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Marketing Automation VS Sales Automation (Secrets Revealed)

It’s no secret that automation is taking over the world. As a hardworking business owner, it’s only natural that you’d want in on the action.

Confused about where to begin?

I don’t blame you.

We’re swamped with conflicting opinions about technology… 

“XYX software is great for follow up.”

“ABA system is best for established sales teams.”

“No, XYX approach is for amateurs! You should be using ZYZY software…”

It’s enough to make you scream… aaaaaaaaaaaaghhhh!

Well, scream no more…

In this article, I’m going to share the straight-talking, no-nonsense, automation advice you’ve been looking for.

If you commit to reading this article, you’ll learn how automations:

  1. Aid the customer journey and sales process (this answers the Marketing VS Sales automation question)
  2. Help you achieve business goals
  3. Make your working day better
  4. Positively impact your lifestyle

Plus, a special bonus:

We’ve got a lot to cover. Let’s start by tackling a popular question…

“I’m not sure if my business needs marketing/sales automation?”

It’s true that automation isn’t right for everyone and every business. 

But if you’re experiencing any of the following challenges…

  • Losing deals due to forgetfulness and human error
  • Wasting time on mundane, repetitive, and boring tasks
  • Going through the pain of manual follow up
  • Continually having to network to generate new leads
  • Resorting to a scatter-gun approach to following up — i.e. introductions and referrals

…it’s time that you took a closer look at business automation.

Why your business should be using marketing and/or sales automation

There are three big reasons for implementing marketing and sales automation in your business:

#1 — To help you achieve business growth goals.

For example…

  • Book more discovery calls (i.e. first meetings)
  • Get more deals over the line
  • Grow your prospect database

#2 — To streamline and improve your business workflows.

For example…

  • So you consistently follow up with leads
  • To qualify leads before they talk to your sales team

#3 — To save precious time.

So you (and your team) can…

  • Leave work earlier and have more free time
  • Focus on priority projects that move the needle
  • Eliminate repetitive and boring tasks from your day

By now, you should understand the tremendous value that automations can generate.

But which automations should you start with?  Marketing or sales automation?

In this next section, I’ll give you the clarity you need.

The Death Match: Marketing Automation Vs Sales Automation 

Of course, I’m being a bit silly with this title.

This isn’t really a death match…

Because, at some point, you’ll want to use both marketing and sales automation.

But you have to start somewhere. (And trying to implement everything at once isn’t a good strategy.)

So let’s begin our mock-battle by understanding…

How automations aid the customer journey and sales process

Marketing and sales automations can move potential clients through important stages of your customer journey.

Aside: Not clear on your customer journey? I suggest you read my in-depth article on the subject.

Below are examples that show how automations aid the customer journey. 

Marketing Automation — Journey Assistance

  1. Re-engaging warm website visitors — e.g. re-targeting website visitors with adverts 
  2. Turning visitors into Prospects — adding contacts to Marketing Database via opt-in forms
  3. Nurturing prospects in Database — using automated emails and letters
  4. Generating leads — via website chatbots and automated marketing campaigns
  5. PreSales Qualification — via surveys and website applications 

Sales Automation – Journey Assistance

  1. Lead warming — with automated indoctrination campaign
  2. Scoring leads — by engagement, clicks, reads, and surveys
  3. Nudging leads in to action — with automated and personalised follow-up campaigns
  4. Getting contracts signed — with polite automated nudging campaigns

How to Choose Marketing or Sales Automation…

Start by understanding what lever would have the biggest impact on your business.

“What?” you say…

Okay. I’ll elaborate.

If you could improve (or even double) one number (or KPI) in your marketing and sales process, what would it be?

Here are some examples:

  • Get 300% more website traffic (marketing)
  • Grow your marketing database by 20% (marketing)
  • Book 50% more discovery calls (sales)
  • Cut unqualified leads by 30% (sales)
  • Get 20% more proposal meetings (sales)

How to choose the right lever?

Create a spreadsheet with your current relationship-building stages and KPIs.

Something like this…

KPINumbers (monthly)Conversion RateValue
Website traffic2000
Newsletter/ Database sign-ups1005%
Discovery Calls Booked1010%
Deep Dive Meetings Booked550%
Proposal Meeting Booked360%
Contracts Signed133%30000

Then look at what happens when you change a number (by a realistic amount).

Like this…

KPINumbers (monthly)Conversion RateValue
Website traffic2000
Newsletter/ Database sign-ups1005%
Discovery Calls Booked1010%
Deep Dive Meetings Booked550%
Proposal Meeting Booked360%
Contracts Signed266%60000

Or this…

KPINumbers (monthly)Conversion RateValue
Website traffic3000
Newsletter/ Database sign-ups1505%
Discovery Calls Booked1510%
Deep Dive Meetings Booked7.550%
Proposal Meeting Booked4.560%
Contracts Signed1 (rounded from 1.49)33%30000

Aside: You should also consider adding an estimated cost of execution to each chart, so that you’re comparing the advantages and disadvantages of each lever.

Of course, these examples aren’t exhaustive.

But none-the-less, they should get your brain juices flowing.

Once you’ve finished this exercise, you should be able to choose the lever that, if improved, has the biggest impact for your business.

And you’ll know where to focus your automation efforts. 

For example, if you need to improve the number of contracts signed by 30%, then you’ll want to implement Sales Automations that helps you improve that metric. 

In contrast, if you need more website sign-ups, you’ll need to implement Marketing Automations that you help you improve that metric instead.

And if you’re still not sure what to choose, I’d advise starting closest to the money — that’s Sales Automations.

“I’ve got little-to-zero marketing processes in place?”

I hear you.

And you’re not alone…

Many established businesses have little-to-zero marketing systems in place.

Their KPIs look something like this:

KPINumbers (monthly)Conversion RateValue
Website traffic10
Newsletter/ Database sign-ups00%
Discovery Calls Booked1010%
Deep Dive Meetings Booked550%
Proposal Meeting Booked360%
Contracts Signed133%30000

Now, although it’s important to get started with marketing, I would suggest that you focus on optimising your existing numbers and systems — i.e. your sales processes.

This will probably lead to the quickest return on your investment.

Aside: Realistically, building a marketing funnel from scratch is a long-term project which requires a serious commitment.  

Of course, business growth isn’t the only reason to get started with automations.

Let’s take a look at…

An Alternative Approach to Choosing Business Automations

Now, you may already have plenty of work.

Or maybe you value time over money.

In which case, the automations that you choose may depend upon your work and lifestyle needs, rather than your business growth goals.

I.e. You want to focus on automations that save you time or make your day easier.

How To Choose Automatons That Save You Time

Write down or track business tasks that are absolutely and regularly killing your time. 

Aside: If you’re serious about this, you should read my post here, which explains how you can track the time you are losing.

I would suggest using a spreadsheet mapped out like this:

DayDeptTaskTime Spent
MondaySalesSending follow-up emails2 hours
TuesdaySalesScheduling meetings1 hour
WednesdaySalesWriting welcome emails3 hours
ThursdayMarketingCreating social media posts5 hours

Once you’ve recorded enough of these tasks, you’ll start to understand where you’re losing your precious time — i.e., what’s hurting you the most.

Use the collected data to inform the timesaving automation strategy you should put in place.

For example:

  • Automated follow-up campaigns (sales automation)
  • Automated social media posting (marketing automation)

How To Choose Automations That Improve Your Work Experience

Some work we love. And some work we loath.

Am I right or am I right?

And that goes for our team members too. It’s easy to burden them with all the horrible jobs, but I’m sure they don’t like boring, repetitive, mundane tasks either.

Quite frankly, their time, and your investment, could be better spent —  building and nurturing relationships, learning new tools, planning intricate projects.

To learn which tasks are killing you and your team, create a chart like this:

TaskHours spent monthlyTeam memberReason not liked
Entering new lead data in spreadsheet5BlakeBoring. Tricky to get right.
Getting feedback from customers80SallyCan’t reach them.
Resizing images for social media40JimLaborious.

Ask your team to complete a chart like this.  Tell them to be honest and that you will not judge them on their answers.

Then assess their charts, looking for:

  1. Tasks that seem to take a crazy amount of time (you might be surprised)
  2. Tasks that would drive you nuts
  3. Tasks that seem process driven

Use your analysis to create a shortlist of tasks for automation.


If your marketing and sales results are dependent on human effort — you’re going to suffer from inconsistent sales, human error, fatigue, and countless other problems.

However, I hope this guide has made clear, that marketing and sales automation can change your business and life for the better.

I’ll repeat for emphasis…

Automations will not only help you win leads and deals.

They will also help you win back chunks of your day, so you can spend more time with the people and things you love ❤️.

What You Should Do Now

If you are serious about marketing and sales automation, you should download our dynamite automations ebook – (NO EMAIL REQUIRED).

For 1-on-1 marketing/sales automation help click here ?

Until next time,


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