By Chandrashekar Lsp

It is a given that the revenue of any company is the result of a coordinated effort between sales and marketing teams. In the simplest form, marketing departments raise brand awareness and generate leads later managed by sales departments. However, with digital marketing, many marketers struggle to accurately determine how to measure and value website traffic and/or social media engagement. Rather than assess the quality of the leads generated, marketers mistakenly evaluate success on website traffic, social media likes, and ad-banner clicks.

These undefined, generated leads are then passed to sales departments unaware of the extent and quality of each particular lead. As companies look to tighten budgets and control costs, many organizations are turning to marketing automation to quantify leads and determine which digital marketing initiatives produce the biggest ROI.

If you are looking to optimize your digital marketing efforts, here are six different ways to align your sales and marketing teams through marketing automation:

1. Setting up touchpoints to identify sources that contribute to a brand’s overall success
Consumers today experience a variety of online touchpoints along their path to making a purchasing decision. Touchpoints are points of interaction with a customer or potential customer. Whether it’s an online ad, word-of-mouth on social media, direct mail, or a simple Google search, digital touchpoints are more important than ever.

Marketers need to set up touchpoints to identify all the sources of online interactions to understand where leads come from, what sources acted as a conversion point, and how many touchpoints are required to convert a lead into a sale.

Touchpoint analysis in marketing automation can optimize investments by revealing which sources are most effective, and what sources to remove due to underperformance. Marketers can then revise their touchpoint strategies to ensure they are getting the best ROI from their marketing efforts.

2. Knowing the platforms and channels that generate revenue
With a multitude of channels and platforms on which to interact with customers, it can be challenging to know where to spend time, money, and resources to generate leads and drive sales.

Marketing automation can quantify, compare, and reveal which online platforms and channels generate the most revenue. For example, should a marketer focus on Google Adwords or social media ad buys to generate revenue for a new product or service?

Marketing automation can identify who is migrating through your online processes, who is leaving, where they are leaving, and why. This insight helps you optimize the platform and channels that have consistently proven to generate more revenue, allowing marketers to essentially fish where the fish are swimming.

3. Using web-behavior analytics to gauge an audience’s interests
Behaviour analytics focuses on understanding how consumers act to accurately predict their future behavior. It allows marketers insight on how to make the right offer, to the right consumer, at the right time.

Since the early days of the Internet, statistics such as Google Analytics have identified click-through rates, time spent on a website, and the impression value of banner ads. Unfortunately this aggregated data does not provide behavior analytics of a prospect on an individual level.

Marketing automation follows the evolution and development of a lead on an individual level. By gauging interest at the individual customer level, marketers can collectively gauge their audience’s interests to effectively influence their future behavior and subsequent purchasing decisions.

4. Setting up personalized content journeys for different types of leads
If no two people are the same, it logically follows that no two leads—and their personal journey towards a purchasing decision—are the same. In digital marketing, every lead has its own route to becoming a customer. With marketing automation, businesses can create unique engagement plans for every type of lead such as sign-up forms, landing pages, webinar attendees, and more.

Each lead source becomes personalized to trigger certain actions such as when messages are sent, when to follow up, and how leads are removed. Zoho’s MarketingHub’s Journey builder takes it a step further and allows marketers to visually build personalized marketing plans using a drag-and-drop builder from pre-designed templates. This saves a substantial amount of time by creating personalized leads, and marketers can also build logical journeys by adding conditions to simplify the decision-making process.

5. Categorizing leads into different stages based on their engagement levels
Leads vary, and each can be classified into different stages based on their engagement levels. For example, the engagement of someone searching for a product through on a search engine varies greatly from the customer that has abandoned a cart during an e-commerce checkout. With marketing automation, leads can be assigned scores based on set criteria. This quantifies leads and differentiates promising leads from ones that perhaps require more nurturing by marketing teams.

Engagement levels by customers can tell a lot about how close they are to making a purchase. Categorizing leads into different stages allows sales teams to focus on the most promising leads first and close more deals in less time. By prioritizing leads, marketing automation brings cohesion and synergy to marketing and sales departments.

6. Maximizing marketing efforts of lead qualification
While it is true that every lead you interact with can become a customer, marketing automation maximizes marketing efforts based on lead qualification. For example, if you’re running a promotion that targets upper management, you can set a score for all leads with CEO, CMO, and COO in the job title. Certain promotions or marketing campaigns can then automatically be triggered anytime someone from upper management visits your website or landing page.

Marketing automation is one of the fastest growing segments in digital marketing. It can significantly boost the efficiency between marketing and sales departments by aligning their interests to one goal – turning leads into customers.

Chandrashekar Lsp is the product evangelist for Zoho Corporation Canada. To learn more about Zoho’s marketing tools, please visit:

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