As a demand generation consultant, a good percentage of my work is helping clients better utilize their marketing automation solutions. Because of that, I ‘m often asked to make a recommendation on the “best” marketing automation.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. WHAT automation your company uses matters way less than HOW your company uses it. Whether it’s Marketo, Lyris, HubSpot, Eloqua, Pardot or anything else, almost any automation will work if you carefully decide what your objectives and processes will be before you choose the software and put it in place.
So, before you start, take some time to prepare. Ask yourself some vital questions and then use those answers to develop a marketing automation checklist. This list will make it easier to vet out the right solution and to implement it.
Here are some good questions to ask:
- What is the objective of my demand gen program? Lots of raw leads? Just a few really qualified leads? Consumer leads? B2B? Customer nurturing? Something else?
- How I am looking for marketing automation to change my life? What problems will it solve?
- Where’s my company at right now? Are my demand gen and sales functions going to change over the next few months or years? Or are the marketing and sales environments stable?
- What do my resources look like? Do I have someone pretty sophisticated who can manage the solution full time? Or do I need something simple that takes very little technical knowhow?
- Where are my leads going? Inside sales? Field sales? A nurturing program? Channel partners? All of the above?
- Once a lead is loaded, how do I decide who gets them and which ones to follow up first? What are the criteria for lead routing? Do I need lead scoring?
- What information do I need to follow up on a lead? What data do I want to gather at the beginning of a lead process? How much do I want to add in later?
- What automation does my sales team use? How about my channel partners? Should we link the marketing automation? And how will we load the leads?
- What kind of reporting do I want to see? Just the basics? Am I looking for something sophisticated? Who else wants to see reports and what information do they want to see?
These answers will give you an easy snapshot of your marketing automation needs. Use the list to eliminate any solutions that aren’t a fit. Then it’s time to compare benefits, pricing, and reputation of the rest to pick the winner. And importantly, your list can be used to map out your implementation so that once it’s in place, your marketing automation meets your needs and actually works!
More questions? Contact me. I’m sure I can help!