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Flipping through a number of reports by cloud monitoring service providers, I was struck by the fact that the number one SaaS (Software as a Service) applications being adopted were in marketing. Marketing easily surpassed the next highest by almost 60%.

This struck me as odd. In working with many different firms, few use marketing apps. They went about marketing and sales in what I term an “old school” way. Regularly bemoaning the fact that their new sales people don’t seem to generate enough leads and sales momentum is sporadic instead of predictable and increasing. They were also mostly were invisible on the web, unless you looked for them by name. Sadly, often after they had spent a bundle to redo their website.

What is going on here? Why should you care? How about the very future of your business? Cloud has led us to a crossroad in how we do marketing and sales. The Internet and cloud based tools have enabled a radically changed selling process.

  • By 2015, 71% of all leads will come from the web (If they can’t find you – you don’t even get a chance to make your pitch)
  • More prospect interaction is now occurring online, shortening the actual time for sales engagement. 57%—that’s how far the average B2B buyer has progressed in their purchasing decision before engaging a supplier sales rep.
  • The traditional sales process is disappearing. The need for a digital relationship has never been higher.

The world is changing due to cloud based marketing tools but what does this mean? What’s in it for you? Consider:

  • Marketing automation high performers have an average lead-to-sale conversion rating of 1.6x the average rate of all others.
  • 63% of companies that are outgrowing their competitors use marketing automation.

Well, if it is so good why isn’t everybody doing it? Good question. Let’s look at the US market. America has around 197,000 medium-sized firms, defined as those with annual revenues between $10m and $1 billion, according to data from the National Centre for the Middle Market. Together, they employ over 40m people in the country and account for around one-third of private sector GDP. Odds are you are in this group. (Put this in perspective, it is big. It is equivalent to the economies of India and Russia combined.) On top of that, just another 2100 firms make up the rest of the universe of firms over $1B in revenue.

Now contrast this with some very good summary statistics about who is adopting marketing automation (They’re not quite apples-to-apples due to different revenue groupings, but you will get the drift). In higher revenue tiers, a higher percentage of companies have adopted Marketing automation:

  • 60% in companies with over $500M revenue
  • 10% in companies with $20M – $500M revenue,
  • 5% in companies with $5M – $20M revenue,
  • 3% in micro companies with less than < $5M revenue

Looks like the big boys have definitely caught on – but not all of them. Odds are you are not using marketing automation. The good news is you are not alone. The bad news is you are being outgunned. And, you know that’s a shame since adopting cloud based tools, especially in marketing and sales, is usually easier for firms because of the low/no upfront costs, pay-by-the month fees, and consumer intuitive interfaces eliminating the need for IT specialists.

Isn’t it time you dug into this? Then again maybe not – are you happy with your performance against your own goals and your peers’ measurements. If so, maybe you could just have your website redesigned.

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