How to Humanize Your Marketing Automation Practices

How to Humanize Your Marketing Automation PracticesCompanies that are deploying marketing automation practices are finding out that a marketing automation platform (MAP) can positively impact marketing budgets and improve close rates. However, for a MAP to be truly effective, there should be some human engagement woven between digital engagements. How do you dovetail automated functions with live engagement effectively? We’ve got a few ideas on how to humanize your marketing automation practices.

Set Alerts

Sales reps should be alerted when a lead is visiting your site. You want sales to respond quickly to inbound activity. Set an alert based on certain parameters, such as a lead visiting a specific landing page. Prior to responding to an inquiry, sales should be able to view a lead’s profile including company data and lead scoring. With a platform like Lead Liaison’s Lead Management Automation™, sales reps a provided critical information that they can use when they respond to active leads.

Be Social on Social Channels

Don’t simply distribute canned messages to your followers – mix it up with your leads! Using automated social posting will make your team more efficient but make sure they take the time to respond to inquiries, comments, etc. Best practices suggest setting email or SMS alerts when a social channel has been engaged or “checking in” at least 2x daily as an appropriate schedule during the early stages of deploying social marketing.

Introduce a Sales Rep Early in the Nurturing Process

Why wait to connect a sales rep with a B2B buyer until later in the buying process? If your lead distribution style is round robin introduce the next sales rep early in the lead engagement process. This doesn’t mean the sales rep has to personally engage with the lead, simply sending contact details in case there are questions can be a way to connect. (You may know by now that customized lead distribution is a great feature when you want to assign ownership of a lead to a specific rep.)

Collect Business Intelligence from Third-Party Sources

Best-in-breed MAPs integrate with research company databases covering 1000s of industries. Sales reps should have company details, contact information, and online behavior when they view a lead’s record. Lead Liaison’s LMA platform integrates with industry-specific resources so the platform automatically embeds lead data into your records.

The key to humanizing your marketing automation practices is to know when leads should be contacted. It’s not always easy to determine but there are a few tactics you can use consistently. In our next post, we’ll discuss those tactics.

Integrating a Marketing Automation Platform with Your CRM

Integrating a Marketing Automation Platform With Your CRMAn interesting interview published in eMarketer came across our desks recently about integrating a marketing automation platform with your CRM. The subject was Kevin Quiring, managing director of sales and customer service at Accenture. It caused us to reflect on a few points Mr. Quiring made during the interview.

“Businesses are placing renewed emphasis on generating new business… either through acquiring new customers or growing existing customers.” Lead management is a critical part of that effort because companies are competing for fewer real dollars as the U.S. continues to stumble out of the recession. Brands need to know their customers well and target suspects effectively. They also need to nurture leads towards a sales engagement. Thirdly, they need to be able to analyze individual pathways to conversion and global trends in organic search. Integrating marketing automation and CRM platforms can do all that.

“There is a chasm between marketing and sales. The two aren’t working together.” The integration of a marketing platform with a CRM platform brings the two teams together. It starts with lead scoring, which provides qualitative and quantitative metrics that indicate how ready a lead is for sales engagement and how close a lead is to conversion. One benefit: system synchronization transfers marketing scores to sales pipeline rankings so sales reps know how hot leads are when they enter the CRM.

Sales and marketing need to work together to establish lead scoring parameters. This way, scoring parameters and benchmarks are defined with a common understanding and accountability structure connected to lead management. Also, the lead distribution capabilities of a full-service MA platform assign ownership from first touch to last touch. Sales reps are connected with a lead at a deeper level as they progress through the qualification and nurturing processes.

“Trying to close a deal when prospects have the potential to be interested in so many diverse products requires multiple sets of activity.” A primary benefit of MA and CRM integration is to have the ability to seamlessly cross-sell through multiple channels. Companies with myriad product lines can serve multiple buyer chains within a single interface. Sharper analytics from integrated platforms allow product managers to understand their markets better. Sales managers can forecast more clearly with data collected through the integrated systems.

“They’re finding the salesperson’s intuition and the marketer’s opinion on what lead will be good or bad is interesting—but not predictive.” Companies are able to analyze both the attributes and online behavior patterns of their markets through analytics provided by both platforms. A customer persona can then be built that accurately reflects statistically significant characteristics. Instead of relying on intuition an opinion, executives have hard data to shape decisions around.

We appreciate that Mr. Quiring sees the value in marketing automation and CRM integration. If you’d like to find out how our Lead Management Automation™ platform integrates with CRMs like SFDC, request a 10-minute free personal demonstration.

Why Your New Web Design May Need Landing Page Testing

Why Your New Web Design May Need Landing Page TestingMany new website owners shudder at the thought of doing landing page testing – particularly when a website has just been redesigned or newly launched. A few months after a new website is live, many site owners are sitting back and enjoying a few web-hassle-free months. Unfortunately, it might be in a business owner’s best interest to jump right back on the web accessibility horse, even when a new site or redesign is only a few months old.

Landing Page Testing: We’re Sorry

Because landing page testing often seems unnecessary or too complicated, many business owners gloss over it and continue worrying about lead gen strategies. For many businesses, this can be a bad move – particularly when the website serves as a primary storefront for the brand.

It’s a smart idea to not only set a newly designed website up with Google Analytics or comparable marketing automation tools, but to begin immediately making observations about traffic data. Some questions business owners should be asking include:

  1. Were visitors more interactive with our old site?
  2. Is our bounce rate increasing?
  3. Are users taking the new conversion actions we’ve set up on the site?
  4. Do users find the navigation helpful?
  5. What, if anything, should we include in future plans to make the website easier to use?

The answers to these questions will often determine whether a business owner should begin planning landing page testing right away.

How Landing Page Testing Can Make the Difference

Many business owners assume that building a new website will automatically yield better navigation, a more pleasing look and therefore higher conversion rates. Many new websites don’t split-test an older look against a new look, so it’s difficult to get an idea of how user-friendly visitors find a new website compared to an older version.

In a perfect world, business owners would make former elements of a website such as buy buttons, forms and login links as easy to find on a new website, but it doesn’t always work that way. The ability to set up testing before a website would be great, but not all business owners will do this. One alternative is to create a landing page that looks like the previous design of the site. This page could serve as a gateway to the new design. Business owners could execute landing page testing to gauge the effectiveness of the new page compared with simply sending visitors to the new site.

Marketing automation can give business owners a deeper insight into how landing page testing and new designs affect lead generation. Lead Liaison’s visitor tracking capabilities go much deeper than Google Analytics or heat maps. To find out more, visit

What is Important When Selecting a Marketing Automation Vendor?

What is Important When Selecting a Marketing Automation Vendor?Marketing automation has created a much more efficient way to capture, monitor, nurture, and convert more potential leads. Although the automated software streamlines the process, it requires a capable and experienced marketing automation vendor for it to reach its full potential.

Here are a few important factors to consider when selecting a marketing automation vendor:

1.      Adequate Experience

Marketing automation is a hot trend due to its powerful capabilities and many new companies are emerging. Although it is a relatively new marketing concept, there are marketing automation vendors who already have years of experience working with it complex features versus companies that only have been doing it for a few months. Experienced marketing automation vendors are more in-tuned because they have watched it evolve since its inception. They will know what works and more importantly, what doesn’t work. Consider these suggestions when selecting a marketing automation vendor.

2.      Easy-of-use

The purpose of using a marketing automation strategy is to make it easier and faster for you to monitor and profile potential leads. Look for vendors that offer simple features and straightforward solutions. It should also be easy to integration into your current Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.

3.      Reliable Support

You shouldn’t have too many programming issues if you select an experienced marketing automation vendor that offers easy-to-use software, but you may have questions about how to get the most from it. Select a marketing automation vendor that has readily available and responsive support. You can test their support services with questions and concerns prior to choosing one. That is a great way to ensure they are truly helpful and knowledgeable.

4.      Comprehensive Plan

Marketing automation success won’t happen instantly. Look for vendors who offer a complete plan that follows the lead from initial connection to final conversion. Their marketing strategy should include lead generation, website visitor tracking, CRM integration, email marketing, lead qualification, lead distribution, lead nurturing, and all other aspect of the lead management process.

5.      Sales and Marketing Tools

There really shouldn’t be a need to hire additional marketing services if you are already employing a marketing automation expert. The marketing automation vendor you select should have ample knowledgeable of sales prospecting, SEO techniques, and social media marketing strategies. They should also have a resourceful blog that you can reference for marketing advice.

There are endless choices of marketing automation vendors that claim to provide the same results. Unfortunately, not everyone lives up to their claims. Make sure the marketing automation vendor you select has ample experience, an easy-to-use software program, reliable support, a comprehensive plan-of-action, and readily available sales and marketing tools. If those five components are addressed, you should see the results you expect.

Lead Liaison Improves Healthcare Industry Lead Management Practices

Allen, TX (PRWEB) August 17, 2013 – Lead Liaison is making life easier for companies associated with the U.S. $2.8 trillion dollar healthcare industry. Earlier this year the innovative lead management/marketing automation provider launched a targeted campaign to assist healthcare services vendors.  Lead Liaison developers worked closely with healthcare vendors to optimize the company’s flagship platform, the Lead Management Automation™ system, to help with healthcare industry lead management.

“The healthcare segment is especially sensitive to relationship development,” said VP of communications, Alex Brown. “Physicians and other medical services professionals are extremely busy and must manage their time judiciously. The buying cycle for that market can be long, and challenging to maintain using traditional methods. Vendors who serve the healthcare markets are finding Lead Liaison’s  LMA platform allows them to connect with their prospects more efficiently and effectively, in terms of asset distribution practices .”

Lead Liaison is providing healthcare services companies with the ability to segment their markets and deliver customized messages to specific lead types. For example, a new Lead Liaison client that provides financial planning, contract review, and insurance advice, is able to separate their database by prospect type (physicians from advisors), marketing interactions (opened emails, visited select pages) and products purchased. By using Lead Liaison’s LMA platform, the client can seamlessly target physicians to discuss life insurance products while targeting advisors with informative material to help them foster curriculum and educational services to students.

Similar healthcare vendors will experience three key benefits in using the LMA platform: 1) creating and scheduling automated responses to digital inquiries; 2) increasing efficiencies within resource constrained marketing and sales teams; and 3) providing a structure for their lead engagement practices.

“Our new client’s marketing practices have to be efficiently run across multiple prospect categories. On top of that, they need to be responsive to lead inquiries within a structured market engagement program,” said Brown. “They serve a demanding marketplace, in terms of response time, that requires incremental value as they interact with a vendor. The LMA allows them to nurture leads at the pace they require.”

Healthcare services companies interested in how they can improve lead management practices can request a 10-minute healthcare lead management demonstration.


Lead Liaison is an application development company that designs, develops, and sells cloud-based marketing and sales automation software. The company markets to small and medium-sized businesses worldwide, and focuses on creating the broadest and most user-friendly revenue generation software platform. Applications cover all phases of lead management automation including sales prospecting, lead generation, and marketing automation functions that directly influence revenue generation. It’s innovative and robust lead management platform combines unparalleled sales prospecting, lead capture, real-time lead tracking, lead qualification, lead distribution, database segmentation, lead nurturing and ROI reporting. The Software as a Service (SaaS) model delivers an effective user experience and integrated cloud computing capabilities.

For More Information:

Alex Brown
VP, Corporate Communications
888.895.3237 (888 89 LEADS)


Lead Follow Up and Personalization: Getting the Sale

Lead Follow Up and Personalization: Getting the SaleWhen your salespeople do their routine lead followup, they could be using client personalization to better appeal to clients. You may find that many sales people in your company do this without prompting. It might not be difficult to remember the location, job title or basic info of your warmer leads. Having more advanced data allows sales people to connect more heavily with the potential client and to demonstrate they’re listening to the client’s needs. Lead personalization is also viewed as a precursor to excellent customer service for many warm leads

Lead Followup: When to Personalize

Potential clients who enjoy talking to salespeople on the phone disclose many trivial details. Things like favorite vacation spot, recent travel or names of family members or pets tend to slip out. Many salespeople are so focused on getting the sale during lead followup that they tend to leave out the trivial details that personalize a lead’s experience.

When notating a lead, sales people often make notes about the potential client’s work schedule, any hesitations to buy, best times to call back and more info about the competitor products the lead currently uses. Personal details are often seen as sketchy to discuss or are outright neglected by sales people, but discussion about any personal snippets you pick up – when done the right way – can help a salesperson strategically close a sale.

Recording Personalization Information

The last thing a sales person wants is to feel they’re getting over-personal with a potential client. The modicum of respect necessary for good communication in business dealings is always on the table – however, throwing in personal details that warm the relationship can nurture the lead when done strategically.

Here’s an example lead followup and personalization scenario – a sales call to a particular warm lead isn’t accepted because the lead mentions she’s taking her sick dog to the vet. Let’s say that the lead gives more information about her pet – the nature of the problem, the name of the pet, is it a routine vet visit, etc.  Rather than blanking on these details or scribbling them in a personal notebook, tools exist that allow salespeople to map out these personal details for future use. This is particularly helpful when lead follow up is conducted by multiple members of a sales team – e.g., “HI Anne! Dave told me what was going on with your dog Scrapper – is she okay?”

The right marketing automation system will help sales people keep track of lead followup and personalization details across platforms. Lead Liaison’s easy-to-use customer details interface allows you to input custom fields where you can store customer birthdays, pet names, preferences or any general details that will help sales people relate with a client and get closer to a sale.

To find out more about lead followup and personalization, visit us at

Why You Should Use Small Business Email Tracking

Why You Should Use Small Business Email TrackingThere’s something about email tracking that eludes small businesses – and just knowing the metrics isn’t good enough. Small business owners can often lack a fundamental understanding of how email tracking and email marketing informs their other marketing efforts. Fortunately, marketing automation and other methods can help business owners use small business email tracking to their advantage.

Forms of Email Tracking

You may be using Mailchimp, iContact or Constant Contact to execute your email marketing efforts. Most of these ESPs (Email Service Providers) will give you some stats that are critical to establishing the success of your email marketing campaigns. You’ll want to pay attention to some of these stats to beef up your email tracking and marketing efforts.

Open rate is a metric that allows you to see what percentage of total emails sent are actually opened. These rates vary by industry, but an ideal open rate is something over 20%. If you find that your open rates are fairly low, a more engaging subject or ensuring that your list is double-opted in can help you.

This is where marketing automation can help as well. Knowing how leads get to your website, how they make it to your email list and their use rate when it comes to your marketing materials can give you an idea as to their conversion probability. When you’re not sure how leads got to you or how they use your site, you may not be able to develop an in-depth understanding of a metric like open rate. The more in-depth you can drill down into your data, the more you’ll be able to improve your metrics over time.

Click rate is another metric to look at. Your emails should have links back to your website in the form of more information or an offer. If you’re experiencing low clicks, you should reposition your links or change up your offers to see if you can get a different result. The right email tracking can take you a step further – if your emails aren’t going to an interested audience to begin with (and an opt in doesn’t always indicate the level of interest you need to eventually generate conversions), marketing automation tools can tell you that.

Email Tracking and Marketing Strategy

It’s important to know how users get to your list, what they do with your emails when they get them, and whether or not email is the most appropriate way to keep your users abreast of your offers. Traditional ESPs can only help you monitor your email performance within their own interfaces. If you’re looking for more fully functional email tracking, marketing automation tools could work well for your small business.

Take a look at how Lead Liaison’s sophistical email tracking and lead monitoring software can work for you!

5 Ways Lead Management Automation Reduces Your Sales Cycle

5 Ways Lead Management Automation Reduces Your Sales CycleB2B sales teams look for ways to reduce the sales cycle with the goal of faster revenue generation (which, in turn, leads to higher annual payout). The challenge for many salespeople is to manage tasks in an efficient way so more time can be devoted to selling which should be expected to reduce time-to-close. Lead management automation provides the mechanism to shorten the sales cycle.

According to Gartner Research, B2B companies see a 10% or greater increase in revenue within 6-9 months of implementation of a lead management automation platform. Part of that increase is due to efficiencies that allow your salespeople to close deals faster.

Score Leads for Quality and Relevance

When sales agents are occupied with the most-suitable-and-potentially-interested prospects, the chances for conversion are greater. Through LMA, leads are automatically scored according characteristics that indicate suitability for your solutions and digital behavior that reveals how a buyer does research and how well-informed he is about your solutions.

A lead’s score will automatically update when new qualifying information is received or when a new online engagement has occurred. By automating lead management, your sales team can prioritize its focus on leads with the potential to close the earliest.

Distribute Leads Effectively

Do you want your fastest closer working on leads of the same quality as a new hire? Do you want your tech industry specialist getting leads from the manufacturing industry? NO! With LMA, leads can be distributed according to parameters you set. This way, once leads are properly qualified, they can be assigned ownership according to which agent can best convert the lead efficiently thus reducing the sales cycle.

Faster Response

Using an automated lead management platform, customized response and/or follow-up messaging is delivered according to a schedule that can be set once (theoretically). While a sales agent is busy with other tasks, an email can be sent immediately following a request from a lead. By eliminating delays associated with a busy sales team, the cycle can be reduced.

Better (and Faster) Intelligence Collection

An LMA collects, organizes, and segments digital lead activity faster and to a greater degree than your salespeople can do manually. As the article in the link above suggests, salespeople spend only 35% of their time actually selling. Often the non-selling time is consumed with business intelligence collection. With LMA, when a lead fills out a form or clicks on a certain link, your salesperson is provided with actionable intelligence immediately. Agents can use the intelligence to engage with prospects in a way that supports the digital path the prospect has taken when researching for a B2B solution.

More Efficient Lead Nurturing Across Media

LMA provides several channels of communication that can allow a lead to become familiar with your company and its solutions more quickly. As a lead moves through the marketing funnel, customized information flows that target specific needs can accelerate the lead advancement to a sales-ready status. Once the lead has become suitably educated and informed about your solutions, you sales agents can get involved and convert more quickly.

Increase Sales Productivity with Lead Management Automation

Increase Sales Productivity With Lead Management AutomationWe’ve been frequently asked by our prospects: how does marketing automation/lead management actually increase sales productivity? Here are a few ways your sales team can become more productive through the implementation of an automated lead management platform.

  1. Sales agents are more efficient because the best leads are being distributed to the most appropriate salespeople. Lead distribution can be managed so the best closers are given the highest revenue accounts or agents with the most experience in a specific industry receive leads within that industry.
  2. Lead scoring provides measurement of lead qualification, interest level, and. Sales agents can prioritize their focus on the most relevant and well-informed leads first.
  3. Automated lead management puts business intelligence in your sales team’s hands without the need to routinely pore through industry sources, websites, and other resources. When leads respond through an inquiry, request, click-through, or web form submission, the information provided is stored and can be organized, sorted, and segmented to optimize lead assignment to sales agents.
  4. Leads and agents can be aligned according to specific parameters. For instance, leads can be segmented by industry so that salespeople who are industry specialists can work on leads within their area of expertise.
  5. Your sales team can send emails, social posts, surveys, and other digital assets without continual interaction. Customized forms, emails, and other assets connect automatically with leads as they proceed through their buying cycles. By using effective content delivered through an automated lead management system, your leads can get educated about your solutions without sales engagement.
  6. With our link tracking function, sales can understand what pathways leads have taken to your digital assets. This makes the team more effective at not only engaging prospects through the right channel but how informed leads are.
  7. Lead management automatically delivers content that can be customized according to criteria such as job title, industry, or location. Leads are then nurtured through behavior-based triggers which indicate specific interests and help determine what content should be delivered as leads move through the marketing pipeline. This strengthens the lead qualification process and prioritizes lead distribution.
  8. Sales agents can engage with a lead earlier in the buying process while the lead is still researching solutions. (Early engagement with today’s buyers should be minimal, such as an introduction with contact information.) When salespeople contact leads, instead of spending time uncovering needs and qualifying prospects, leads will reveal what they’re interested in, whether they are suitable for sales engagement, and, in some cases, when they are ready to buy.

The strength of a lead management automation system like ours lies in its agility. Marketers can adapt campaigns to minimize irrelevant messaging and deliver content that prepares leads to be sold more efficiently and effectively.

B2B Content Marketing Trends in 2013

B2B Content Marketing Trends in 2013LinkedIn released the results from a 2013 content marketing trends survey of its B2B Technology Marketing Community. The overall impression from the survey? The popularity of content marketing is increasing; however, the tactics are changing. We’ll look at B2B content marketing trends in 2013.

Here are some key findings from the survey:

  1. 61% of marketers use marketing automation platforms, up from 43% last year
  2. 93% of B2B marketers are creating their own content while 34% are syndicating or curating content and 30% are encouraging user-generated content
  3. YouTube popularity as a channel to engage B2B audiences is rising while Facebook is losing ground; videos are the fifth most effective content format to reach B2B audiences and 73% indicated that YouTube is an effective platform, up from 53% in 2012
  4. The least popular content formats are printed books, online games, and podcasts
  5. Whitepapers dropped significantly in perceived effectiveness, moving from second place in 2012 to sixth place in 2013
  6. Customer testimonials and case studies are considered the most effective B2B content tactics
  7. The top three marketing goals for content marketing are lead generation (71%), thought leadership/market education (50%), and customer acquisition (45%)
  8. LinkedIn is considered an effective social media network for reaching and engaging B2B audiences by 85% of respondents
  9. 65% indicated that Twitter is an effective channel; this was down from 70% last year
  10.  39% indicated Facebook remains an effective platform, down from 54% in 2012
  11. 37% of marketers use marketing automation to generate leads while 36% use an MA platform to nurture leads
  12. 39% don’t use marketing automation in any capacity, down from 57% last year
  13. 55% say the top challenge for their enterprise is to find enough time and bandwidth to create content; the next biggest challenges are producing engaging content (49%) and producing enough content variety to fulfill the needs of marketing programs (39%)

The survey was conducted in June 2013 and included 815 LinkedIn community members from a wide range of industries, locations, and employers.