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Marketing Automation Vs Sales Automation: What's The Difference?

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By now you may know that the Business GrowthStack is the behind-the-scenes key to making your business work. It’s how those big-name businesses you can’t get enough of (like Amazon and Apple) attract your attention as a customer and continue to grow and succeed themselves. 

If you don’t know that, where have you been? 

As a business owner, you can and should implement the Business GrowthStack to improve your systems, if you aren’t already. That means starting with clear messaging around everything your business does and ending with strategic campaigns that continue to delight and excite your customers. 

Two of the most important aspects of the Business GrowthStack are marketing and sales automation. They keep your marketing machine running without you having to have your hands on the wheel at all times. Which is extra helpful for us entrepreneurs who have more to-dos than hours of the day.

But, what exactly are marketing automation and sales automation? How should you use them? And what the heck is the difference between the two?

I’m glad you asked, because, wouldn’t you know? That’s exactly what we’re talking about today!


Automation Software Technology Process System Business concept


Marketing Automation: What You Need to Know

In today’s world where an entire transaction can happen online without any face-to-face interaction, the key to running a successful business is to create and build trust with your potential customers. So how are you supposed to do that when you’re busy running your own business?

You let them know that you understand their problems and how your product or service provides the best solution out there. And you do this through clear messaging and marketing automation. 

Clear messaging helps you iron out your content so it resonates with your customers emotionally. Marketing automation helps you to build trust through constant contact with those customers and by consistently providing them valuable content. 

In this way, you’re maintaining contact in a way that feels intentional, without any added work on your part. Marketing automation includes:

  • Automated email nurturing series
  • Premium content, campaign pages, and follow-up emails
  • Targeted social media posts
  • Marketing videos

Basically, when a cold lead hits your site, you take those leads and create a new contact record for them in your CRM (Customer Relationship Manager), where contact records are virtual business cards. They open up a path to a new relationship that could lead to new business by building trust with shared value. 

It’s your job to then cultivate that relationship, to continually share valuable information, and to constantly remind your customers that you exist, that you understand their problems, and that you can help them. 

Think of your customers like a seed. If you don’t water it and give it some sun, it won’t grow. In the same way, customers who are ignored won’t want anything to do with you.

Marketing automation is key to connection. It’s an infusion of technology that pours into your CMS and becomes a force multiplier for your content. 

Sales Automation

The humans we sell to crave the same experience in the sales process as they do in the marketing process. And who wouldn’t? Imagine how pissed off you would be if you got a great email about a new deal but the sales team refused to call you back to answer your questions.

Whatever system you have set up for sales automation, also known as your Customer Relationship Management (CRM), needs to build on the trust cultivated in every other portion of the GrowthStack. 

Sales automation itself is a system you use to keep track of every interaction you have with your customers. It sorts your leads based on relevancy and enrolls them into an automated, sales-specific email sequence. Sales automation includes:

  • Triggered sequence emails
  • Triggered sales tasks and deal creation
  • Virtual chat with sales
  • Sales videos

In this stage, customers want to quickly understand what the next steps are, clarify any last questions, and complete a nice, comfortable, safe transaction. Your sales automation process enables them to do just that. Neat. 

Essentially, your CRM takes the leads knocking at your virtual door asking for more information and nurtures them to a successful outcome. It’s a force multiplier to the sales process. 

Let’s Take a Closer Look.

The most common example of effective marketing automation is the automated email series geared toward the lead’s place in the buyer’s journey. 

In this example, a customer visits your site, sees content they want more of, and provides their email address in exchange for that content. They are then enrolled in a series of emails designed to nurture them into paying customers. 

These emails should directly speak to what they struggle with and how they’re feeling. They build trust with your brand and point to your product as a solution to their problems that they can easily buy into. If your marketing is a delicious Philly cheesesteak, this email series is the melty cheese holding everything together. 

In contrast, sales automation includes every interaction a customer has with your business in the process of making a sale. It’s the chatbox they ask questions to, the videos that help them mull over a purchase, and emails asking them to spend their money. 

The goal here is to make this a consistent experience so it’s not dependent on which salesperson they talk to. And so your documentation is clear and easy to follow. 

To be clear, the lack of sales automation is the reason nine out of ten startups will fail. This is because, without sales automation, you won’t see the results from all the other pieces of the GrowthStack. In this case, you may have leads coming to your doorstep, but, instead of making a sale, you’re turning them away every chance you get. 

If you have interested prospects but a sloppy sales process, sales automation could be a huge upgrade in the customer’s brand experience.

Putting It All Together

A business without marketing automation is only a fraction of what it could be. You have to do everything to bring in those leads. No one comes to your door without you working for it.

A business without sales automation is hanging on by a thread. Customers are falling through the cracks, and the experience leaves them wishing they had gone with the other guys instead.

But a business with both marketing and sales automation? That’s a company that has their shit together. They’re running 24/7 (even when the team is enjoying mojitos at the beach). Leads are continuously engaged and converted with minimal effort on the company’s part. And all that free time gives the boss the chance to focus on doing more of what they love. 

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

So this begs the question: How do you get there? How do you apply these to your business, and how do you know you’re headed in the right direction?

The answer is simple: Read my book!

In my new book, The Golden Toilet, you can learn more about marketing and sales automation and how to implement them successfully into your business. 

The book is a no-nonsense guide to starting and running a successful business that cuts through all the BS to get to the heart of what makes a business work. It’s for anyone fed up with marketing ploys and tricks that never move the needle. 


If you’d like to know more about Marketing and Sales Automation, Clear Messaging, and Strategic Campaigns, pick up your copy of The Golden Toilet today. 


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