Learning to combine B2B sales and marketing

Historically, sales and marketing were two very separate teams within a business.

You’d have your sales team on one side, suits crisp and stomachs full of client lunches.

Then you would have your marketing team; known simply as the colouring in department. Banging their heads against a wall because consumer psychology hasn’t quite entered the business mainstream yet.

Ok, let’s fast forward from Mad Men times into 2022.

The overlap in sales and marketing is undeniable and for many smaller businesses, it’s still a case of choosing between the two.

But it often means the MD ends up being responsible for one of them – usually sales – and the burden is immense.

Introducing… marketing automation. The best friend to your sales team, the hero to your marketers. The saviour to your bottom line.

S Reactions Genius GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

What is marketing automation?

Marketing automation is software that truly aligns your sales and marketing to get the best results.

It digitises your manual processes (the ones you find yourself repeating A LOT) and helps you work faster.

In fact, marketing automation can lead to a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead.

Automating repetitive tasks makes doing them so much easier and is a real game-changer when it comes to customer experience.

It allows you to manage every aspect of your email marketing campaigns. Keeping everything in one place is a great way to create personalised, cross-channel customer experiences.

Bored Nick Kyrgios GIF by Tennis TV - Find & Share on GIPHY

What are the different types of marketing automation?

Marketing automation is a broad term.

So, let’s get a little specific, shall we?

There are five types of widely used marketing automation tactics.

  • Customer engagement

This is for sign-up emails, happy birthday codes, and welcome packages designed to entice a new customer and get them engaged.

  • E-Commerce

It’s the salesy bits, like tracking a customer’s buying journey across your website. Post-purchase and abandoned basket emails are the most popular.

  • Sales

This is one specifically for your sales team. It nurtures leads by taking the place of a salesperson during that initial lead-up to a conversion. You can entirely automate the journey, freeing up your sales team for tasks which demand a human element.

  • Reengagement

Win back customers with specifically targeted campaigns to suit their needs. Maybe they’ve stopped interacting with your content or need to renew a subscription? Marketing automation is the perfect tool to keep them on side.

  • SMS

Connect with customers by sending content straight to their phones. With SMS campaigns you can text coupon codes or keep them up to date on their order details.

What are the benefits?

But we’ve always done it this way; you cry.

Customers don’t need personalised experiences; you might say.  

We love manual processes; you whisper whilst nervously shaking your head…

Well, here’s a few reasons why converting to automated marketing will leave you a steadfast believer.

Integrate sales and marketing

With a marketing automation platform, the possibilities are endless.

If you combine your sales and marketing automation efforts by using one platform, you’ll be able to align company goals and energy.

The idea is that it will make the process of going from marketing qualified lead to sales qualified lead that much easier.

Plus, there’s the added benefit of helping you to generate more leads and increase sales. Your marketing team can spend more time strategising ways to increase conversion rate, while your sales team increases productivity with efficient automated processes.

You can use your current CRM

Something that you might not know, is that most CRM’s (customer relationship management tools) are actually designed for a lot more than just sending emails.

Depending on the platform, at your disposal you have:

  • Chat bots: pop-ups which allow you to live chat with customers
  • Workflows: automated steps or processes which once built into your CRM, will operate on their own. They’re usually used for independent email cycles, application processes, etc.
  • Customer data: this will allow you to identify trends in your audience, like customer location, how often they interact with you and your content, etc.
  • Background campaigns: instances like customer birthdays or basket abandons can trigger a process without you even needing to be aware. Your customer will automatically receive prompts to continue with their purchase or wishing them a happy birthday.

How does it benefit customers?

This one is easy.

Building relationships

Simple email marketing doesn’t work for everyone. Many of us are notoriously bad at checking our emails and therefore tend to miss important communications from companies that we’re subscribed to.

So, imagine being able to reach your customer on their phone? Or in suspiciously specific Instagram adverts?

The more you interact with your customer base, the better relationships you’ll build.

Personalised experience

Who doesn’t love it when you get a special birthday code from your favourite brand? Maybe it’s just us shopaholics but there’s something so special about waking up to that happy birthday email.

Remind your customers just how important they are by personalising your communications with them.

And the best part? Marketing automation software does all the hard work for you!

What marketing automation platforms are out there?

Now, as a marketing agency, we’ve seen our fair share of marketing automation platforms.

They tend to vary client to client, depending on company size and what they’re needed for. We’ve got our favourite, but here’s a few to compare.

This one is near and dear to our hearts, as it’s the software we use! Email, landing pages, social, and customer data- all stored in one gloriously easy to use place.

This is a popular one amongst our clients, as it caters nicely to businesses big and small. With many of the same features that HubSpot boasts, it’s a contender for sure.

Marketo is a wonderful platform for learning the marketing automation ropes if you’re a beginner. It has a massive knowledge base, benefitting from a large marketplace of active users.

A great resource for newbies!

The facts speak for themselves- marketing automation is the way of the future. Not only is it a money-saver but it’s also an essential time-saver.

And in these unprecedented times, we’ll take all the efficiency we can get it.

If you’d like to learn more about HubSpot and how you can get the most for your money, drop us a message. You’ll get an automated reply before the humans kick in 😉

Fancy a chat?

If you’re looking for a fresh approach to your B2B marketing, give us a ring. Or an email. Or a LinkedIn message. Or a carrier pigeon. Anything but a zoom call.