Top benefits of marketing automation

Marketing automation is skyrocketing in importance for many B2B companies, especially in the technology sector. A recent report from Frost & Sullivan found that the marketing automation industry will reach $1.9 billion by 2020, according to an article by Dom Nicastro for CMSWire. The report indicated that firms will need to adopt an online marketing system to gain and sustain a competitive advantage in their sectors. While this may seem intimidating to some, even smaller B2B organizations stand to gain a lot from this software. Improved data collection, reduced cold calling and a shortened sales cycle are among the top benefits you can expect if you select the right marketing automation platform.

If you’ve been on the fence about implementing marketing automation, here are some reasons to consider it:

1. Streamlined data collection and segmentation

Internet lead generation requires a great deal more customer information than in the past. Campaigns need to be highly targeted to be effective. Marketing automation can help you capture any data necessary for qualifying sales leads, including name, email, location, title, company and other information, Katherine Dollar wrote for Media Orchard, by The Idea Grove. This can be achieved by providing relevant content to website visitors and requiring them to fill out a download form. Because a larger number of players factor into business decisions, these platforms can also help you segment the different members of your audience for better targeting. The software can trigger communications based on prospects’ interests and behavior. Improved segmentation can make lead nurturing efforts more successful.

2. Generate more relevant communications

Leads want to read different types of content based on where they are in the sales cycle. Not only can marketing automation help your team send out the right emails at the appropriate time, but improved visibility into data can refine your sales representatives’ conversations with potential customers, according to a Salesforce blog post by Jenna Hanington. If a prospect is in the middle of the sales cycle, it can be jarring for him or her to have to listen to a pitch. These platforms allow sales professionals to have a clear idea of where leads are in the revenue funnel and address the concerns of that stage in their interactions with prospects.

3. No more cold calling

Buyers have more control over the sales cycle than ever before, but marketing automation can help your team improve its approach. Most of the customer’s journey takes place behind the scenes, and buyers want less guidance from sales reps. Because of this shift in the buying cycle, cold calling is rapidly losing effectiveness, Dollar wrote. However, empowered buyers aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Prospects tend to contact salespeople when they are ready to negotiate, and marketing automation provides them with more information during the decision-making process. Cold calling can be significantly reduced – if not completely eliminated – because your team will have real-time visibility into prospects’ locations in the revenue funnel and their interactions with your content. If leads are required to give their business email or phone number to download content, they are less likely to be caught off guard when someone from your organization calls.

4. Email is growing in importance as an Internet marketing method

Even though email is the oldest form of digital marketing, it’s still highly effective and relevant in the B2B sales process. When it comes to lead generation and customer acquisition, email is essential for your team. With the ability to compile relevant data from these systems, your email campaigns can see a significant improvement because they will be more targeted toward prospects’ unique interests and needs. Marketing automation is a successful way to make email marketing efforts more modern, according to a TowerData article by Michael Neubarth. As buyer behavior continues to change, your team will need to adapt to keep up and avoid losing business to competitors. Using marketing automation is also a great way to track the effectiveness of your campaigns, Hanington wrote. You have easy access to data about how many people opened your messages, how many times the links were clicked and which messages drove conversions. All of this information can be used to optimize your campaigns.

5. Shorter sales cycle

One of the top benefits of marketing automation is reducing the length of the revenue cycle. Due to budget constraints and greater access to information, many companies have found their sales cycles extending. However, an online marketing system provides leads with relevant information at the right time, which can help inform their decision-making, according to Dollar. Because prospects have more information, conversations with sales reps can be more productive. As certain industries continue to get more competitive, this will be an essential benefit for your team. Most marketing automation platforms are scalable to company growth, and this means the sooner you adopt one of these solutions, the sooner you can start gaining the benefits. Dollar suggested that businesses that adopt marketing automation now may be better prepared for future changes in the industry.

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