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How Sales Automation is Different than Marketing Automation

Why you need to Use Both Effectively

Sales and marketing. They're the yin and yang of revenue development for any company. They go hand in hand but are increasingly difficult to distinguish from one another. After all, the goal of both activities -- to get more business -- is the same. And social media, which can be a very effective tool in the hands of both sales and marketing pros, has further blurred traditional distinctions.

But at their core, the two disciplines have a critical difference that makes the way marketing and sales professionals go about their jobs vastly different.

Marketing at it’s core is about a company broadcasting a message to a group of people. Automation allows a company to streamline and execute this process for new leads without the manual work.

Sales is about an individual at a company communicating to another individual. Automation allows a sales rep to communicate to a group of people while maintaining a personal one-to-one relationship.

These automation processes work in conjunction with each other. However, when you try to use one to do the other’s job, you can find yourself in trouble.

In a recent article about marketing automation, Hubspot explains that people “seek out marketing automation software under the impression that all of the digital marketing tools necessary for growth... are rolled up under the hood of marketing automation.” This illusion has people trapped under the idea that marketing automation can be used for every stage of the funnel for growth.

That is simply not true.

 

Choosing the Right Technology for the Right Job

Marketing communications typically target large numbers of potential or existing customers, again and again, with information designed to create demand for a product. For example, when someone signs up for your newsletter, your marketing automation technology can immediately send out emails, consistently and reliably.

Sales communications typically target a single prospect with a custom cadence and quantity of touchpoints for each different buyer personas. Personalization is the key. The job is much more about discovering specific information about an individual prospect and using that information to get them across the finish line. Sales development is changing rapidly as a result.

 

Are You Being Marketed to or Sold to?

Marketing automation has been a huge boon to productivity across revenue-generating functions in the funnel. Not every prospective customer is ready to talk to a salesperson. And marketing automation has made it easier than ever to deliver information that will help these prospects along their journey.

And just to be completely transparent, this blog post -- these actual words that you're reading right now -- is marketing. I'm not asking you to tell me about the pain points of your job, or for an introduction to a decision maker at your company. I don't know much about you, the reader, other than the fact you're probably interested in sales or marketing automation.

And that's OK. As a reader of this post, you don't expect me to know your name and title, who your report to, how much of your budget is already spoken for or what you like to talk about on Twitter.

But if you find yourself talking to the PersistIQ sales team, the expectations will be very different. The conversation will be much more about you. Everything from the the content of the first email you receive from a Sales Development Representative, to the follow up note you get from an Account Executive after we reach a deal, will be as personalized as possible.

 

The Critical Factor in Sales Automation

We rely on technologies at PersistIQ that automate parts of the sales process, while retaining the personal, human element in sales. In fact, we built an entire platform on it. This makes any sales team more efficient. But using the wrong technology can lead to mistakes.

Yes, you can hack together an OK sales process using a system designed for automating a marketing workflow. Critical tasks such as removing leads from a campaign after receiving a response or populating a database with research that's relevant to a specific account still must be done manually. And most importantly, you lose a core elements of sales- the personal, human element.

And because marketing automation is generally set to run "lights out" -- with no human oversight -- the risk for error is high. If you have ever received an email from a company that began "Hi ," then you have seen the drawbacks of a marketing automation system first hand.

When an email like that goes out to a prospect deep in a sales process, trust is tarnished, and it could kill the deal.

 

The bottom line

Here’s the main point: you can’t effectively do a salesperson’s job with marketing automation.

I talked to Anthony Iannarino of TheSalesBlog.com recently, and this topic came up. His put it this way:

"I think it's important to remember it's all designed to create the same feeling and connection that we had when we were still face to face. We get lost when we think we can automate relationships." (tweet this insight!)

Sales automation can help your sales team follow up on successful marketing campaigns with targeted, personalized communication. Using the two tools together, in the right ways, creates a powerful force for revenue creation.

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This post was brought to you by PersistIQ.  Our software empowers salespeople to easily convert prospects into a qualified pipeline and create personalized outbound campaigns at scale.  See how PersistIQ can help you make your own sales efforts more effective today.

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