The Benefits of Mobile Marketing Automation for Sales and Marketing

By | B2B Sales, Business Mobility, Marketing Automation, Mobile Productivity Tools, Sales Productivity

This infographic dives into what mobile marketing automation really is and how it can change the way your organization approaches the sales and marketing cycles. It also provides real-time assistance during the sales process. Wouldn’t you love it if you were provided with information within minutes of asking for it?

This is what mobile marketing automation is made for. If you’re not utilizing any sales apps to improve your sales performance, you’re leaving a gap in your sales and marketing strategy.

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Six Ways Marketing Can Create Powerful Content for Sales Apps

By | Marketing Automation, Sales Productivity

Content for sales apps is like blood for any living creature. As a marketer, I have seen the shift from outbound lead generation to inbound and the need for that relationship between marketing and sales to strengthen.

Both build one incredible thing that will make or break any sell: trust. There are two key tactics successful marketers today are connecting with their company’s customers: content marketing and apps on mobile devices. For both of these tactics to exist successfully, one needs the other in order to drive new customers for sales to close and bring in more revenue for your company.

Don’t believe me?

Approximately 83% of individuals are now going online to do research before buying a vehicle, according to MaxTradeIn Director of Marketing Rachel Boyle. That’s four out of five consumers walking into a dealership already know which car they want to buy because of the content they read online. That’s streamlining the sales process thanks to the power of content marketing.

And do I really need to sell you on mobility and importance of apps? If I did, you wouldn’t be here reading this.

So it makes perfect sense to take your company’s content marketing strategy and use that valuable collateral in your sales apps. But what is the best way to do this? Here are six ways marketing can create powerful content for sales apps.

1. Take inventory of your content

Your company’s sales team isn’t going to know every single piece of content you worked your butt off creating. Make sure you categorize all of the content for sales. You can do this by customer pain points, sales cycle stage, or even the buyer segment. This list needs to one so that sales can easily find whatever piece of content they need no matter the opportunity they are working.

2. Use multimedia tools at your disposal

Apps live on devices that can play videos and audio clips, perform animation, do ROI calculations, and just about anything else you have on your company website. Why wouldn’t you take that multimedia and incorporate all of that content for sales apps too? You want to give your sales reps in the field all the tools possible at their disposal. You can give them more than a spec sheet and some photos.

3. Testimonials still ignite sales

Testimonials continue to be a useful sales tool for marketers. But not the black and white quote in a white paper or blog post. Video testimonials are rising in demand from companies, and using them in their content marketing strategy. These same video testimonials can be the voice of reason for a sales rep in the field with your sales app when getting an “on the fence” prospect on to the greener side.

4. Supply interaction nuggets from your content

Sales reps have enough going on in their world that you can cut them a break when they tell you they didn’t listen to your latest podcast. But what you can do to help make their lives easier, while still giving them your content marketing at their disposal, is simply supplying them cliff notes. Give sales reps a couple talking points out of your new content, then they will remember it the next situation they encounter with a prospect with your sales app.

5. Make sharing your content simple

Again, sales reps have enough on their plate. Just like any product or pricing information you have on your app that is sharable with customers, make your content sharable too. If a sales rep has a customer already buying one product but is considering another one too, give the rep the ability to share some of that juicy content you created with you sales app.

6. Gather feedback from the frontline

Periodically ask your sales reps in the field questions about what content is working and isn’t working on the sales app. If videos are providing a lot of interaction with prospects but audio clips aren’t working, adjust! In the end, the only way your content will be successful for your company if you know what is getting customers to buy.

I’d love to keep the conversation going. How have you implemented your content marketing strategy into your sales apps? Comment below and let me know!

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Marketing Automation + Mobility = Marketing Gold

By | B2B Sales, Business Mobility, Marketing Automation, Mobile Productivity Tools

Marketing Automation Meet Mobility

Without a doubt, the iPad has taken the business world by storm. Along with it has risen a new breed of marketing tools that take advantage of the connectivity, the “sharability”, and storage capacity of the device called “mobile sales platforms”.  Although mobile selling platforms are in their infancy compared to Marketo and similar systems, their power is instantly obvious as witnessed by thousands during Mark Benioff’s keynote address during Dreamforce 2012.

Here’s a quick primer: Companies utilize Mobile Sales Platforms to deliver digital content to their customers, collect lead contact information, and push information to their CRM system for follow-up.

Sound familiar?  A novice might describe marketing automation in the exact same way.

Based on this similarity, mobility is the untapped new channel for marketing automation.

Like your best marketing automation campaigns, you can push out dynamic content to iPads. Segment your market, test messages, and adapt to preferences. You’ll get real-time feedback on the effectiveness of your marketing assets and discover, via the field sales rep, the iPad content that works best to convert your audience into customers. You don’t have to wait for a monthly meeting where sales gives feedback to marketing. You will see ‘interesting moments’ as they occur in the sales field.

With this overlap in roles, marketing teams will benefit from the nuances of a salesperson’s personal visits and interactions that would have ended with a tattered business card at the bottom of a briefcase now becoming a warm lead ripe for nurturing.

Putting Our Money Where Our Mouth Is

At Dreamforce 2012, we put this idea to the test.  Pairing specific brochures on our iPads to our marketing automation platform.  The result was a whopping 17.6% response rate to a triggered campaign, while still at the conference.  That is marketing gold!

You can read the details here (/ipad-tradeshow-app-in-action-salesforce-3/).

Where do you see the future leading for pairing mobility and marketing automation? Let me know in comments below.

 

Full Disclosure: Dr. Rusty Bishop is head of  sales and marketing for FatStax, Mobile Sales Platform and, he uses Marketo daily.  He spends far too much time creating new ways to use the iPad to drive sales and solve business issues.  When he isn’t he’s flyfishing in the Southern California surf. You can contact him directly at rusty@fatstax.com, @jrustybishop, or by LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/rustybishop/)

A Very Interesting Moment: Going Mobile with Marketing Automation & Bridging the Gap Between Marketing & Sales

By | B2B Sales, Business Mobility, iPad Trade Show, Marketing Automation, Mobile Productivity Tools, Sales Productivity

Marketing used to be a one-way street. Your marketing communications strategy consisted of printing brochures, mailing flyers, writing catalogs and even launching a (mostly static) website. Through demographic analysis and surveys you identified potential customers, but salespeople still had an advantage. Salespeople who interacted with prospects could directly observe behaviors and pick up on subtle cues. The best salespeople used that real-time feedback to fine-tune their sales pitches and close deals.

We need to start closing the gap between marketing and sales for the best results. Customers no longer wait around for a salesperson to contact them. By the time they meet a salesperson, they’ve probably already close to making their decision. Instead, they are interacting directly with marketers through product reviews, social media comments, location check-ins, marketing automation and targeted content.

Does this change the role of the salesperson?

A salesperson may find that more persuasion and education happens nowadays BEFORE they meet a prospect. If marketing is doing more to warm-up leads, then sales will close more deals faster. In turn, salespeople can help speed up the cycle by sending more leads and “interesting moments” to marketing for nurturing campaigns.

Every day, salespeople come across leads during real-world, face-to-face interactions: on elevators, during business flights, over coffee, at a tradeshow. These situations or interesting moments don’t always warrant powering up the laptop and establishing network connectivity. They may warrant a handshake and business card swap. But, following up on leads is not a field salesperson’s primary focus. A salesperson wants to close sales. However, those fleeting interactions are marketing gold.

As marketing professionals are nurturing leads through marketing automation closer and closer to the sales tipping point, sales can help feed the sales funnel for marketing automation programs. And the cycle continues.

Enterprise mobility provides huge opportunities for salespeople to quickly and efficiently capture information about new leads. When they do, using an iPad with the right sales tool can make that information instantly available to marketing. No duplicate data entry. No extra meetings. No surveys to complete. Enterprise mobility and the iPad are transforming how sales and marketing professionals do their jobs well.

Marketing Automation Goes Mobile

Worldwide, mobile salespeople are adopting the iPad to varying degrees. As a marketing professional, you can use this to your advantage. Imagine the salesperson’s iPad as your doorway to mobile marketing automation.  Think of them as a web capture form in the field with their iPads. All the right marketing collateral and content, approved by marketing, is contained on that a  salesperson iPad  – ready to go.

What if marketing could create an interesting moment—the point in time when an interested consumer takes action—in the sales field while face-to-face with a salesperson? Until now, marketing automation has been mostly limited to web and email marketing.  But now, with an iPad coupled with marketing automation, it’s not only possible, but it creates a whole new channel for bringing in new leads that can instantly be inserted in to pre-set nurturing campaigns.

Marketers are only beginning to imagine the possibilities for face-to-face interesting moments. An interaction that would have ended with a tattered business card at the bottom of a briefcase could now become a warm lead ripe for nurturing through a marketing automation campaign.

Beyond a Handshake

With the right apps, the iPad’s ubiquitous usability can further erase disconnects between sales and marketing operations. Field sales people can use the iPad as a lead generating tool—even during the most casual, face-to-face interactions. Random acquaintances can become potential new customers when the salesperson uses the iPad to document leads, capture the interesting moments and communicate back to marketing—all in real time.

Dynamic, Mobile Marketing Materials

By integrating marketing automation with your iPad, you’ll get real-time feedback on the effectiveness of your marketing assets and discover, via the field sales rep, the content and campaigns that works best to convert your audience into customers. You don’t have to wait for a monthly meeting where sales gives feedback to marketing or just points the finger. You will see interesting moments as they occur in the sales field.  That saves time, money and brings sales and marketing together.

Think about how you can extend the principles of marketing automation into the sales field and close the gap between marketing and sales. As mobile technology and mobile sales tools continues to evolve, marketing and sales can discover more ways to work smarter—together, producing better results.

With this overlap in roles, marketing teams will benefit from the nuances of a salesperson’s personal interactions and sales people will benefit from better nurture campaigns, facilitated through marketing automation, providing better support, so sales can stay focused and win more deals!