Marketing & Sales Automation: Dos & Don'ts

by Melanie, on 9 Mar 2021

Drift recently published an infographic highlighting dos and don'ts of marketing and sales automation. We meet so many people with misconceptions about these tools, that I decided it would be worthwhile sharing it here.


I am continually astonished by marketers and sellers who use tactics that they themselves would hate to receive.

According to Drift, 53% of buyers feel frustrated at the number of irrelevant ads and emails they receive from B2B companies.

If I was talking about about this in a church, I'd ask for an "Amen!" Nobody likes being on the receiving end of blanket, unsolicited, spam emails – even if the offer might otherwise pique their interest!

Scaling up marketing efforts must be coupled with segmentation to enable personalization.

Your sales and marketing efforts will be more effective when you make people feel special rather than just an email address on a target list.

Other common myths about marketing and sales automation include:

  • Campaigns are quick to set up because things are automated. Nope – they can be automated once they've been set up, but someone actually has to do that legwork. A hammer is useless without someone who knows where to swing it. And, marketing execution takes time.
  • One marketing platform can do everything. You can certainly get a ton of functionality from the top performing software, but not everything in one tool. Even the best software tools cater to a limited set of needs. For example, licensing the best CRM platform doesn't mean you're also buying an ERP. Integrations make the tech stack so much more powerful, so always be prepared to add best-in-class tools via that approach.
  • Any company that is serious about growing uses Salesforce. Absolutely not. Salesforce can be a great option for companies that require high levels of customization. If you've used Salesforce before and haven't taken a look at HubSpot recently, please do. Their enterprise-level functionality is a powerful competitor to Salesforce, significantly easier to configure, and more accessible for users.
  • On the other end, it's fine to use MailChimp for email and piece together other lower-cost tools to make a tech stack. There's a lot to like about MailChimp. It is a fantastic option for many small companies but I would not recommend it for serious B2B companies. Be wary of creating data silos within discrete tools like MailChimp.  It is usually more efficient and scalable to spend a little more and build your tech stack around a single system of record, so budget accordingly.
  • Once you set up the system, sales will come rolling in. Nope! Marketing and sales automation tools let you get more out of your marketing initiatives and investments. They let you make great marketing even better. You still have to do the hard work of creating a compelling offer and communicating to the right audience!

Think about Mickey Mouse as The Sorcerer's Apprentice in Fantasia.

It starts out so well...



Then the brooms multiply, go rogue, and create a disaster.



That's my metaphor for records in your CRM database!

You must maintain your database through hygiene checks and data rules that everyone using the system must follow.

It's much easier to establish these rules and practices from the beginning, rather than once there is already a mess. Though, even if it has become a mess, you can still get help to clean things up and make sense of it all.

I personally LOVE cleaning up database messes! (I love being this guy ↓)


So, my top tips for optimizing your marketing and sales automation efforts are:

  • Keep things as simple as possible for as long as possible. Create the minimum number of databases (ideally one). Don't customize until you know what needs customization. Be open to integrations when needed.
  • Use tools for their intended purpose – to add spice and scalability to your marketing and sales, not replace it. Then, personalize, personalize, personalize.
  • Stay on top of your content – from chat flows to emails – and think about how you can better segment your database (even deleting irrelevant contacts and companies).
  • Budget appropriately. Don't underinvest in sub-par tools that will end up giving you more headaches as you scale.
  • Think about how you would want to be treated as a prospective customer. Don't spam or send irrelevant things. Make your potential buyers – and especially existing customers – feel special.


Data Hygiene – A Very Sexy Topic Indeed
An Introduction To The Information-Driven Customer Experience
Improving The Customer Experience: Where To Start

Topics:Marketing StrategyTechnology