(For an introduction to marketing automation, please see What is Marketing Automation?)
Marketing automation offers tools that are valuable to B2B companies. The anonymous web visitor tracking and behavioral based email automation features provide B2B companies with the opportunity to convert every lead that visits the company’s website.
In general, B2B companies use sales teams to sell larger ticket items to their markets. Each deal is so valuable, because the cost of hiring, training and maintaining a sales team is so high. This cost makes identifying and converting every lead essential.
Marketing automation includes several tools that can help B2B marketers identify and convert leads to sales.
Anonymous Web Visitor Tracking
More than 97% of visitors won’t fill out a form on a website. Marketing automation identifies these anonymous visitors (the 97%) that would otherwise go unnoticed. Identifying these lead will generate a significant increase in lead volume. The more comprehensive marketing automation tools can even provide the lead’s phone number, email address and social connections to help the sales team close deals more effectively and consistently.
Once visitors are identified, marketing automation can recognize the leads that are more engaged, which will allow the sales team to focus on the leads that have the highest probability of closing.
Lead scoring is one of the tools designed to measure the engagement of a lead. The lead score is based on a lead performing certain tasks like visiting an important page, entering an email address on a form, etc. The lead will earn a certain point value for each task the lead completes. For example, providing a name might be worth 1 point, while visiting an important page might be worth 15 points. Salespeople can be notified by email or even by text when a lead receives a very high lead score (a “very hot” lead), visits the site or behaves in a way that suggests the lead is ready to make a purchase.
Similarly, leads that are not ready to make a purchase can be assigned to campaigns that automatically nurture them over time, by using email communication targeted specifically to the lead’s interests, rather than one-size-fits-all email blasts. Recent studies have shown that this targeted email communication generates a significant increase in qualified leads and sales:
- Organizations that nurture their leads see a 45% increase in lead generation ROI over those that don’t
- Poor lead nurturing significantly contributes to 79% of marketing leads never converting to sales
- Nurtured leads produce 20% more sales opportunities than non-nurtured leads
- Lead nurturing emails get 4-10x the response rates compared to email blasts
- Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads
- Lead nurturing through marketing automation increases qualified leads by 451%
Also, please check out other posts in this series:
This post is adapted from an interview with Rick that originally appeared on the crazyegg blog.