With marketing automation it is possible to implement marketing campaigns targeted at a narrow audience. Tools of this class are perfect for B2B, i.e. supporting sales to business customers. Marketing automation comes down chiefly to base segmentation, scoring, lead nurturing, and improving the work of the sales department. How to use automation in B2B?
Marketing Automation tools help sales and marketing departments collaborate by becoming a link between the teams. Thanks to the automation and the possibility of qualifying leads, the work is optimised, allowing you at the very beginning to identify valuable customers who are most ready to buy. Lead scoring is about awarding points to users for actions taken or specific characteristics shared. For example, a recipient who has visited a price list subpage or subscribed to a newsletter is more interested in a transaction than a user who just once visited the site and did not come back.
The assessment may cover various criteria – behavioural, demographic ones or those based on engagement in advertising activities. The company can develop its own criteria for identifying potential customers. Marketing automation software allows you to conduct personalised communication with the most engaged customers, and then pass the leads to the sales department. Owing to such actions, the sales team don’t have to waste time contacting people who probably won’t make a purchase anyway or have accidentally visited the site.
The sales funnel, which represents the path of a potential customer, comes down to marketing and sales activities. What is most valuable for traders is hot leads containing data about the actions taken by users, the products viewed on the site, or the level of engagement in marketing campaigns. Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) is a user who has gone through initial qualification and has been identified as a potential customer. For MQL, different qualification rules may apply, e.g. achieving a given score. For example, the recipient who subscribes to the newsletter receives 2 points, for filling out the form on the website they are awarded 4 points, and if they have converted e.g. by downloading an e-book, they receive 10 points. A marketing lead with the greatest potential becomes a sales lead to be later transformed into a customer.
When applying marketing automation, repetitive activities within teams take place automatically. This is especially helpful and convenient when every employee is responsible for different areas in the company. Manual tasks are excessively labour- and error-intensive, which often affects sales performance. Marketing automation software gives you the ability to assign individual activities to a specific employee. For example, together with the CRM system, you can create a category of tasks and, according to automation rules, assign a given contact to a sales team member.
Marketing automation allows leads to go through all stages of the sales funnel and analyse their lifecycle. Marketing automation tools combined with CRM allow you to manage your database in all various aspects. It is possible to collect demographic and behavioural data, divide the database into categories and segments, add tags, assess leads (lead scoring), delete or correct outdated records, or import data from other sources. When planning detailed goals of an algorithm, it will be possible to implement ad campaigns targeted at narrowed target groups. Information on potential customers can be the basis of actions undertaken by sales, marketing or customer service teams.
Lead classification is a significant time saver for marketing and sales departments. However, before a lead becomes a customer, there is a long way to go. The sales funnel consists of several elements, and the classification must correspond to the nature of the given business and target group. In the first place, we are dealing with Marketing Qualiﬁed Lead (MQL), i.e. a customer for whom we have some basic data. After the initial qualification, the marketing lead is transferred to the sales department and defined as a potential customer. The sales lead, or Sales Accepted Lead (SAL), is not ready for purchase yet, so you need to take sales action towards them. The final offer is received by the Sales Qualiﬁed Lead (SQL), i.e. a person who has been qualified as ready to purchase. In other words, MQL is a user who, for example, has filled out a form on a website and ended up in a sales funnel. Now he or she has to go through the entire process of lead nurturing to become SQL and then a customer.
Before the launch of various types of events, fairs or cultural events, advertising activities should be intensified in the channels where our target group is present, e.g. on Facebook or Instagram. It is worth maintaining regular contact with potential and declared participants of the event through push notifications or newsletters. However, follow-up events should also be provided. In this case, time plays a major role. It is good to remember to send a message to the participants the day after the event thanking them for coming. However, it would be also good to contact people who couldn’t appear at the event by sending a message saying e.g. “We really missed you!” You can add a link to a speakers’ presentation to make people aware of what they’ve lost by skipping the meeting. Such actions after the event allow for maintaining contact with the participants and keeping a positive image of the organizer.