Because B2B companies typically offer high-value goods that are purchased infrequently, decision time tends to be longer, involves more people and requires more research than with B2C sales cycles.
While B2C companies typically use marketing automation for providing data-driven product suggestions—like Amazon’s powerful recommendation engine—B2B companies can harness marketing automation to steadily nurture leads through the buyer’s journey by offering prospects educational resources, incentives, personalized answers and more.
Here’s a 6-step process for how B2B companies can optimize marketing automation to help drive revenue for their business:
1. Identify Opportunity Areas for Increasing Revenue
As a first step, you’ll need to determine where there might be opportunities for increasing the revenue of your business. For example, a roofing company that has failed to communicate with its customers beyond the initial sale has the opportunity to reengage past customers by cross-selling maintenance work, roof replacements and upgrades.
2. Segment Lead Segmentation on Highly Engaged Contacts
Next, you’ll need to segment the contact list in your marketing automation platform’s CRM database so that you’re able to focus marketing campaigns around prospects that are more likely to consider making a purchase. For example, the roofing company may identify its segment based on contacts who have a roof that is older than 10 years, has asphalt shingles and is located in an area badly affected by a storm. These contacts can be obtained automatically through the software’s CRM database.
3. Use Drip Campaigns to Target Your Niche Audience
Drip campaigns allow your brand to stay on customers’ radar. Gradually sending key points of communication via channels like email, digital ads and social media eases your target audience through the sales process. The same roofing company may lure return customers in by providing information about how installing a green roof can result in energy savings. Then, it could follow up with an offer for a free estimate. Automation takes the guesswork out of how often to space out the messages and eliminates the need for the team to manually send follow-up messages.
4. Proactively Monitor Engagement
Members of the sales team can automatically be notified when leads have shown significant interest in drip campaign materials, so they can reach out for a sale when the time is right. Furthermore, they will have access to the lead’s click patterns, which provides an idea of where the customer may still have hesitations.
For instance, let’s say a customer of the roofing company has spent a lot of time on the pricing section of the website—this could indicate he or she is interested in a new roof but is grappling over the expense. A sales rep can prepare a special offer that makes the customer comfortable enough to make a purchase.
5. Analyze the ROI
The analytics tool within your marketing automation platform provides immediate insight about the success of your campaign and helps you to analyze the ROI of your marketing efforts. For example, the roofing company may observe that 80% of sales came from customers who owned a roof that was over 15 years old, which means that, in the future, they can cut costs by primarily targeting this population instead of people with roofs younger than 15 years.
6. Use Insights to Plan Future Campaigns
Finally, use the resources management tool to glean insights from your previous marketing efforts and collaborate on plans for the next campaign. For instance, the roofing company may follow up with customers next with related services, such as roofing maintenance or gutter cleaning, using the knowledge gained from the analytics of the previous marketing effort. All of the data collected on customers from the previous campaign, which is stored in the CRM database, will be invaluable moving forward.
More than half of respondents to the State of B2B Marketing Automation report said they are only using three basic functions of marketing automation: email (73%), web forms (63%) and landing pages (56%). Avoid underutilizing this dynamic software by using all of the above functions of marketing automation to design and execute revenue-building campaigns.