As marketing experts and Marketing Automation (MA) consultants, we’ve noticed a vicious cycle that many companies fall into with their software toolset: companies buy a tool, hate it, and purge, buy a tool, hate it, and purge, buy a tool, hate it, and purge, and continue to wonder why there aren’t technology options available for their needs. This is obviously bad for efficiency, but what about the unnecessary costs? For example, the average cost of a full-scale Salesforce implementation can run an organization anywhere between $5,000 and $100,000! And for companies shopping for their first marketing automation (or marketing drip) platform, we continue to hear that all the options and the work involved in planning for a successful implementation is extremely overwhelming.
Here are 3 tips for planning for your first, second, or hundredth (and hopefully your last!) marketing automation software implementation.
- Start with your top 3 must-have’s to pick the RIGHT tool.
With so many different packaging options out there, you really need to have an idea of what you want the tool to do for you. Email should be a given, so feel free to skip that. However, a tool that allows you to easily design attractive email templates is not. If you’re not working with a partner and lack that expertise in-house – you should prioritize this.
- Know your CRM (or lack thereof).
Like the last point, know what technology you already have and plan to keep. A lot of marketing automation tools come with an easy to use CRM. If you are still using Excel sheets, outlook contact lists, or even business cards – a marketing automation’s CRM will be a breath of fresh air for organization and insight for the executive team. If you’re currently using a tool that can be configured to be more complex, like Salesforce, you may find that you lose key functionalities in a CRM switch, so be sure to understand if there are possible integrations you can utilize. If you’re not attached to your CRM due to current adoption, an audit would be needed to truly understand which features you’re currently using, need to maintain, and the if the software could support your sales team.
This is the biggest flaw in most company’s implementation strategies. A tool is meant to help the people in your business; therefore, those people need to learn how to use it and understand where it fits in existing processes. Remember, automation is not “automagic”. There will be work involved in the setup, learning, and even maintenance of any piece of technology. If you think you need support training or gaining internal buy-in, consider finding a partner who can dedicate resources to helping your team see the value of the tool and ultimately succeed in an implementation that won’t cause you to pull out another tool.
So what are your next steps in this overwhelming process? We recommend taking these three tips into consideration and downloading our CRM Planner to put together a strong roadmap that your entire team can agree on.
About Launch Team, Inc.
We are a multi-dimensional, highly focused marketing firm that has helped companies in technical and engineering-driven industries succeed. We've been doing this for over 30 years, increasing and improving our offerings along the way. Our team's backgrounds include optics, chemistry, biology paired with a core business and marketing focus. This allows our team a unique understanding of your business, the decision makers you work with, and the engineers who will evaluate your solution.