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April 23, 2022 at 11:00 PM
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A simple 2x3 matrix for Marketing Automation vs. Sales Engagement Platforms

The right combination to enhance pipeline development

One area of innovation acceleration from the pandemic for b2b was digital selling technology. Frankly, there is more software hitting the market than CMOs and CROs can trial. Particularly when a review of the software features blend between both marketing and sales functions. We could start with many new tech trends, but for the purposes of this blog we are going to review the crossover of Marketing Automation and Sales Engagement Platforms.

A simple google will provide you with many vendors and examples of platform capabilities and they look remarkably similar; both can send mass emails from an automated workflow, encourage engagement (clicks, links, etc.) and both provide tracking and reporting. So why two systems?

First, let us start with basic definitions.

Marketing Automation - refers to software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to market on multiple channels online more effectively (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive tasks. (Examples – Hubspot, Marketo, Customer.io)

Sales Engagement Platform - is software that helps your sales team engage with prospects and customers across multiple channels by helping sellers stay organized and streamline their workday through cadences, automation, and integrations with other sales tools. (Examples – SalesLoft, ZoomInfo Engage, Outreach)

Because both systems are designed to engage a prospect and convert them into an opportunity, it is easy for sales and marketing teams to wonder when and how to use each of them. An outbound email is an outbound email, right? Not exactly when you overlay the automation characteristics of the platforms and how the buyer engagement differs.

A basic rule of thumb is simple: Marketing Automation is best for generating leads, but not for working them. Sales Engagement Platforms are best for sales to do what they do best and that is take a lead and convert it to a customer.

While we could get into the many factors of this conclusion, like training time, usability, and ownership, to keep this brief, we have produced a basic 2x3 matrix of differentiation to help you decide.

In conclusion, in most cases, b2b companies will need both platforms to effectively engage new selling opportunities. Two Important tips.

1. Understand the buyer's journey and map the correct automation to the stage. Clumsy overlap creates a risk of buyer fatigue.

2. Emphasize training and messaging. Ensure your sales and marketing team understand the role of each platform and be sure to share messaging to keep key themes and value throughout the entire process. Sales and Marketing alignment is key to this effort.

Coterie Solutions has experience helping companies develop strong 'go to market' plans. Our goal is to keep things simple, so you spend less time planning and more time building your business. If you would like to discuss the details behind this blog, please get in touch. We are happy to host an introductory discussion on both technologies with no obligation. Beyond this introduction we are happy to assist our clients with needs analysis, vendor comparison, and of course Sales & Marketing habit development and measurement