Different types of companies, from SMB to enterprise, have their own way of finding new leads, nurturing them, and turning them into customers. However, like most solutions in a company’s martech stack, marketing automation platforms aren’t one-size-fits-all, especially in B2B.
In fact, because of the variation in buyer journeys across the B2B landscape, these platforms must be tailored to meet the needs of unique prospects — not to mention the distinct use cases of marketing and sales teams. B2B marketing automation platforms may have similar foundational components, but their implementation varies across different industries and brands.
Marketing automation helps B2B companies reach and engage prospects in many ways, including:
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Lead nurturing and inbound marketing
- Digital advertising
- Landing pages and forms
Regardless of industry, channel, or use case, marketing automation platforms help B2B companies build personalized, seamless journeys for leads and customers at scale.
What challenges can marketing automation solve?
Marketing and sales teams face many of the same challenges on a day-to-day basis. Here are a few examples of common challenges these teams face — and how to solve them with marketing automation.
Your conversion rates are dropping, but your lead database is overflowing.
With lead scoring and grading, you can determine how engaged a prospect is based on activities like interacting with website content or emails. Plus, you can see how closely they match the profile of your ideal buyer. Lead scoring and grading features also make it easier to prioritize which leads to follow up with first.
You’re missing out on opportunities because your sales reps aren’t connecting with buyers at the right time.
Powerful features like lead nurturing ensure that you won’t miss out on an opportunity that isn’t ready to close. For instance, prospects who aren’t ready to interact with sales teams can be automatically added to an educational email journey, which can deliver relevant, dynamic content based on their preferences.
Sales and marketing goals are at opposite ends of the spectrum.
Sometimes, sales teams are left completely in the dark about how or if marketings efforts are impacting their bottom line. Working together, sales and marketing teams can clearly identify what an ideal lead looks like and create a process for sourcing, passing, and guiding leads through the sales funnel.
What does marketing automation actually do?
Marketing automation primarily helps companies do one or more of the following:
Lead generation is the process of collecting information about prospects — those who may be interested in buying your company’s products or services — and engaging them with relevant, useful marketing content, such as a step-by-step guide.
Generating leads is just the beginning; managing them is a crucial step to drive interested leads through the marketing funnel until they’re ready to be passed off to sales teams. This step includes audience segmentation, lead qualification, and lead nurturing.
Build and manage email marketing campaigns
In B2B marketing, an effective email program can be the difference between closing more deals and letting hot leads slip through the cracks. You can build dynamic emails, use A/B testing to see which content works best, and set up triggers to automate email delivery at the right time.
Align sales and marketing teams
Marketing automation can bring sales and marketing teams together to make their efforts more efficient and effective. Sales teams can deliver marketing-approved drip campaigns to leads, for instance, while marketing teams can see how their tactics contribute to increased sales via integration with CRM.
Report on ROI
Key stakeholders, such as CMOs, want to see marketing’s impact on revenue. Marketing automation platforms can help you check on the status of your funnel at a glance, report on campaign performance easily, and more.
Who uses marketing automation?
Both marketing and sales teams use marketing automation. Although this technology brings the two together, marketing and sales teams actually use marketing automation in different ways.
Marketing automation for marketers
Marketers can use marketing automation to drive pipeline by sourcing the hottest leads, creating customized campaigns (such as email campaigns) to target ideal buyers, and moving leads through the sales cycle to maximize the ROI of marketing programs. Marketers can execute on a digital marketing strategy without all the hassle of sending one-off emails or managing tasks manually. They can also provide sales teams with pre-approved, on-brand messages (such as email templates) that sales teams can customize for qualified leads.
Marketing automation for sales
Marketing automation is the bridge that connects sales teams with marketers, and gives them access to content they can send to leads with the click of a button. Sales will know which leads to follow up with first and be able to focus their time on what matters most: closing deals.
How to choose the best marketing automation platform for your business.
With so many options to beef up your martech stack, how do you choose the right marketing automation platform to suit your needs? Contact us now to help you find the right platform for your company.