As part of a continuing effort to converge sales and marketing functions, Salesforce today rolled out an upgrade to its marketing automation software that adds tools for testing marketing campaigns and nurturing sales leads.
Intelligent Engagement Studio and Sales Cloud Engage are delivered as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application using the software that Salesforce gained when it acquired Pardot in 2013. Adam Blitzer, senior vice president and general manager for Salesforce Pardot, says Sales Cloud Engage is designed to more closely align sales and marketing functions to the point where salespeople can actually manage and launch their own marketing campaigns.
While marketing departments will continue to create most of the collateral used in marketing campaigns, Blitzer notes that salespeople increasingly want control over how that collateral is distributed—not only to which customers, but also the timing of when the material is delivered.
To provide that control, Salesforce makes available an Intelligent Engagement Studio application through which both marketers and salespeople can test campaigns and keep track of results.
When it comes to marketing automation, there is clearly no shortage of options inside or outside of the cloud. But Blitzer says that it’s not enough to simply automate the delivery of marketing materials. Organizations need to be able to pull in social media data that allows them to understand what customers are looking for and then provide a mechanism through which salespeople can act on that information.
Of course, the degree to which customers want that level of attention from a salesperson will vary. But in general, the more useful a salesperson can make themselves, the more likely it is they will close the deal.