Automation and The Sales Funnel #marketingautomation

If you have read this blog for any length of time you know that we are big proponents of process being the key to improving ROI from your marketing automation investment.  Over the last few days, I have had several conversations about the idea of lead management process as it relates to marketing automation.  During two of these conversations, I was told that marketing automation is only useful for nurturing the middle of the sales funnel.

To be sure I asked for clarification.  To shed light on their remarks, my colleagues said that automation was not useful until you have the ability to begin nurturing the buyer as nurturing only happens in the middle of the funnel.

Yes, nurturing does happen in the middle of the funnel, as it should.  However, to say that automation is only useful once you have “middle of the funnel” nurturing in place is short sighted.  Lead nurturing should happen at every stage in the funnel. Let’s take a look at the various sales funnel stages to see where nurturing can happen.

The graphic below illustrates a typical sales funnel and corresponding aspects of automation that can and should be used at each stage.


As you can see, automation can be used to enable dialogue and communication at all stages of the buying process.  As you continue to learn about your buyers and further refine your process, you will have a better understanding of the many ways automation can be used.  If you are new to automation, attaining these levels can take time. But don’t stop moving.  Remember, dream big, start small and scale appropriately.