If you’re at Dreamforce this year, then you’re obviously familiar with the power of a CRM — but what about your CRM’s counterpart, marketing automation?

By now, you’ve likely heard about how marketing automation can integrate with Salesforce CRM to help you market smarter and sell faster. Marketing automation and CRMs are like bread and butter: they’re great on their own, but they’re even better when paired together (don’t like carbs? How about pairing chocolate and peanut butter? Or cheese and wine?). 

Regardless of which food analogy resonates with you, most B2B marketers at least agree on many of the same goals and pain points, like poor lead quality or inefficient sales and marketing workflows. Often, marketers begin to evaluate outside marketing technologies to help them overcome their pain points and better reach their goals — and marketing automation tools like Pardot are frequently the solution of choice. 

Let’s take a look at some common goals of B2B marketers working with a CRM, and see how marketing automation can help achieve them (and if you want more information about how the two technologies work together, check out Pardot’s new e-book, Salesforce for Marketers: The Complete Guide).

Goal 1. Keep your pipeline fully stocked with high-quality leads. 

Marketing automation allows you to use forms, landing pages, and real-time prospect activity tracking to collect detailed information from your buyers. This keeps a steady flow of leads in your pipeline — so your sales team is never complaining.

Goal 2. Avoid wasting time selling to leads who aren’t a good fit.

This is where lead grading comes into play (the counterpart to lead scoring). Lead grading allows you to spot the leads that are actually a good fit for your product, so that your reps aren’t wasting their time selling to job applicants and industry researchers. Based on your ideal profile, lead grading looks at a prospect’s demographic information to determine a letter grade that will indicate how good of a fit a lead is for your solution. 

Ban_pardot_retargeting_sfb2b_wp_300x250Goal 3. Only pass qualified leads to sales.

Use the aforementioned scores and grades to automate your lead assignment process. Marketing automation even allows you to set threshold scores and grades that will determine when and who leads get assigned to, so that the process is always fair and efficient.

Goal 4. Stay top-of-mind throughout a long sales cycle.

Data from SiriusDecisions suggests that buyers are more than-two-thirds of the way through their research process before they even reach out to sales. You need a tool that can help your buyers get the information they need during this research process, when they need it — and from you, not your competitors. A marketing automation tool can help (through a process called lead nurturing) by delivering educational content to leads over time, keeping your company top-of-mind.

Goal 5. Re-engage the cold leads in your database.

Not every lead will buy from you at the close of the sales process, but that doesn’t mean they become worthless! Don’t let these cold leads go to waste and get picked up by your competitors. Marketing automation gives you the ability to re-engage inactive prospects in your database with exclusive, targeted content.

Goal 6. Increase email open rates and conversions with optimized content.

This is a common goal for B2B marketers, and the reality is: successful email campaigns aren’t just about your template. Ensure that your content resonates by using the A/B testing capabilities of an automation tool. Change elements in your email, segment your recipient list, and test to see which email performs better. 

Goal 7. Give sales greater insight into prospect activities.

With a CRM, your sales reps can see a lot of information about your prospects. Arm them with a marketing automation tool and they can go even further. Detailed behavioral data, like the pages your prospects are visiting and the types of content they’re downloading, gives sales reps unparalleled insight into their prospects’ motivations, interests, and pain points.

Goal 8. Quickly identify which leads are ready for immediate follow-up.

With marketing automation, sales reps can begin their day by reviewing a list of their active prospects. Prospect scores and grades allow sales reps to prioritize their leads at a glance. Combined, a lead score and grade can objectively qualify a lead — so reps always know which leads need to be followed up with, and which should be nurtured further by marketing. 

Goal 9. Report on campaigns to see how they influence revenue.

One of the most important goals of B2B marketers is to prove that their marketing campaigns are generating revenue — and marketing automation can help through closed-loop reporting. Closed-loop reporting allows you to tie closed deals back to the campaigns that created them, helping marketers judge campaign influence, attribute revenue to campaigns, associate opportunities with campaigns, track marketing spend, and more. 

Goal 10. Better understand the health of your sales funnel.

It’s not enough to just measure your marketing campaigns. B2B marketers should be gauging the health of their sales funnels, too. Reports in your marketing automation tool allow you to see how many prospects are in each stage of your sales funnel, how long they’re in each stage, and important opportunity data pulled from your CRM.

Each of these goals can easily be achieved by combining the power of your existing CRM with a marketing automation tool like Pardot. If you’d like to learn more about the specific automation features that can help you accomplish the objectives above, download the full eBook by clicking on the banner below!