B2B marketing automation is transforming the discipline of B2B sales and marketing rapidly. That, we know. What many businesses wrongly assume, however, is that implementation of such a platform will automatically yield sparkling results. This is not the case. Put simply, a bad business doesn’t become a good business overnight. Knowledgeable staff and the ability to produce strong content remain as key to the process as ever.
What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation is a type of technology that automates the management of B2B marketing operations and multipurpose campaigns across many channels.
Companies can target prospective and existing customers with automated messaging across email, the web, social media, and SMS using marketing automation. Marketing messages are being sent automatically in accordance with processes, which are collections of instructions. Processes can be developed using templates, created from scratch, or updated in the middle of a campaign to improve results
Both marketing and sales teams can use the automation systems
Marketing and sales teams leverage marketing automation to automate digital marketing and B2B sales activities in order to maximize revenue and efficiency. When repetitive processes are automated properly, personnel are free to work on greater issues, and human factor related problems are decreased.
Marketing automation system aides in the generation, nurturing, and scoring of leads, as well as the measurement of total campaign ROI. Automation’s time – based and cost-saving impacts rise in proportion to an organization’s scale and intricacy. Effective marketing automation tools are built to grow with your organization.
Marketing automation is critical for increasing the overall success rate of your B2B marketing campaigns since it manages all marketing activities. Marketing automation solutions enable marketers to better understand their customers, automate repetitive operations, produce quality leads, nurture prospects, and ultimately convert them to sales.
The main function of B2B marketing automation
A well-run platform should align the art and science of marketing, facilitating the company’s ability to target customers and prospects with the right message at the right time. Unfortunately, this is an age in which the credibility of marketers in business has come under question.
B2B marketing automation has huge potential to increase ROI and, perhaps of equal importance, provide tangible evidence of marketing campaign success.
Many businesses, however, remain confused as to what exactly B2B marketing automation can offer them. As such, let’s take four of the key factors and dissect them one by one.
Customers conduct their own research and engage with salespeople later than ever before. Marketing automation, however, provides the tools to ensure sales teams don’t let the interested ones slip away.
Benefits of B2B marketing automation
1. Lead Management
While marketing in the past was largely concerned with lead generation, B2B marketing automation lends itself far more to lead management, an umbrella term which incorporates acquiring, nurturing and scoring leads. Put simply, the bridge between lead generation and sale completion is decreased, resulting in the generation of higher quality prospects.
The advantages of B2B marketing automation are numerous and extensive. Most notably in terms of reducing the sales cycle, given the quality of leads is significantly higher. The efficiency of this process was overwhelmingly highlighted by a recent study conducted by a well-known marketing company.
This study showed that companies using B2B marketing automation for the lead management process gained an increase of 400% in qualified leads. Given the same study also indicated that nurtured leads make 45% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads then it’s hardly surprising that lead management is a cornerstone of the marketing automation experience.
Centralization is key to B2B marketing automation. Gone are the days of batch emailing, deciphering hordes of messy data and preparing complicated, laborious spreadsheets to determine the success of specific campaigns. For too long knowing what’s working and what isn’t has been a protracted process prone to miscommunications and misjudgements.
However, companies utilizing marketing automation can manage a range of campaigns from one location. This overview allows them to respond quickly to changes or, critically, adjust or scrap campaigns which are simply not yielding the kind of results desired.
For instance, some B2B marketing automation software offer a rigorous email campaign development and management interface for managing drip marketing messages as well as individual emails. The marketing campaign manager also provides easy-to-understand data on campaigns allowing for tangible evidence of success.
B2B marketing automation lets you automatically identify sales ready prospects and seamlessly move them on to the organisation’s sales department. As a result, the B2B sales process is shortened and win rates are likely to improve significantly.
While this may not have been the primary concern of marketing departments of days gone by, now more than ever companies view sales and marketing as one unified process and will judge both on success rates.
Tight integration with CRM (Customer Relationship Management) services means prospect data should flow coherently between marketing and sales. Furthermore, the improvements in revenue tracking and reporting also provide valuable data when it comes to formulating lead generation goals and revenue targets.
Analytics of B2B marketing automation
Perhaps the main reason the forward thinking marketer loves B2B marketing automation is the scope it gives for comprehensive reporting. Wide-ranging marketing analytics allows marketers to effectively measure the success of campaigns and provide tangible evidence of ROI.
This is crucial in this day in age as marketers attempt to regain credibility with disillusioned CEOs who desire black and white evidence of the achievements of a particular campaign.
B2B marketers have always had an insatiable appetite for data. However automation makes the formulation of accurate, informative reports relatively painless and allows for easy tracking of the KPIs that matter most. Additionally, it provides a closed loop ROI reporting.
This is an excellent way of measuring marketing and sales effectiveness and can easily generate attractive and readable custom reports. It’s also capable of producing scheduled ROI reports which can be sent out on a regular basis.
Final words on B2B marketing automation
Well-planned business to business marketing strategies benefit everyone associated with your company – from the marketing manager to the CEO, the board of directors to the customer.
While these five areas of B2B marketing automation technology are key tools for creation of a happy and profitable sales team, it’s important to remember one thing – automation was designed to benefit everyone, and that includes your customers.
Sales reps may well know exactly what a prospect has searched for, read and downloaded, but calling to inform them of this will only succeed in denting your reputation – everyone likes relevancy, nobody likes stalking.