The number of marketing automation companies trying to give a demo seems to be increasing at an exponential rate. If you decide to test one, you want to be asking the right questions around the platform or performance.
Figuring out what questions should be asked at the start of a contract can be daunting, since you are trying to understand how the platform works. These tips, however, can help you decide if the platform is worth the price tag, and defining expectations on both ends for a better partnership.
Tip #1: Define the qualifications: Does the company have a process for qualifying leads? There should be a documented process that they can share that highlights how the platform asks questions at the right points in the engagement cycle to quickly determine level of interest and fit. How do they respond to questions and any resistance by the targeted audience? If there is no process or the company is unwilling to provide one, that could be a red flag.
Tip #2: Do the math: Parts of how a marketing automation process works are based on algorithms. Ask the company to reverse engineer your results. For example, if they claim they can get 3 appointments booked on your calendar each month, how many qualified leads do they have to outreach to in order to hit that number? How many times do they have to do outreach in order to get the scheduled meetings? How many contacts, on average, opt out of the email? How many contacts end up being bad or wrong information? If they claim to have done this successfully, this data should be readily available to have a formula for success.
Tip #3: Data application: I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about data. This tip isn’t so much about just applying data, but knowing the right time to apply that data. How often do they pull data numbers, and how quickly do they share that data with clients? If they pull data two weeks after a campaign has ended and have already started the next one, they are not taking clear opportunities to use data to optimize and affect results. Again, what is the process for reporting to clients, and on what schedule? No clear schedule on the part of the company may indicate they are winging their process.
Tip #4: Dream big and defined in your target markets: One of the key factors for success is to have a clearly defined target market to test. This is where you can dream big. If you caught a large client, what would that company look like? What is the size, industry, organizational structure and number of employees? Do you have geographic considerations to apply? The list does not have to be long to start with – even your top 5 or 10 targets can give some direction for an extended list. Do ask to see a slice of the list that the company has compiled so you can make sure every criterion has been applied and you can see what that target list looks like from a holistic view.
Asking the right questions at the start will help your organization determine whether the marketing automation company is the right fit for your goals and expectations.