Ok, marketing automation is revolutionary, and this goes without saying. Considering our daily reliance on programs like Hubspot, Marketo, and Eloqua, it’s difficult to imagine how we ever got by without these ‘robotic’ helpers. From sending emails, to running reports, our lives have never been easier. And, thanks to features such as lead scoring, human interaction with leads is no longer needed before passing them to sales. Right? Wrong!
Points don’t mean prizes
Having clarified lead criteria with the sales team, and then created lead scoring systems closely based on these requirements, it’s not enough to then simply rely on the automation tool. In fact, a report earlier this year found that ‘53% of B2B marketers admitted to experiencing problems with automation qualified leads’ and ‘30% had no processes in place for ensuring leads were qualified by human interactions.’[i] This is not a reflection on marketing automation itself, merely our over-reliance on it. Something, we’ve no doubt all been guilty of at some point. The truth is, just because a lead has provided qualifying information on a few landing page forms, doesn’t mean they are guaranteed sales, or even a viable lead.
So is marketing automation still worth investment?
Yes, yes it is. Marketing automation is a fantastic tool for marketers and takes care of a variety of menial jobs that would simply otherwise be a drain on resources and time. Additionally, the lead scoring capabilities quickly and efficiently indicate possible leads and customers – therefore prompting further actions. This indication of interest may not be the comprehensive cure-all that marketers may have expected it to be, but it’s certainly better than doing the research and reporting manually. So marketing automation is great for everything… except fully qualifying leads. Now what?
It’s always been about multi-channel
Successful B2B marketers have known for many years that the best way to generate leads and convert them to sales is but using a variety of tools, channels, and tactics. Only by combining everything such as social media, emails, content, marketing automation, and telemarketing, can marketers expect to see the best results. So, adding marketing automation to your arsenal will always improve your performance, but you’ll still need to support it with other channels. And, in the case of lead qualification, it’s all about human interaction and your inside sales team. When leads are thrust from the marketing automation tool and are said to be ‘hot’, it’s necessary to speak to them before handing them over to sales. This human interaction can be the difference between an unhappy sales team with an unqualified lead, and a closed sale and more business revenue.
So, although there are multiple tools which can help streamline your marketing processes, none will take the place of a telemarketer when it comes to qualifying leads.
To find out more about the variety of tactics needed for successful lead generation…