“They opened our email, so they must want to buy our product.” Sound familiar? In this scenario, marketing may think their job is done for another day and pass what they think are qualified leads over to sales. They’re happy, but their sales team is not.

You’d be surprised how many companies I speak with in the UK that still employ this strategy to pass new leads to sales. Many use an email tool or work with an external marketing agency to design and send email on their behalf. Then they’ll combine the results of the campaigns with external telemarketing services to get a few qualified leads. There may be some advantages to this approach, but it’s an extremely costly and disjointed sales management process.

While outbound email is still a critical marketing tactic, looking at your opens or clicks will only tell you part of the story. You also need to know what your prospective buyers are doing on your website: which pages they’re browsing, documents they’re downloading, or videos they’re watching. Bringing this information together gives you a considerably better view on whether someone is a hot prospect and worth a salesperson’s time.

If you push this information directly to sales, you’ll give your salesperson a much greater chance of converting those leads to sales. They’ll be able to start with a more personalized conversation, picking up where marketing left off. They’ll also be able to prioritize their efforts, focusing on leads that have much higher engagement. This is certainly a much more effective process than simply following up on those who have opened or clicked a link in an email.

So, how can you actually do this? Marketing automation technology enables marketers to communicate with and track their prospects’ engagement across all platforms: email, web pages, social and events. Prospect engagement, such as email opens, webinar attendance or whitepaper downloads, are scored. Those scores and activities are automatically pushed to the CRM so sales can see which leads are most ready to buy and the content that’s most attractive to them. It gives them complete visibility into the buyer’s journey so they can customize their outreach.

You may be thinking, “Does my business really need marketing automation technology to compete?” If you have a sales team and a website, then the answer is yes. Marketing automation will help you streamline your processes, leverage your resources in the most effective manner, and measure your ROI. Armed with this information, you’ll be able to improve your existing sales and marketing approach so you can drive greater growth. Your sales team will also be much happier with the leads they’re given. That’s a win for everyone.

Click here to learn more about Salesfusion’s, becoming Sugar Market’s, unique marketing automation platform.