In any organization, time is the most valuable resource you have; and unfortunately, it often feels like there just isn’t enough of it. Industrial companies are no different and are usually swimming in countless deadlines that limit their ability to focus on anything else. When it seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day, marketing tends to get pushed to the wayside and organizations end up spending little, if any, time managing it.
So, with this constraint in mind, it is essential to find a way to get the most out of your marketing while still keeping the majority of your time focused on running your business. One of the easiest ways to boost results without increasing effort is in using technology to manage some of these efforts.
Over the last decade, marketing automation has been exponentially growing in popularity. As of 2017, an average of 51% of companies were using some form of marketing automation. With more than half of B2B companies (58%) planning to adopt the technology (source). So, it’s worth a few minutes to look into what you can do with this technology.
We find that industrial and business to business companies tend to focus on the below areas as their ‘quick wins’:
The average business-to-business company only knows who 3% of the people looking at them online are – namely, whoever fills out a contact request form. This leaves 97% of the people engaging online anonymous. Using marketing technology usually leads to a 5-10% increase in visibility, giving your sales team insight into current customers, not to mention new prospects, that they would not have known about otherwise.
Part of the challenge of identifying website visitors is that not all of them are interested in purchasing products. Your visitors also include competitors, job hunters, and other contacts who aren’t worth your sales person’s time.
Marketing automation helps with that too, automatically weeding out those who are obviously unqualified and scoring the rest so your team focuses on solid leads. This ends up saving your sales team hours of unnecessary follow up with leads that are unlikely to progress to a sale.
For example, marketing automation will flag people as interested who:
Knowing where these leads are at in the buying cycle, and being the one to reach out at the right time, gives you an advantage over competitors who either don’t reach out until the sale is almost closed or call everyone they know to ‘check in’. Using lead scoring, marketing and sales teams can quickly gain insight into the quality of leads and prioritize which ones should be reached out to first (if at all).
50% of qualified leads aren’t ready to buy (source) – at least not right away. They need time to research, talk to their team about potential solutions, and investigate solutions. But, what do you do with leads you want to target that aren’t ready to buy? You don’t want to pester them with sales calls but you definitely don’t want to be forgotten either.
Just because they aren’t ready to purchase does not mean they should be left untouched – and that’s where lead nurturing comes in. Before the advent of technology-based nurturing, keeping ‘in touch’ could be a tedious and time-consuming process, resulting in it often being neglected – and losing potential sales because of this.
New technology makes it possible to nurture any number of leads with little time commitment or manual effort. Using a marketing automation tool, leads can be sent relevant content and information through triggered email marketing and drip campaigns (sending targeted information to prospects over a scheduled period). No lead is ever forgotten.
Email is an incredibly important part of B2B marketing. In fact, email is the third most influential source of information for B2B audiences (source), behind only colleague recommendations and industry-specific thought leaders.
One way to streamline your email marketing is by pushing emails out to leads after a specific action is taken. Take, for example, a lead filling out a contact form on a website. Instead of relying on a team member manually sending the first reach out, an email could automatically be sent out introducing the team member and asking further qualification questions. Or even more straightforward than that, it could just let them know what you have received the request and will be contacting them in the next 24 hours.
These processes, which can help streamline your routine contacts, can be as sophisticated or simple as you want it to be. The key is to identify which pieces tie into your current processes to simplify and make things easier, so you get better results with less work. This is a core component of what the ActiveConversion team works toward with our customers. Because in the end, isn’t that what every business is striving for?
About Gail Moch
Gail has a background in marketing and technology that she puts to use as ActiveConversion's marketing manager. She has a passion for innovation and creativity that she applies to all aspects of her life. When she isn't at the office, Gail can be found relaxing with her husband and two dogs.