Finding the best marketing automation vendor for your business can be a difficult proposition. In a lot of ways, it’s like searching for an email service provider (ESP), since email marketing is a key part of the functionality of most marketing automation platforms. But of course, the right solution can (and should) do much more than that. It should also help you manage and optimize every stage of the customer experience, track online activity, generate and manage leads, automate campaigns, integrate with customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and much more.
Finding the right fit for your business isn’t always easy, but it gets a lot easier when you can identify the factors that matter to you, which is what PeopleHR discovered during their vendor selection process.
PeopleHR, a software company based in the UK, provides solutions that help streamline a variety of human resources processes. When they began looking for a solution, they weren’t looking for help generating more leads. In fact, the marketing team at PeopleHR has had a great deal of success using channels like Google AdWords, pay-per-click (PPC), and other search marketing and content syndication activities to attract new prospects. The system had been working extremely well, delivering a high volume of early-stage leads. However, that same volume created a problem. Every lead went directly to a sales rep, and when the sales team was unable to keep up, they’d move on, leaving many leads untouched. That meant money was being left on the table.
Sat Sindhar, managing director at PeopleHR, recognized the issue – as well as the cost to the company – and quickly realized that marketing automation could help his team solve this challenge as well as many others. But finding the right solution proved to be another obstacle. He determined three areas of differentiation for his organization: real-time response, robust CRM integration, and strong support. Here’s how his vendor evaluation resulted in a partnership with Act-On Software, an integrated suite of marketing automation tools and resources.
As he began the process of evaluating automation tools, Sat discovered that his search was made easier by the fact that so many vendors were unresponsive to his requests for help. It meant he was able to rule them out right away.
Sat put it this way: “I tried to reach out to about three different marketing automation providers, and it was late here in the UK – about 11 o’clock at night. I went online and I happened to come across Act-On and there was live chat on the Act-On website. I reached out to the sales consultant and I said ‘I want to talk to somebody. I’m really interested in this.’ And I had actually done this exercise with two other providers and they sent me a link to book a meeting with the sales person. And I said, ‘I don’t want a link, I want to talk to somebody. Surely you guys can ring me or we can arrange something in the next hour or so.’ And they were adamant, they said, ‘No. If you want to buy from us, you’ve got to send an email to this person and they’ll arrange an appointment with you.’ And the only company that didn’t do that was Act-On.”
It also helped that once he’d made the decision, the processes was made even easier. “I took the trial and literally a week later we had the basic Act-On program up and running,” he says.
Robust CRM Integration
PeopleHR uses Salesforce to manage their opportunities and leads and market to them based on their stage in their sales cycle. With marketing automation integrated with their CRM, the sales team is able to see from Salesforce the lead score and customer activity that Act-On captures and displays, allowing them to focus on closing deals with those leads who are more engaged.
“Now we have relevant content, and we can send it to the right persona in the right segment, at the right time,” said Sat. This has had an immediate impact on PeopleHR’s bottom line, and they have experienced consistently higher revenues since implementing Act-On. In fact, PeopleHR has had three months of their highest revenue yet. According to Sat, “With the combination of Act-On and our CRM, we smashed our sales targets.”
His advice to other companies looking for a marketing automation solution is to find a vendor with exceptional customer support. As he put it, “It’s not just about implementing a marketing automation program that generates a few emails; it’s really getting into heart of what your value proposition is in your product. It’s about producing content that actually resonates with your buyers, and getting that content out to them at the right time, making them think, ‘Wow this is great. Has this person been listening into my conversations? Because they just provided me with the content, the education I need at this moment in time.’ And I think that if you haven’t got that support, then the chances are that you will probably fail and you won’t see the real value. We had a huge amount of interaction with Act-On’s support staff. It’s a very, very valuable aspect of the service. Our interaction with the Act-On team has pushed us up to another level.”
Read the case study to learn more about how PeopleHR found the marketing automation solution that would help them get record-breaking revenue results. And if you’re looking for the right marketing automation vendor for your company, be sure to check out Act-On’s on-demand demo.