Small business owners consistently have competing priorities. Your time is limited, and often that time gets consumed with solving crises. It can be tough to continually find new leads, nurture them and convert them to new customers.

If leads are neglected, your revenue will dry up. Luckily, there’s a solution for small business owners.

Marketing automation has been developed to help businesses work with their leads more efficiently, alleviating the strain on resources and time allocation. Marketing automation also helps prioritize leads and alert you when they are ready to buy so that you don’t let them slip away by inaction.

In today’s digital landscape, marketing automation is a necessity for businesses that want to grow.  The technology is becoming more sophisticated as developers respond to marketers’ feedback. Here’s where we see marketing automation going in the future:

1. More Streamlined Software

As the buying experience becomes more fragmented, marketers will want to work with increasingly streamlined software. Streamlined marketing automation means giving marketers all of the sales and marketing data they need in the same place, prioritizing leads and offering up holistic reports for marketing campaigns. By putting sales and marketing data together, each team has a better idea of what the other is doing, so that they can work together to increase revenue. Sales teams can offer feedback to marketers to help make campaigns more targeted, while marketers can prepare the sales team when a new marketing campaign is launching. As the marketing automation industry becomes more complex, streamlining will have to become inclusive and categorize even more data, so that a diverse list of companies can use it.

2. Mobile Optimization

With mobile marketing growing and mobile sales on the rise for both B2B and B2C companies, marketing automation software will have to focus on reaching customers via mobile platforms. Indicators show that by 2017, 30 percent of retail purchases will come from mobile devices. Marketing efforts will have to ensure campaigns work across mobile devices, such as creating mobile-optimized email campaigns.

3. Predicting Behavior

Marketing automation systems already analyze current leads for their sales potential at every point of contact. This analysis comes from how the prospect interacts with designated triggers such as webpages, forms, emails and links. However, marketers need a peek into the future, and this comes with better predictive behavior analysis. Instead of understanding where a customer is now, wouldn’t you like to know where they will be in the future on your scale of lead-to-repeat customer? Features like contact scoring will continue to improve to help marketers predict future behavior.

Are ready to embrace the future of marketing for your business,  or still trying to wrap your head around marketing automation? Check out our 2 minute overview to see how marketing automation can help your business prioritize leads and close more deals.