Most companies today use sales and marketing automation tools in the hopes of improving their sales and marketing execution.
Many of these tools are very expensive, and while very capable, most companies find it difficult to show real ROI.
The challenge is not in that Salesforce.com, or HubSpot, or Pardot, or any of the other automation tools lack power. It is typically the opposite. Most of these automation tools are designed to address the needs of very large organizations and are therefore complex to set up properly.
The right way to start is with a well-defined playbook for both Sales and Marketing, with clear objectives, rules of engagement, metrics, and KPIs. Reports and Dashboards—at an individual contributor level, team level, and organization level—must also be thought out and designed prior to implementation.
Implementation of these systems cannot happen in a vacuum. The targets must be well thought out and known before configuration. Only then can companies expect to actually receive from these automation tools what they have paid for.