Gleanster thinktank says that 79% of top-performing companies have been using marketing automation for more than two years. Another research from 2018 indicated that B2B marketing automation led to a 60% increase in business value. The marketing automation sector has grown in value each year. Increased revenue is one of the principal reasons B2B companies are shifting towards automation. But how will B2B companies realise increased revenue through marketing automation? Here are the five main points to consider:
1. Lead generation and nurturing
With marketing automation, a mid-sized B2B company can prospect and generate converting leads. The automation software keeps your prospects engaged with personalised, relevant and actionable market information in addition to generation. Salesforce indicates that leads nurtured with actionable content are 18 times more likely to convert and buy your idea, products, or services than people blasted with random or broadcast marketing emails. The best part about automated leads management is that you cannot miss sending an email or omit one of the intended receivers mistakenly. All these translate to high revenue for your business.
2. Automated email marketing
Like with lead generation and management, automated email marketing can help a B2B company realise higher revenue. You should not be sending general emails to your prospects in this modern world, and that is what marketing automation enables you to avoid. One famous email marketing company says that 75% of revenue is generated from personalised email campaigns rather than traditional broadcast emails. Further, conventional emailing cannot send event-triggered emails, which have become a darling in marketing automation. The benefit of reacting to user events is that they usually have the intent and only need convincing information showing why they should proceed. According to Emailmonday, every dollar spent in a marketing campaign gives returns to the X38 order. That is an incredible 3,800% Return on investment.
3. A higher percentage of qualified leads
Unlike traditional brick and mortar marketing, automated marketing helps B2B entities generate more qualified leads. You reach companies looking for your services or who are interested in what you do. These are the type of prospects who convert after a few emails. Again, automated marketing can increase your converting leads by up to 250%, which can only mean a high ROI.
4. A combined effort from marketing and sales teams
Monitoring the results of marketing automation is a combined effort between the sales and marketing departments. This way, both departments' actions can be evaluated and measures concerning the campaign's effectiveness and efficiency. Additionally, each department can tune the other's contributions with a view of increasing the return on investment. As you may already have experienced from other processes, harmony is key in objective missions.
5. Prevent repetitive tasks, thus reducing the cost of labour
Marketing automation prevent all repetitive tasks that would otherwise be done by humans. This implies that the company can either cut down on labour after adopting automation or assign new functions to those relieved of their duties. Either way, a B2B company is poised to realise higher revenue through gained efficiency.
Challenges faced by traditional companies when implementing marketing automation
Starting marketing automation can be daunting, like with other business processes. Most B2B companies experience challenges in the first months of automated marketing, and some even fall back to old practices. However, you can smoothly sail through most of the difficulties if you know them beforehand:
1. Initiating and maintaining quality integrations
Getting into marketing automation without prior experiences is one of the biggest challenges a B2B company can face. Companies of this nature attempt everything they have heard about automation all in a short time. The outcome is that results are discouraging, and the company cannot create quality integrations between the various marketing platforms available.
2. Content creation
Marketing automation is content intensive. Therefore, starting on this path requires the company to create bundles of marketing content for the automation process. Again, the amount of personalisation and new content requirements can overwhelm the marketing team if not properly handled. It gets more complicated and expensive if the B2B company intends to support several sales funnels from the go.
To get past the content-based challenges, the marketing team should use the storytelling approach to build upon the ideas communicated in a previous email or post. Further, writers should understand that sharing information and instructing readers is better than using sales language all over the posts. One last tip that can help a B2B entity when starting is to send or write minimal posts per week and avoid spamming prospects.
3. Segmentation and optimisation
After generating good leads for a campaign, do you send them a general email, or how do you choose who gets what? This one question bothers many marketing teams, especially when no one has experience with segmentation. However, teams can overcome this challenge by using an A/B comparison method with two methods and measuring the results as a basis for lead segmentation.
Marketing automation is not a walk in the park for B2B companies. However, a marketing team can navigate the challenges and deliver success if they can plan things before implementing it. Furthermore, the revenue increase expected after automation is worth every risk and should motivate the entire team. In conclusion, marketing teams must collaborate with sales teams to curate actionable marketing plans to see significant revenue gain.
Written by Karina Collis
Founder @Liinea Sales Advisory
With over 15 years of sales and international business development working for global blue-chip software and information services companies, she notably designed and executed an effective go-to-market and sales expansion strategy for Central and Eastern Europe at Bloomberg, the largest financial technology company.
Founder of Liinea Sales Advisory, she is helping businesses to grow and structure scalable sales processes and high-intensity execution. Current clients include startups, scaleups, venture funds and accelerators across Europe (UK, Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain,…).