The word “automation” leads many people to believe that they are at risk of being replaced. The irony in the world of sales and marketing is that people are the key ingredient to automation’s success.
There are three areas where people in sales and marketing must be aligned for any sales and marketing automation program to be successful:
- User adoption
- Continuous transformation
Below are some suggestions to help you take on these areas from within your organization all of which require a little communication:
- Create an annual internal social/PR campaign about your program
- Set and communicate the goals and milestones reached
- Identify your innovators, early adopters, mid-stage adopters and laggards; they all matter.
- Ask for feedback and ideas and recognize anyone that shares
- Communicate successes, gaps or areas that need improvement
Below are several sample internal communications to help get you started:
Internal Communication #1
What is the Sales and Marketing Automation Program?
The Sales and Marketing Automation Program is comprised of two SaaS solutions that connects to a data warehouse.
Key Features of the Program:
- Users have access to fresh business information that covers the entire family trees of their target accounts
- Automated lead progression and qualification based on demographic and behavioral lead scoring algorithms
- Automated delivery of relevant content to clients that’s based on inferred or intrinsic levels of interest at the contact and company levels
- Automated trigger alerts with account monitoring to alert end users of sales triggers like executive change, project announcements, mergers & acquisitions, etc. happen
Internal Communication #2:
Goals and milestones reached:
X months have passed since we launched our company’s Sales & Marketing Automation Program and our results to date have been strong. Our lead generation rate and impact to pipeline this year is ahead of last year’s results by approximately X% [Share your demand generation and pipeline summary details]. It’s important to note, that these results were achieved as a direct result of the collaboration between the sales and marketing community. The rollout, to our first group of end users in sales was completed last week. In total, we now have X # of sales and marketing users who are actively using the program. We plan to roll out our solution to the rest of our sales and marketing community over the next X months. Stay tuned.
Internal Communication #3
Identify your innovators, early adopters, mid-stage adopters and laggards:
Driving user adoption took longer than anticipated on our first roll-out. To address some of the challenges posed on our initial roll out, we will host a series of webinars over the course of the year, with the first series of webinars focusing solely on training and best practices.
Internal Communication #4
Ask for feedback and ideas and recognize anyone that shares:
We’ve identified other risk factors that could become barriers to our success, like budget constraints (content development, telemarketing, training, etc.)
Please communicate and share any challenges or barriers to success that you foresee or encounter during our organization’s transformation to the group here.
Internal Communication #5
Communicate successes, gaps or areas that need improvement:
We will monitor program usage, lead acquisition rates, funnel progression, and client interaction throughout our roll out and transformation.
Succinct communications to the users, future users, stakeholders, and leadership is what ultimately drives continuous innovation and adoption to change, and remember that user perception matters in the adoption process:
- Relative Advantage: How improved an innovation is over the previous generation.
- Compatibility: The level of compatibility that an innovation has to be assimilated into his or her life.
- Complexity or Simplicity: If the innovation is perceived as complicated or difficult to use, an individual is unlikely to adopt it.
- Trialability: How easily an innovation may be experimented. If a user is able to test an innovation, the individual will be more likely to adopt it.
- Observability: The extent that an innovation is visible to others. An innovation that is more visible will drive communication among the individual’s peers, which in turn will create more positive reactions.
Reference sources: Everett Rogers “The Diffusion of Innovations”