Tips for Choosing the Right Automation Partner for Revenue Growth
Running a business (with consistent revenue growth) is not for the weak of heart. There are a million tasks to juggle, clients or teams to check in with, and always another impending due date. Not to mention that your customers are expecting stellar service all along the way.
However, you know best of all that the path to success (and not losing your mind along the way) is paved through dependable and trust-worthy support.
Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor once said, “The really expert riders of horses let the horse know immediately who is in control, but then guide the horse with loose reins and seldom use the spurs.”
This is true in business with hiring the right team and contracting the best vendors. Choosing the right automation system isn’t just about picking the perfect feature set, it’s about picking the right team behind it to help your business or agency meet and exceed your goals.
If the system you’re considering isn’t going to help your business in driving more leads, converting those leads, and optimizing your sales funnel, it’s not the right partner.
For agencies looking to expand services with an automation offering to help their clients succeed, the right vendor is critical. You need a partner who is available to field questions to empower your team to feel like experts, which in turn will drive more results for clients and build high-value relationships with them.
5 Major Points to Consider
Let’s face it. This is not an easy decision. Committing to a vendor is a big investment. Moving to a marketing automation system requires set up, migration, training, and buy-in from your team. It’s not a decision you’ll want to change your mind on after six months because another move can be costly.
For businesses, doing the due-diligence to ask all the probing questions upfront will give you greater peace of mind when signing on the dotted line. For agencies, it will ensure that you’re adding a trusted, long-term partner to your team.
1. Is the platform built to help you be more profitable?
All businesses operate within a budget and when you start researching vendors, keeping within that budget is important. Sometimes, a vendor might seem like the perfect fit until contract time.
Be wary of hidden costs and additional fees and ask about limits in functionality. Are you looking at a “starter” package that you’ll grow out of in a year and will have to add a significant budget to increase services or are there standard pricing increasing when adding contacts or features? It should be easy and affordable for the business to grow within the platform.
In addition, agencies looking to use this vendor as a tool for their clients should ask who will control the relationship with the client, can the tool be whitelabeled, among other questions we’ve outlined in the checklist.
2. Is support free and unlimited?
Be wary of hidden costs and fees associated with customer service. Especially with a new system, teams will have a lot of questions as everyone onboards and gets started. Many vendors offer onboarding support at some level for new clients, but that doesn’t mean issues and questions don’t still arise in later stages. Businesses should ask about ongoing and direct support past the onboarding schedule.
Having a direct line to support is critical when marketing teams encounter an issue or hit a roadblock they can’t unblock themselves. Even the best marketing teams can struggle to find all the features they need in a new tool. A direct line of support streamlines this process and removes frustration for the team.
3. Are the features designed with you in mind?
It might sound silly to ask yourself this one because, of course, a tool built for businesses like yours has you in mind, right? Well, not so fast. There are so many marketing automation tools available and they’re all competing for your attention but that doesn’t mean they have your growth in mind.
Agencies especially should consider if the tool will work with their existing services and clients as well as future ones. Can this tool handle your growth? Is it already planning for the future with you?
Some platforms are all about showing off the latest and greatest features sets. Your business doesn’t need bells and whistles, it needs measurable results and proven strategies. Review the features and make sure they align with your business and its goals for the future.
Ask about future or planned features, too. You’re not going to want to have to move to a new vendor in 6 months because you outgrew this one. Look for partners that can and are actively growing with you.
4. Does the technology play well with other tools?
It may have taken some heavy duty duct tape and glue, but you’ve worked hard to put together a marketing stack to fit your needs. A marketing automation partner will help streamline that stack, but there will be tools you’ll want to keep. Does your vendor seamlessly integrate with these tools so that you can continue to work without a hitch?
Check out the “ecosystem” of technologies your potential partner integrates with. Does it allow enough flexibility that you can include current and future tools? Does it give developers the freedom to customize if needed?
Especially for agencies or businesses with lots of clients, you’ll want to deep dive in the API capabilities and technology integrations to confirm that it works for all various client needs.
5. Is this partner trusted in the industry?
In the age of online shopping, we rely heavily on ratings and reviews to help guide our purchase decisions. Why would shopping for a marketing automation partner for revenue growth be any different?
Check out what other people in your industry are saying about the tool. Are they finding it useful for revenue growth? Do they have enough support? Is it intuitive and easy to use? How quickly before they saw it making a positive impact on their bottom line?
How to Find the Technology That Works for You
Now armed with these questions, you can move forward with picking the right partner for revenue growth. Businesses can download our eBook with helpful checklists so that nothing gets overlooked. Agencies will need to add other questions for consideration, so we put that together for you here.
A great idea is to keep a spreadsheet of all the vendors being considered and if they check the right boxes. It’s an easy way to compare and narrow down services until the perfect one shines through.
Of course, the best way to get a hands-on look at what you’re getting yourself into is to schedule a demo! Have your checklist handy so that you can address the most important questions upfront.