Automated solutions perform simple, repetitive tasks such as data processing. This improves efficiency and productivity by freeing up employees from such tasks. As a result, they can devote more time to meaningful tasks.
Often, marketing teams are presented with various digital tools, but no clear guidelines on how to best use them. Yet, with a full understanding of their benefits, automation tools can provide the impetus to bring remarkable success to lagging B2B sales.
Adding automation to your B2B marketing operations will help a business generate and qualify leads, streamline tasks, improve the customer experience, and boost sales.
How Marketing Automation Streamlines Processes
Any B2B company will find that automation improves nearly all aspects of marketing. It can be used effectively to increase productivity and results in email campaigns, social media, buyer analytics, reducing waste, lead generation, and more. Here are some recommended best practices in marketing automation that will bring higher revenue at lower costs.
1. Implement a Grading System to Identify Quality Leads
It’s important to have a system that can help you efficiently identify the most promising leads on which to focus limited time and resources. More emphasis should be placed on lead quality than the volume of leads since very few poor leads become customers. Identifying promising prospects depends on how much information and insights you can gather.
Automation helps by assimilating and organizing this data. Lead behaviors such as page views, click-throughs, social likes, and others can come in such quantity that they are difficult to track without automation.
These lead activities are assigned values based on their significance to the buyer journey and ideal customer persona. When this information is captured in a digital system, it becomes simple to cross-reference these values and generate a lead score that helps prioritize efforts.
2 Keep the Customer Engaged Throughout the Sales Cycle
B2B marketing typically involves a longer sales cycle. A business client is looking for calculated returns on their expenditure. Success depends on keeping the customer’s interest through each sales cycle phase.
This requires not just establishing value but developing relationships. Interested clients will need prompt answers and reminders that their satisfaction is important to you. In addition, it can be critical that customers are kept updated on new developments and special offers that can add greater value to them and more revenue to you.
Automated systems can prove invaluable by tracking not just how and when that data is used. Timestamps and alerts, and accountability over the entire sales process can let you know about the best time to make contact while lowering the risk of duplicated communications or giving the impression of high-pressure tactics.
3. Shape Content Based on Personalization and Segmentation
With so much advertising being done, it’s important to produce content tailored to your audience. In addition, different market segments may have different preferences. Therefore, it’s crucial to personalize your content and communications as much as possible for a more enriching customer experience.
Automation makes this possible. Data on the preferences and interests of your prospects and customers can be broken down by demographics for every channel you market on. You can also quickly evaluate the impact of your content to be sure you’re optimizing your communication with each target audience.
Market automation systems can also integrate with collaboration software and cloud-based solutions. For example, online sharing systems like OneDrive can allow everyone on the team easy access to the latest content to consolidate campaigns and strategies.
4. Utilize Reporting Capabilities for Informed Decisions and Higher ROI
Today’s companies thrive on information, and without automation, processing your growing datasets into timely, useful information is nearly impossible. Automation can enable near real-time reporting solutions that provide insight in a format you can easily share across the team.
This leads to an increase in ROI. Less time and money are wasted on guesses, hunches, or trial-and-error experimentation. New initiatives and innovations can be more accurately predicted and tested even on a small scale.
This is true of both limited campaigns and complex, long-term strategies. In addition, more timely data allows faster and more effective responses to change market factors. As a result, most companies will see up to 50 percent increases in revenue with marketing automation.
5. Drive Business Growth with Industry Analysis
No matter what product or service your B2B company is engaged in, you lose credibility and miss opportunities if you aren’t at the forefront of your target industry. Monitoring industry developments and following influencers are easier with automation.
A leading industry position enhances your company’s profile and inspires greater confidence from your prospects. The more positive interactions you can generate and include in your content through blogging, social media, and other channels, the higher your company’s market visibility. This kind of high-profile branding you need for improved outreach and market penetration.
Adopting marketing automation is one of the most rewarding investments you can make in your company’s future. Your relevance becomes part of your marketing content by staying ahead of industry developments and raises your appeal to B2B prospects.
Making automation part of your marketing does take some work and planning at the outset. But in the long run, you’ll find that it’s the most cost-effective and productive addition to get past stagnating sales numbers and reach new heights of success.
Joe Peters is a Baltimore-based freelance writer and an ultimate tech enthusiast. When he is not working his magic as a marketing consultant, this incurable tech junkie enjoys reading about the latest apps and gadgets and binge-watching his favorite TV shows. You can reach him at @bmorepeters.