CHICAGO: Businesses that invest in marketing automation solutions can generate a 451% increase in qualified sales leads, according to an online marketing site.

Marketing Weekly, a hub for marketing news and online marketing solutions, produced an infographic demonstrating how marketing automation allowed companies to streamline, automate and measure campaigns and workflows while boosting revenue.

It argued that multichannel marketing required sales teams to be available on many different touchpoints for potential customers. Using marketing automation software meant that they were able to trigger personal, customised messages for certain interactions with clients which helped to build relationships and leads.

"Automating lead nurturing is still a new concept to many marketers," said Nancy Simeone, managing editor for Marketing Weekly. "Today's software options make it easier to develop and implement a strategy that keeps your brand top of mind, no matter how long the sales cycle."

And with the average length of the sales cycle having increased by 22% over the past five years, as more decision makers get involved in the buying process, this need has become more pressing.

The importance of lead generation was highlighted in the statistic that companies which did this well generated 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost.

Further, three quarters of CMOs said that high-end lead generation was their greatest challenge.

Separately, atEvent, a creator of event app solutions, noted that companies spent $300m on marketing automation tools last year and that this area had been earmarked as a top investment priority. Some observers are predicting that by 2020 companies could manage 85% of their customer relationships without talking to a human being.

But Alex Lee, General Manager of atEvent, said less than 20% of marketers were integrating marketing automation into their current sales and marketing initiatives, including at events.

"Marketers need to start leveraging event apps that are fully integrated with their preferred CRM and marketing automation tools so they can capture critical prospect intelligence, and then quickly and easily close leads once the event is over," he said.

Data sourced from PR Newswire; additional content by Warc staff