The field of marketing automation would like to get the right data, at the right time, to prospects who sign up on contact sheets. But with the available technology, it’s not possible: the wrong data are being gathered and scored, the wrong content is being sent out and collected, the technology is not set up to determine or support each stage of the off-line buying decision path, and there is no capability to lead the buyer sequentially (with unique content at each step) through their internal change management/decision issues.
The problem is they are working from a sales model; but buyers buy using a change management model as they must address their internal, human, unique decision issues prior to a solution choice. Here is where the real influence happens.
But by using the underlying assumptions of the sales model – with the right need and the right solution, there will be a sale, or if someone signs up for a webinar or white paper, they have a certain amount of interest in a purchase – the automation process is limited to push technology.
And the lead scoring assumptions fail also: by assuming a prospect has a higher value if they do several activities, we are not supporting or influencing the entire decision journey, but waiting to close the low hanging fruit. There should be a higher close rate: of 10,000 names, approximately 400 are scored as viable, and of these, 2 close. How many of the 10,000 might be buyers? How many of the 400 might be buyers if approached or supported differently?
WHERE MARKETING AUTOMATION IS GOING WRONG
There is something obviously wrong with this picture.
- Just because someone visits a site or signs up for something, doesn’t mean they are a buyer or a prospect;
- Just because someone only visits a site once doesn’t mean they aren’t a buyer;
- Just because someone has a low or high lead score doesn’t mean they are/aren’t a buyer;
- 98% of prospects who are approached for an appointment after they score high enough to be considered a real prospect decline the appointment: this does not mean they aren’t buyers…just that they don’t want an appointment;
- Prospects need different types of data at different points along the buying decision path, and using current technology there is no way to know, or influence, where the buyer is on his/her decision journey – so companies inundate site visitors with junk – um, I mean nurture material – hoping to hit the sweet spot.
SHIFT THE FOCUS TO CHANGE MANAGEMENT
Imagine if marketing automation used change management thinking: until or unless buyers manage the behind-the-scenes change issues that will be effected when/if they make a purchase, and until or unless all folks who will touch the new solution get their voices heard, no purchase can happen.
Current marketing automation does nothing to address the real buying decision journey – the 90% of the purchase decision that is change related, internal, and idiosyncratic – as it’s not solution based. It certainly does nothing to move prospects along each type of decision to help them.
Here are some questions to consider:
- What do prospects need to do to get the right folks involved to give their buy-in for a purchase? Until they do, they won’t buy regardless of how great your white paper is.
- How does someone take an idea from a thought in a shower to getting folks to start thinking about making a change? Until people back the idea, they won’t get the buy-in to make a purchase.
- How does the Buying Decision Team evaluate solutions? Until they know how, they won’t make a purchase.
- What sort of data does any site visitor need to make a final purchasing decision? Until they have the specific data needed by the entire Buying Decision Team, they won’t make a purchase.
Using the underlying tenants of change management as per my Buying Facilitation® model, I have developed an Intelligent Contact Sheet called the EXpediter© that gets the appropriate data to site visitors at each stage of the buying decision path, starting from an idea. And it leads them from one step to the next. Some facts:
- It’s easy to slip into your current marketing automation set up.
- You will know exactly what stage the visitor is at, what specifically to send them, and whether or not the Buying Decision Team is already on board.
- You will be able to lead site visitors through the range of their off-line decisions.
- You’ll be able to follow the site visitor to other sites, know how/if they are evaluating your solution, and help them move to the next stage of their decision.
- You will know who to call to make an appointment with, at what point to place the call, and your success rates for appointment-getting and closing will be much higher.
I’ve got the content. I can work with your tech team to implement it. Interested? Let’s speak.
Sharon-Drew Morgen | 512-457-0246 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Discover how Buying Facilitation® works with marketing automation and can help you close more sales.
Wanting to learn more? Dirty Little Secrets: why buyers can’t buy and sellers can’t sell and what to do about it. Check out the site for more details.
Or consider purchasing the bundle: Dirty Little Secrets plus my last book Buying Facilitation®: the new way to sell that influences and expands decisions. In addition, you will also receive a bonus illustrated booklet.