Operation: Automation1st Oct 2019
You’re an ops pro. Simply put, your role enables sales and marketing processes to run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Sometimes your job requires a little more manual intervention than you might prefer — but somehow that’s the name of the game, and we get it.
It’s probably not reasonable to think that you can automate EVERYTHING, but you can definitely automate a lot.
Here are 7 common, everyday tasks that you can start automating with a customer data platform. If you’re doing them manually today, you may be burning more time and energy than you need to be.
Task #1: Lead assignment
If your company has a decent volume of inbound leads that come in through demo requests, free trial signups, content downloads, or other channels, it can be really overwhelming manually assigning them all to the appropriate sales rep or SDR. Use a simple form on your website that captures a few key fields like: First Name, Last Name, and Email. Then, let your CDP and data enrichment tool do the rest. Your data enrichment tool will fill in the gaps that you need to assign that lead to the right rep, like company name, geography, industry, revenue, employee count, and more. Your CDP will let you build rules from the provided data (“If State = Georgia, Florida, Alabama” and so on), and shuttle the lead to the right rep in real-time.
Task #2: CRM object creation
Every time your sales team hits ‘Create New’ on that Account or Opportunity page, and then subsequently fills in all of those required fields (because hey, your Marketing team can’t do its job without the data…) is time they are not focusing on closing deals. A CDP can automatically create Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities, etc. within your CRM. Here are a few examples of things you can do:
- Automatically create an Account in Salesforce for each company anonymously browsing on your website that fits your ideal customer profile
- Automatically create a Deal in HubSpot when certain fields have been filled out
- Automatically prospect people in ZoomInfo based on job title and create them as Contacts in your CRM
Task #3: Lead engagement notifications
This one may feel a little too Big Brother at times, but when executed properly, it can be one of the most impactful processes a marketing or sales ops can implement. Your marketing automation tool probably does this to some degree — you’ve probably set up alerts to notify the Account Owner if their prospect downloaded some content on the website or clicked an email. A CDP takes this a step further because now you can set up lead engagement notifications on any tracked activity, not just activity tracked by your marketing automation tool. Here are some ideas:
- Send a Slack notification if an inactive lead started a free trial
- Send an email notification if a lead visited specific pages on your website
- Send a Slack notification if a customer hasn’t logged into your app in over a week
Task #4: Data sharing
Sharing data from one application to another can be immensely valuable for your sales and marketing teams. It gives context about the customer that can be used in campaigns or sales conversations. Typically, this is achieved through one-to-one integrations like your marketing automation and CRM bi-directional sync. It can get out of hand if your martech stack has more tools than that. Because a CDP is your central, operational hub, you don’t need to engage a developer each time you want to build an integration between two tools. All of your tools are linked to your CDP, and your CDP acts as a control panel to send and sync data from one place to another. Furthermore, a CDP should give you the flexibility to sync only what you want — and nothing you don’t.
Task #5: Data cleansing
We know this is a huge task for marketing and sales ops managers — and one that can get very manual. It’s no doubt an extremely important one though, because why even bother sending and syncing data when none of it is accurate? What’s the point of reporting and analysis when the data you’re using isn’t correct?
We love CDPs for this use case. Here are a few examples of how Hull uses our very own Processor to manipulate data and ensure data cleanliness:
- Automatically correct name formatting, capitalizing the first letter of first names so marketing campaign emails can go off without a hitch. No more “Hey AMANDA, I noticed you downloaded our eBook…”
- Automatically standardize UTM field values for easy reporting so you don’t have “LinkedIn” and “linkedin” and “linked in” as distinct lead sources.
- Automatically convert incoming Salesforce Leads to Contacts and Accounts if your organization has adopted ABM.
Task #6: Personalized follow-up emails based on web activity
If a lead visits certain key pages on your website, a good next step might be to send them related content that might be interesting to them. For example, sending a case study as a follow-up piece to a top-of-funnel eBook to help drive your lead further down the funnel. Today, you might be able to do this with the help of your sales team sending one-off emails or maybe your marketing automation platform, but a CDP can help you make sure you’ve fine-tuned the segment before you send anything.
Task #7: Lead and account scoring
Lead scoring is no doubt an out-of-the-box feature in many marketing automation tools, but oftentimes, the inputs are limited to what the tool can natively capture. Meaning, marketing automation tools can’t score on things they can’t see. Most marketing automation platforms can’t capture engagement activity like initiated a chat session or began a free trial, whereas a CDP can and is designed to capture this type of engagement.
Additionally, if your company has adopted ABM, it’s not just important to know the lead or individual’s score, but the account score as a whole. A CDP can help roll up individual scores to produce a holistic account score that can offer more insight to your sales and marketing teams.
These are just a few common use cases for automation with a CDP. Because a CDP unites customer data and brings it all into one central place, the possibilities for automation are endless. Our recommendation is to take bite-sized pieces and start small. Aim to automate one or two things on this list, and go from there. You might be surprised how much free time you now have!
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Angela brings over a decade of B2B technology marketing experience to her role as the Director of Marketing at Hull. Prior to Hull, she spent 5 years at utility data aggregator, Urjanet, where she held various roles in demand generation, marketing operations, and product marketing.