Recurring emails, generating new leads or even contacting prospects - if you work in marketing, you have to deal with many tasks that can easily be automated. The keyword is marketing automation for B2B companies, which can mean a significant relief.
What is B2B Marketing Automation?
Marketing Automation for B2B companies can be realized with the help of a corresponding platform, which can prioritize tasks and automate them at the same time - so that they no longer need to be filled out manually.
With B2B marketing automation, your marketing team saves a lot of work and time, which also reduces costs and makes their work more efficient.
Whether it's for sending out emails, generating leads, following up with a client, or even sending out newsletters, automation offers a lot of ways to lighten the load on a team.
Automated Lead Management
Lead management is a complex process that requires extensive support, patience and time. Especially in the B2B sector, lead management is usually much more time-consuming than directly with the end customer, since purchase intentions are not made so easily, but are first discussed internally.
For this reason, it is a great help for many marketing employees if certain repetitive processes can be automated. This already starts with the generation of leads.
When new contacts are added to the database via newsletters or other means, this means a lot of manual effort for marketing staff - unless an automation system takes the work off their hands directly.
For example, contact forms or landing pages can be created with the help of templates that the lead only has to fill out with his personal data.
For example, a visitor to your website looks at one of your blogposts and finds it interesting. He clicks on a call-to-action link and is then taken to a landing page where he can enter his contact information and submit it. This automatically gives him access to further information again.
The information entered is stored by you, which means that the once anonymous contact is now a lead and can be contacted in the future via newsletters or other means.
You, as the business owner, gain access to their name and other valuable information that you can use for analysis and targeting - which, of course, in turn increases the likelihood that a simple lead will actually become a customer or business partner.
Automated lead scoring workflows are also helpful to properly rank leads within your CMS. Depending on which phase of the sales cycle the lead is currently in, it is assigned to a certain score - i.e. according to whether it is classified as a potential buyer or not.
Every single action a lead takes assigns them a certain score, which in turn has been determined in advance by a company's marketing team.
If they click on a link in a newsletter or open your website, they'll get a higher score than someone who doesn't respond at all. As a result, it's easy for you to immediately identify whether a lead qualifies for you or is no longer worth contacting.
Marketing Automation in the DACH region
Many companies use the data from newsletter sign-ups to send personalized emails to their leads - without the need for an employee to manually take action each time.
As soon as a visitor to a website registers for a newsletter, downloads content or views product pages, lead nurturing ideally follows. The company then sends personalized e-mails welcoming the lead and providing him with important information. In this way, the contact already feels cared for and courteously retained - the first important step is thus taken.
But with emails alone, marketing automation is not yet at the end of its possibilities. The playout of dynamic content and the connection to social media channels also play a role.
Find out how B2B companies in the DACH region are doing in our Marketing Automation Report.
Shorten Sales Cycle
A purchase decision process in the business-to-business (B2B) environment is usually accompanied by more complex dynamics, and the sales cycle is also significantly more comprehensive than in the B2C market.
Until a few years ago, trade fairs were the most important means of establishing contacts with other companies in numerous sectors.
Nowadays, targeted marketing automation can take over this task in order to shorten the sales cycle for B2B companies.
Digital lead nurturing plays a particularly important role here when it comes to qualitatively developing leads - be it for the acquisition of new customers, for the maintenance of existing B2B customers or also for the recovery of inactive or lost customers.
Regular lead scoring offers the possibility to always keep track and immediately see how many leads are qualified and which can be sorted out. This allows you to keep an eye on the sales pipeline and benefit from truly efficient marketing campaigns as well as shorter sales cycles that lead to a conversion faster.
Increase Return on Investment
In order to achieve that Marketing Automation provides a higher ROI (Return on Investment), it is first not enough to decide on any system implementation.
It is of great importance to adapt the platform exactly to the requirements of your company and to ensure that your employees can also use it efficiently.
How quickly Marketing Automation provides a higher ROI is determined on the one hand by the chosen software system and its implementation, but also by the commitment of the company itself.
People on your marketing team who are already familiar with pipeline marketing can usually ensure that ROI skyrockets relatively quickly.
It is also effective if the leads generated by the marketing team are qualified. However, in order to optimize the leads, it is again important to have close and regular cooperation with the sales department.
In order for your marketing staff to determine whether the automatically executed marketing campaigns are actually worthwhile, it is important to accurately measure the ROI again and again and to compare it with previous values.
Generally, the return on investment is determined from the profit achieved, which is divided by the invested capital.
In the B2B sector, many companies can benefit from marketing automation - throughout the entire lead management process. Right from the start, marketing automation helps to distinguish unqualified contacts from qualified ones and later, during lead nurturing, to nurture only those where the effort is really worthwhile.
In the context of lead scoring, B2B Marketing Automation supports your team in evaluating contacts - if they turn out to be unqualified and therefore irrelevant due to continuous inactivity, they are immediately dropped from the grid.
B2B Marketing Automation also frees up resources for marketing staff, who can use the free time they gain to focus on the leads that are actually relevant and develop targeted marketing campaigns.
However, as mentioned earlier, it is at least as important to make sure that you choose the right software for your business. Not every platform is suitable for every B2B business. Employees must also be familiar with sales pipelines in order to achieve maximum efficiency for your sales.