sailing.

Perhaps it sounds odd for people like us to be saying that – after all, it’s what we do every day.

Well, the fact is we do bump into challenges from time to time, and we’d rather be open and honest about that.

It’s how we overcome the challenges that matters.

So what are the most common challenges we face when implementing and managing sales and marketing automation processes? Well, here are five of the biggest…

1. How to track leads through to the sale

When implementing sales and marketing automation, the first question often asked is about return on investment.

Quite right too. If you’re not going to see some ROI, why bother. (That’s why we made it part of our ‘Double Service Guarantee’)

How will automating your sales and marketing processes increase sales? And how will you track the results?

Many businesses choose email service platforms as their primary automation tool and find tracking their results particularly difficult as a consequence. They limit themselves to measuring things like email open rates, click-through rates and unsubscribes, and are lost when it comes to tracking the end goal – the booking, the sign up or the sale!

Solution: Choose your sales and marketing automation platform wisely. There are solutions which will track prospects and clients right through to the sale, so you’ll know exactly what happens from the first click to the last.

2. Producing regular and valuable content

Content is often the leading force in an automation strategy.

Through storytelling, case studies and post-sharing we can nurture audiences over time. And providing your clients with valuable content helps build rapport, trust and eventually, sales.

When there’s a lack of valuable content to share, you’re missing opportunities to step closer to a conversion.

Solution: Plan ahead. Build an annual content plan and make sure you follow through with effective, consistent implementation

3. Engaging an unengaged customer base

Here are three reliable ways to build a base of unengaged customers:

  • never contact them;
  • contact them once in a blue moon; or,
  • contact them far too often.

In fact, bombarded clients are probably the least engaged client. Nobody likes the idea of being sold to, particularly on a daily basis with the same old discounts and promotions. Do this and you’ll likely see a spike in your opt-out rates and a drop in your sales too!

Solution: Get the balance right. Develop a plan, which includes valuable content. Remember to test your communications across varying platforms, and not just by email.

4. Maximising your automation platform potential

Sales and marketing automation software can be a complex beast. And when used correctly, it can produce extraordinary results for your business.

But sometimes eager marketers rush in too quickly, making it more complicated than necessary and resulting in them disengaging with the platform. They get overwhelmed and switch off as a result.

Solution: Don’t try to master it all at once. Get the basics right. Prioritise according to your sales and marketing objectives and keep it simple to begin with, so you avoid overcomplicating things too early on.

5. Misaligned sales and marketing automation

Many businesses believe it’s one or the other: either sales automation or marketing automation.

But when each discipline works in a silo, teams can become misaligned and that’s when cross-functional problems arise.

One of the great benefits of sales and marketing automation is the opportunity to properly align your sales and marketing processes. By spotting and plugging the holes in your buyer’s journey across sales and marketing you can improve your results and ensure the experience for your prospects and clients is a seamless and consistently high-quality one.

Solution: Link up your marketing automation with a CRM system like Salesforce or Pipedrive. Or even better, implement a platform that covers both sales and marketing. That way, both teams will be singing the same tune moving forward.

And if you still have questions, get in touch.

Discover 25 Ways to Get More Sales with Less Work

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» The 2 most important numbers in your business
» The 2 essential things to focus on in your marketing
» How to get started with marketing automation

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