I’ve been working in the marketing automation business since 2009. As you can imagine, by now I’m a big advocate of the ideas behind the software and the needs that it addresses. I’ve been witness to numerous success stories as companies have leveraged the power of marketing automation to elevate their marketing efforts and seen impressive returns on their investment.

Unfortunately, I’ve also seen some companies fall short in their execution and abandon the entire idea of marketing automation because of tactical failures. Sugar Market, previously Salesfusion, is poised to help alleviate these failures and make marketing automation so easy to use that it will become a standard tool in the marketer’s bag of tricks.

Not so long ago, in days of yore, I moved across the country from Utah to Georgia. I was unfamiliar with the route I was going to take so I looked to acquire resources that would help me along my journey.

I did have access to some early online tools like MapQuest, but I didn’t really have a way to access that information while driving across the country in 2002. So ultimately I ended up buying an atlas of the United States that covered the main routes I’d need to take across country, and then I got a more detailed map of the Atlanta area to zero in on the area I was looking for.

Finally, I needed written directions from someone familiar with the area to get to my final destination. Along the way I had to figure out on my own how long it might take, where I might want to stay for the night, how long to drive each day, and even where I might need to pay for a toll road.

A few short years later I headed back the other direction for a family gathering. This time was different, however. Now I had a GPS at my disposal, access to Wi-Fi along the planned route, and the ability to plan far enough in advance that I could book hotels in specific target towns. I was even able to locate the next available pit stop in a hurry when that check engine light came on (yikes!).

The difference between how smoothly the two trips went was remarkable, and was due in large part to having better access to real-time information about my journey.

Fast forward to today, and now you have things like Google Maps that tell you the optimal route you need to take. Start with two end points and then add things like breakpoints or legs to the journey. You can tell it to avoid traffic or to take the back roads instead of the highway. You get a customized route based on your input, and it’s the one that works best for you. The point is that, even though you could probably still take a trip the old way, there are newer, better ways to approach the problem.

Such is what Sugar Market is ready to do with predictive lead scoring in marketing automation.

With traditional lead scoring you have to take almost a try it and see approach to how it should work. You may have access to all sorts of good information, and you may have even been down that road before with another company or product. But each implementation is different and there are still some times when you need to feel your way through the process and figure it out as you go.

If you missed a crucial bit of information in your analysis, the entire scoring model may be thrown off and you won’t end up where you wanted to be.

With a more predictive model for lead scoring, Sugar Market can take a look at your existing data and make suggestions on who will be more likely to become a future customer. Along the way you will be able to refine the inputs by simply indicating whether prospects in the pipeline are more or less like the ones you want to see.

Now, rather than having to manually adjust scoring models based on customer behavior, you can let the system tell you what is coming up. Customize the direction it’s going to suit your needs and soon you’ll be where you want to be – in the middle of closing deals faster and more efficiently.

Marketing automation has been a transformative process in the way companies gather and nurture leads through the sales process. Despite how effective it can be, lead scoring has not been implemented nearly as often as it should be, largely due to how complex it can get.

By simplifying the process, and making it more intuitive to train the system to identify which leads are better than others, Sugar Market is breaking down barriers to adopting lead scoring for all sorts of organizations. The ability to predict which leads will likely convert to customers will help your sales organization focus better and spend their time more wisely on the areas that will be more profitable.