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Automation Helps Amp Sales, Marketing Efforts, Revenue Growth

January 08, 2015
By Paula Bernier - Executive Editor, TMC

Organizations that align marketing and sales efforts have effective marketing strategies, and leverage automation solutions so both their marketing and sales staff can make the best use of their time and are better positioned for growth and general success than their peers. That’s the message of a recent blog from David Hood, co-founder and CEO of digital image content company Hemera Technologies.

Hood quotes Aberdeen (News - Alert) Group as saying that organizations that are highly aligned realize average annual revenue growth of 32 percent while their unaligned peers, as a group, experience a seven percent annual revenue decrease. He then goes on to analyze the challenges of aligning sales and marketing and explains how organizations can overcome those challenges so they can work toward the same revenue goals.

In some ways, he notes, marketing and sales are exact opposites. According to Hood, sales efforts are active by nature, while marketing efforts are passive. The goal of marketing, he says, is to make the greatest possible number of prospects aware of a company or offering, and encourage those prospects to reach out to the organization. The aim of sales people, meanwhile, is to make actual connections with what they deem the most promising prospects in a way that allows them to close the largest number of deals with the least possible effort.

The problem, of course, is that these differing views and goals create misalignment between marketing and sales, Hood suggests, adding that the leads that are the easiest for marketing to generate are rarely the leads that are easiest for sales to close, and vice versa. To bridge the gap, he says, organizations should ensure their marketing strategies are on target and consider leveraging marketing automation solutions to take those efforts to the next level, but they also should adopt sales automation solutions to address the interests of the people who are actually bringing in their business.

Thirty-six percent of the leads that marketing generates are never contacted by sales. That may be because sales people don’t have time, they don’t deem those leads worthwhile, or they have other reasons preventing them from pursuing those leads, says Hood. But organizations can feed leads to sales staff in a more effective way via sales automation, he adds, so that workflow is automated, the system dictates the value of leads, and sales staffers receive the next-best lead when they are ready to reach out. That, says Hood, can help increase the average number of sales calls per representative from the current eight per hour to an average of 32 calls an hour, which obviously raises the potential for success both for individual sales people and the organizations for which they do the selling.