Is your technology company using technology to effectively market and sell your products and services? While many do, it's surprising how many cutting-edge technology companies who rely on outdated sales and marketing tactics to grow.
While most software as a services (SaaS) companies are using inbound marketing to drive free trials and nurture them to paying customers, many technology companies with complex sales cycles and high deal values are still relying on a spray and pray approach to fill their sales pipelines. Unfortunately for them, this approach doesn't match the way B2B buyers are managing their buying processes today.
Regardless of what type of technology product or service you sell, you should be using all 4 of these easy ways to embed technology in your marketing process.
Use a CRM!
While this may seem a no-brainer to most people, HubSpot's 2016 State of Inbound Report found that an astonishing 40% of survey respondents aren't using CRM technology to manage their sales processes. This is despite the fact that several free CRM platforms with impressive functionality are available to anyone.
Even pre-funding startups can use CRM technology to:
- Define the steps in their sales process and manage the sales pipeline by assigning each deal to its respective stage of the sales process. The simple act of defining the steps of your sales process will add discipline to your sales function.
- Defining next steps to move deals through the pipeline and assigning them to the appropriate person for follow-up.
- Keeping investors and management updated on the value of your sales pipeline.
These are just a few of the many ways you can use CRM technology to manage your sales process. If you're not using a CRM, you're fighting with one hand tied behind your back.
Segmenting and qualifying leads with marketing automation
You are generating leads with content marketing, aren't you? Let's review the lead generation process.
Use the lead generation form on your landing pages to collect information to qualify and segment your leads. If you look at at the lead generation form at the bottom of this blog post, you'll note that we ask for:
Are you a HubSpot customer?
All of these questions can be answered easily by means of a dropdown menu. We use this information to segment leads and deliver content to them that is specifically tailored to their industry and role within the organization. Because we deliver our services on the HubSpot software platform, it's helpful for us to know if someone is a HubSpot customer.
We also use this information to qualify leads in our marketing process.
- If someone identifies their industry as a marketing agency, it's unlikely that they will buy from us. We use this information to qualify them out of our sales process.
- Knowing the individual's role in the company helps us determine where they might fit as a buying influence. Senior executives likely are economic buyers, marketing professional's are often user buyers and individual contributors could play a few different roles.
While this information is not 1005 reliable, it helps us form a better view of both the company and Individual fit to our target market profile.
Use technology to gather lead intelligence
The key to success in today's buying process is the ability to personalize your marketing content and sales outreach to each individual's unique needs. Marketing automation software like HubSpot collects valuable lead intelligence like:
- The website pages your lead has viewed
- Emails that your lead has opened and clicked
- Content offers that your lead has downloaded
- What they're posting on social media
- Blog posts that they have read
When you combine this intelligence with what you learn from visiting their company website and LinkedIn profile, you are able to personalize sales outreaches that resonate with their interests. Keep in mind that buyers are well into their buying processes when they first talk to you. If you take them back to the start, you will lose their interest quickly. The trick is to use lead intelligence to get a sense of where they might be in their buying process, confirm that with them and get the conversation moving where they want it to go.
For technology companies, your marketing should be be an extension of what you do as a business. Use technology to be more efficient and get better results. That's what your products and services do, right?