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Distributors Are Losing Revenue by Ignoring Marketing Automation

Recently, a White Cup team member and former distribution manager told me that his team would tape flyers on their customers’ front doors. They did this just a few years ago, because they did not have a CRM or email marketing capabilities. This isn’t a unique story – distributors have lagged in embracing marketing automation. But, with the acceleration of digital buying and selling, distributors that continue ignoring marketing tactics will get left behind.

A recent MDM blog article discusses the new digital buyers’ journey and how “to be successful, sales reps have to utilize marketing resources to educate buyers both in person and digitally at the right inflection points in the buying process … ” But where should distributors start? With marketing automation – an efficient, revenue-driving tool for sales teams. Distributors can promote their products via targeted emails with three simple steps: using dynamic lists, leveraging templates, and utilizing reporting to determine revenue-generating next steps.

The Power of Dynamic Lists

All marketing and sales efforts are aligned when a CRM has marketing automation capabilities. This means that email marketing can target the same accounts and contacts that sales reps are going after. But even better, marketing automation enables dynamic lists so that distributors can email contacts based on pre-defined reports.

Example 1:

A sales rep can easily send an email to all customers that have had no activity for 60 days. Now that’s proactive customer retention.

Example 2:

A sales rep can promote a product to all prospects (i.e., potential new accounts) in a specific geographic location. No more taping printed flyers on doors.

Example 3:

A sales rep can share a new complementary product with existing customers that have qualifying traits. Cross-selling has never been easier.

Leveraging your CRM database, it’s easy to build contact list reports for examples 1, 2, and 3 above. But what if the database changes? Well, that’s the power of dynamic lists. The lists are not static because neither is your database. If more customers become inactive within the last 60 days after creating the report, the dynamic list will update as the data changes. So, sales reps can easily click send on an email and trust they’re emailing an accurate list of contacts.

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Templates for Fast, Easy, and Good-Looking Emails

So, sales reps can easily target a list of contacts with dynamic lists for a professional-looking email, but what if they aren’t marketers, coders, or designers? No problem. Email templates can be built to include a pre-approved layout with images and wording, so a sales rep can easily create their email using a template in just minutes. And a CRM with marketing automation capabilities will have a template builder that is easy to use, so even the template can be created by a non-marketer.

Templates can be pre-set for a sales team to align with the most needed customer and prospect communications.

Example 1:

A cross-selling email template that showcases a product with a headline and product image. Show off your product easily.

Example 2:

A newsletter email template to keep your prospects and customers in the loop on your latest promotions and updates. Take leaps forward in your external communication with just a few consistent headlines and sections.

Example 3:

A plain-looking email with pre-written messaging to follow up on a group of prospects all at once. Because not all emails need to look fancy, but a sales rep’s time is always limited.

Email Reporting for the Win

It’s not good enough to send a good email to the right contact; distributors stay ahead of the pack when they also look at the data. And when your CRM includes marketing automation capabilities, this email marketing data is visible to sales reps.

With easy access to email marketing data, distribution sales reps can catch red flags and potential opportunities, so they spend their time following up with customers and prospects in ways that grow and save revenue.

Example 1:

A high-revenue customer unsubscribed to your newsletter. This could be a retention risk – find out before it’s too late.

Example 2:

A customer clicked on a link for a new product in the last 3 product promotion emails. Contact this customer directly and cross-sell that product.

Example 3:

A targeted prospect consistently opens all newsletters. Pick up the phone and work that new account until it’s won.

As easy as 1, 2, 3

Marketing automation isn’t complicated. And when it’s integrated with your CRM, it’s easier than ever for distributors to enable their sales reps to easily communicate with prospects and customers in a targeted manner to drive revenue:

  1. Target contacts and accounts with dynamic lists
  2. Create and send emails using pre-built templates
  3. Take revenue-driving action based on email reporting

Now that’s easy. Check out our upcoming webinar on Winning with Marketing for Distributors to learn more about how White Cup has made marketing automation easy for distributors.

Written By

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Helen Piña

VP of Marketing, White Cup

Helen Piña joined White Cup in 2021 as the Vice President of Marketing. She has 15 years of marketing and technology industry experience and over 20 years of customer-centricity focus. Prior to joining White Cup, Helen was a marketing leader at PROS (NYSE: PRO) for nine years across digital marketing, customer marketing, marketing operations, brand, corporate marketing, content strategy, and partner marketing functions.

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