Sales life is challenging. Time-enduring tasks, such as cold-calling, are still common and dreaded. Sales people need a solid understanding of product offerings, services, solutions, and the prospective client’s business to build trust from initial contact. They are sensitive to the language in an e-mail or a phone call. They are concerned with talking to the right people about the right service at the right time. Each interaction counts and often feels like a make-or-break situation.

Additionally, there’s pressure in being the “salesperson.” You can’t escape the stigma that comes with your title. You know you’re trustworthy and want to solve your clients’ problems, but no matter how much you fight it, your clothes still smell like the quintessential used-car salesman to everyone who might buy from you.

On top of all that, being a salesperson today is more challenging than ever before. Statistics vary, but by most standards, a prospect is 60-70% through the buyer journey by the time you even have the first conversation with them. Customers are more educated before a sale and we can only assume that they will become increasingly more sophisticated over time.

Can you relate?

Enter the friend you or I never thought we had – marketing automation.  Yup, you heard (well, read it) right! I believe marketing automation solved at least three specific selling pain points as soon as we implemented it at our company, Highland Solutions, which change my sales life.

PAIN POINT 1: Not knowing what you’re getting into with a buyer

I like to think of marketing automation as a relationship facilitator. Much like the conversations you have with the friends of a potential mate, marketing automation offers unique insight into each prospect. You get an idea of the person’s likes and dislikes, interests, and even compatibility with your company. It allows you the chance to figure out the best course of action.

Before marketing automation and its ability to track web activity, this was difficult, if not impossible. Marketing automation acts as that group of friends who can help you identify the buyer’s interests, where they hang out on your website, what landing pages they’ve completed, and what kind of communication the buyer prefers. This is invaluable information that makes that first call or e-mail more targeted, giving you a higher probability of landing that date, uh, I mean meeting.

PAIN POINT 2: Different goals, different approaches

This has to do with the internal disconnect between marketing and sales teams. It is classically understood as marketing owning the top of the funnel and lead generation, and sales owning the rest. The result has been divergent goals that have created a significant gap between marketing and sales teams. This model changes with the right marketing automation solution because sales and marketing can collaborate and align their goals. For example, I worked with our marketing manager to create a campaign in Salesfusion, becoming Sugar Market, that was highly targeted to a number of dead prospects. We developed a short nurture campaign focused on lead generation within a particular segment, which resulted in high lead generation. We used the unique tools in Salesfusion to focus our target, develop a campaign, and drive leads. The leads came to life! We generated a solid number of leads and I was able to call on those prospects to try and drive the sale home. The point is that instead of maintaining our own department’s goals and strategies, we worked together toward a common goal because we both saw the value of what marketing automation can provide the sales team.

PAIN POINT 3: Getting everything but the kitchen sink

Again, marketing owns the top of the funnel and lead generation. Too often in the past, sales people felt that everything marketing engaged with, even partially completed information, would be passed to them and called a lead. Sales would spend way too much time disqualifying poor or dead leads than qualifying decent or great leads. Sales would scream, “All I want is the kitchen sink!” Marketing automation heard their cry and changed the game, taking a “less is more” approach. Sales and marketing can work together to develop a lead scoring profile. This process matches business goals and ideal clients with how you want them qualified through marketing. Think of it like a sifter at the top of the funnel. The result is an initial filter of all those leads you wouldn’t touch with a 1,000 foot pole so you can focus on the highest qualified leads passed your way (we see this done very well through Salesfusion’s powerful integration with SugarCRM). Following the logic, you spend more time on better prospects, leading to a higher close rate and better clients.

Implementing a marketing automation platform like Salesfusion requires a lot from you – your company’s time, talent, and of course, treasure. And if you’re at any level in sales at your organization experiencing the same pain points as I was, you should be one of the loudest voices championing it, because your sales life will change all for the better.

Click here for more information about how you can integrate Salesfusion with your CRM to drive revenue.