So how do marketing teams manage this high-level nurturing and still maintain a respectable return on investment (ROI)?
B2B marketing automation.
With automation, B2B marketing teams can streamline lead generation and nurturing, deliver more sales-qualified leads (SQLs), and increase their ROI.
B2B marketing automation platforms let your team offer more relevant content to more prospects. These tools also offer analytics and segmentation features that can help marketers work smarter, not harder, generating more SQLs for the sales pipeline.
If you’re ready to take your B2B marketing to the next level, automation is definitely the way to go. But it’s important to know what the benefits are to get the most out of an automation strategy.
With nearly 30 years of creating world-class digital business solutions for B2B brands, the expert team at Guidance knows how automation can take a business’s online presence to new heights. In this article, we’ll look at seven B2B marketing automation benefits so you know how to use automation to grow your business.
What Is B2B Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is the process of using digital tools to take over routine marketing tasks like sending emails and segmenting leads.
With automation, marketing teams streamline lead nurturing, lead scoring, customer engagement, and other key functions of pipeline management.
For B2B marketing automation, the focus is on educating a prospect or lead, driving them down the sales funnel with high-value information.
How Does B2B Marketing Automation Work?
Marketing automation works by automating tasks using software.
Probably the most well-known type of B2B marketing automation software is email marketing. An email marketing platform sends a series of emails after a subscriber takes a specific action.
For example, if they sign up for an email list, the automation software might trigger an email series introducing them to the product and informing them about its benefits.
But there are other ways a use B2B marketing automation to improve lead nurturing and boost sales.
- Lead capture: A live website chat can capture leads that are browsing your website.
- Social media marketing: Automation tools can schedule social media content ahead of time, putting your post schedule on auto-pilot.
- Lead scoring: Automation software determines which leads are likely to convert, identifying which ones to follow up with and which ones to continue sending informative emails.
- Customer retention: It can help reduce churn. For example, SaaS (software as a service) companies can offer an automatic discount when a customer starts the process to cancel their subscription.
- Customer experience: A B2B self-service portal can increase conversions and improve the customer experience.
Why Marketing Automation Software Is a Must for B2B Teams
In B2B marketing the sales cycle can be long and complex, but it’s still important to give prospects and leads value every step of the way. Automation makes doing this well, and at scale, possible.
It also helps marketing teams live up to evolving B2B expectations. For instance, today, B2B buyers want the ability to learn about a product or service, compare their options, and even sign up or make a purchase without having to engage a sales representative.
This trend is growing — 87% of B2B buyers wanted self-service in 2021, and in 2022, almost 100% want to self-educate and self-manage the buying experience.
An Example of B2B Automation in Action
Guidance helped First American Data & Analytics leverage automation to boost conversions with a self-service feature.
Our technology experts created a custom portal that turns searchers into buyers with zero friction. Read the case study to learn more.
7 B2B Marketing Automation Benefits
With technologies that let you streamline at every step of the sales funnel and automate everything from social media marketing to compliance, B2B brands can deliver a high-level experience at every stage of the sales funnel. But that’s not all.
Here are the most important benefits of marketing automation every B2B marketer should know:
1. Streamlined Lead Generation and Nurturing
Companies use B2B marketing automation software to streamline the entire lead nurturing process. Automation tools can capture leads, automate nurturing emails, and qualify leads for sales.
Many tools will also automate segment customers based on preferences, behavior, and role within the company.
2. More In-Depth Lead Context
If multiple people in a company are looking at the same product, there’s a higher likelihood of a sale. But a lot of marketers focus on individual leads, who rarely end up buying — fewer than 1 percent of individual marketing-qualified leads actually buy.
B2B marketers can use automation to gather more context, such as buying groups — multiple people at a company who might be interested in a product and their roles. That way, they can send better quality leads to sales and drive higher revenue.
3. Task Automation
Marketers save about 25 hours a week by using automation tools.
By handling all of these time-consuming tasks — lead scoring, sending specific email series based on triggers, and data collection and analysis — marketing teams have more time to focus on strategy.
4. Smarter Decision-Making
Marketing automation makes lead nurturing more efficient through streamlining processes, but it also enables data-driven decisions.
B2B marketing automation tools can track and analyze data, helping marketing teams learn valuable information, including the following:
- What channels are the most effective
- What actions occur before a conversion
- Which emails are the most effective
- How specific buyer segments react to emails, social media posts, ads, and other content
Armed with this information, a marketing team can continually refine its B2B marketing automation strategy. Marketers know what works, what should be improved, and how to make a bigger impact during each stage of the funnel.
5. Multi-Channel Integration
Automation tools bring together email marketing, social media, website content, and digital ads, enabling an omnichannel experience
Creating a streamlined multi-channel experience is critical in B2B marketing because business buyers want multiple options. That gives them the flexibility to access the content they need at the right time and the right place for them.
6. Easier Compliance
Some marketing automation platforms offer granular control over permissions, allowing customers to manage what information is shared. That makes it easier to live up to GDPR regulations.
Also, with automation tools, it’s easier to analyze and clean up what info you have access to at any point.
Probably the biggest benefit of marketing automation is scalability. With the right technologies, businesses can scale in ways that wouldn’t be possible without automation.
B2B marketers reach thousands of prospects and leads, deliver high-value touchpoints, continually optimize the funnel for conversions, and analyze which leads are worth pursuing — without ever making a phone call or wasting a minute entering data into a system.
Take the First Step Toward Streamlining Your B2B Experience
With B2B marketing automation tools, you can give prospects what they need throughout the sales funnel.
But even a powerful marketing automation tech stack can only do so much if your ecommerce website isn’t set up to move leads down the sales funnel with ease. In fact, with today’s desire for self-service channels, having a conversion-ready website with custom automations is even more vital.
Guidance can build a customized experience that captures leads, engages customers, and encourages retention. We’ll also ensure it seamlessly integrates with other marketing automation tools, helping your business deliver a phenomenal experience.