As marketing and sales specialists, we often find ourselves whirled into the dynamics of the modern business world. We constantly need to use our expertise to solve greater and impactful business challenges, but at the same time we find ourselves short on time and buried up to the neck with a variety of different assignments.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could lay back on our chairs and let all those mundane tasks complete themselves on their own, for just one day? Well, there is a smart solution that could bring us a few steps closer to that dream. It is called automation.
But what can we expect from automation and how to see all its wonders for ourselves?
We asked marketing strategist and HubSpot expert Nicole Sengers from Spitfire Inbound to tell us what automation can do for our businesses and which are the top marketing & sales activities we can make autonomous.
Automation in marketing and sales describes a novel approach where you set-up a variety of repeated and time-consuming tasks on autopilot by using one or more software tools. You can automate both operational and strategic activities to allocate extra time so you can focus on strategy, optimization, and better customer experiences.
On the one hand, automation helps you expand your external outreach and connect with your contacts by sending targeted emails and executing nurturing campaigns, for instance. But on the other, automation tools can greatly improve your internal processes by alleviating your obligation to administer and manage day-to-day business operations. And if you’re not using automation to manage your daily activities and to improve business efficiency, then you’re missing out on its real power.
HubSpot offers two ways to automate your sales and marketing activities: Sequences and Workflows.
HubSpot Sequences automate your sales outreach and help you to keep contacts engaged by sending a series of targeted, personalized, and well-timed emails to engage and nurture them over time. Sequences are a great automation choice for beginners, since they help you automate a sales process that you already have. All you need to do is to map out your process, write down all steps and create a sequence to automate each of them.
Example: You send a price offer to one of your contacts, but they do not respond within 24 hours. If so, they will receive a follow-up email to remind them of your offer. If they do not respond again, you can sequence a reminder or a task to make a phone call with that prospect. All those steps could be scheduled as a sequence to help you engage and nurture your prospects.
HubSpot Workflows allow you to automate every single marketing, sales, or service process – both internal and external. Workflows are not limited to sending emails but allow you to extend your scope and execute different processes based on a variety of specific criteria.
When building a workflow, you need to consider its goal, the appropriate type, as well as exclusion and re-enrollment criteria. You can learn more about this in the video below:
One thing salespeople and marketers forget is that they can fully automate their outreach to customers and prospects. There are two ways to do it: Sequences and Workflows.
If Hubspot Sequences are used, salespeople could queue up a series of personalized emails and follow-up tasks to automatically send to your prospects over time. This approach is mainly used by the sales representatives to automate their follow up and put some extra time for face-to-face meeting and calls.
However, HubSpot Workflows are be a better fit when the sales and marketing departments need to work together, and to simultaneously co-manage lead nurturing and drip campaigns across channels. Both teams can easily automate a vast scope of tasks, promote marketing & sales alignment, and quickly scale results.
Lead nurturing is the process of sending a series of personalized emails to a contact who has expressed interest in getting more information from you. While we execute email sequences later in the buyer’s journey, lead nurturing could start a lot sooner in the customer’s decision-making process. It is usually triggered by a specific event (form submission, page view, etc.), and could be cross-linked to another automated process. The delay and the number of emails is determined by the amount of shown interest. You can personalize even further and offer smart content based on contact activity and CRM history.
Nobody like doing manual contact updates. With Hubspot you could set up a workflow and create a massive time saver that alleviates you from such a tedious assignment. For example, if a contact meets the condition to become a lead, you can automatically change the lifecycle stage to Lead.
HubSpot allows you to natively keep track of your sales and marketing related assignments. You can use workflows to automate task management for a variety of actions (update deal properties or deal stages, follow with contact, setting up a meeting, creating a report, etc.) based on certain triggers and specific context.
Create deals and tickets within Hubspot but they work in a similar way. You can use workflows to support ticket management by creating, updating, and flagging tickets that are not dealt with in time to meet your service level agreement. You can also keep common properties (amount, associated contacts, company name, etc.) to standardize the type of information you operate with.
The lead rotator is a simple workflow that has a great impact on your sales team. With it you can automatically assign a new lead based on certain criteria, and even rotate the same contact between different salespeople within your team. This reduces sales friction as it eliminates the need for somebody to manually distribute those leads to team members.
With this workflow, you can send an internal email to a specific user, team, or owner to notify a member of sales and service teams of certain contact behavior (trigger). It allows you to reduce sales friction and to take timely action on a potential customer challenge.
As a marketer or salesperson, you can often encounter loss of engagement from your audience. While this is a natural occurrence, you can neutralize it by using re-engagement workflows in HubSpot. They allow you to (1) automatically determine contacts who have not interacted with your business for a while, and (2) to engage with those contacts again to remind them of your brand.
For example, if a certain contact hasn’t visited your website in the last 180 days you can send them an email to get them back on it.
When there too much time passes and there hasn’t been any action on it, a deal goes stale. For example, if it was created a long time ago, but still hasn’t moved to a further stage, or it’s passed its close date, you can alert the deal owner and the sales manager though an automated email. This urges your team to act on this deal and close it before it’s too late.
One of the most effective ways to engage with leads and guide them down their journey is by providing them with value through education. By using Hubspot workflows, you can build an automated lesson plan your leads can opt into. You can use this inbound marketing approach to inform and educate your audience about your products or services. At the end of the day, it’s a lot easier to sell to a person who knows about what you have to offer, rather than to someone who has no idea what your business is.
One of the most difficult things, especially in B2B marketing and sales, is having a conversation with a specific point of contact in a company you’re trying to close a deal with. If that contact you’ve been speaking to leaves, you’ll find yourself with bounced emails and loss of engagement. By using a workflow, you can create automated tasks and guide each sales representative through the steps they need to take to find another PoC.
In the rest of this video, you’ll learn how to:
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