Marketing automation, lead generation – how to increase the efficiency in B2B marketing
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated digitisation processes in almost all companies. Many businesses have moved online, most have significantly increased the share of revenue from online sales. This is especially new for B2B companies, where personal meetings with customers have been the main sales channel so far.
We are fortunate that there is already a wide choice of systems and applications that help us to improve our communication with current and potential customers, as well as other stakeholders.
Technology supports us, but how to choose what works best for us and how to plan the development of online marketing and sales? How not to buy many systems that we will not use? How to effectively design the process and use existing resources?
Firstly, we should analyze what we already have
Many companies already have a CRM system. A well-run system is a treasure trove of knowledge about our current and potential customers and a great contact database for marketing.
Two cases are common:
1. we have, but we do not use
2. we have, we use to some extent (mainly data feed) but we do not analyze the data or use it for cross- and up-selling
And that is a big mistake.
I will devote one of my next blogs to CRM systems. For now, however, let’s focus on data.
If we have the data in the CRM, this is already half the battle. The question to ask is whether it is updated and whether we can rely on it. If this is the case, it is worthwhile to segment your customers and prospects so that you can communicate with them in a more targeted manner.
Segmentation is a broad topic, and it is worth to broaden the approach: not thinking just about industry or company size. An interesting and very helpful aspect is, for example, the length of the purchase process or the number of people involved in it. Another valuable indicator for us will be the margin of our product in a given sector.
As many companies and products as many dedicated segmentations. Think about what is most important in your company.
I am not asking about the website itself. I assume that every company has one. But what about Google Analytics? It is a basic tool for analyzing website traffic. Let’s analyze the keywords by which visitors enter our website. This will give us an overall view of the needs of our potential customers. Unfortunately, Google Analytics currently only shows statistical data. Until last February, we were still able to use the visitor server recognition function. This was enabling us to identify a significant part of business visits (company name). Due to problems with data protection lawsuits, Google decided to disable this function.
However, the market does not like emptiness. Systems have appeared which not only identify companies visiting our website, but also offer many additional functions: filtering, tagging, grouping, integration with CRM systems or automatic communication to selected companies on the website.
It is a great source of knowledge and of potential leads. It also helps us to better assess incoming leads from, for example, Google AdWords. Depending on the traffic on the website, by analyzing such inputs you can generate even up to several warm leads a day.
3. E-mailing system
Many companies have some sort of emailing system. They use it or not. Is it worth it?
It is worth it, but under several conditions:
1) We have a valuable, up-to-date database of customers and prospects with emailing consents
2) we create valuable content that can interest our audience
3) we plan our communications regularly and continously
4) we treat emailing as an additional channel to other marketing activities
Why? If customers between our newsletters forget that we exist, the impact of such actions is low, and the likelihood of unsubscribing is much higher.
If we only write about ourselves, they will unsubscribe too.
Many emailing systems allow you to plan and run at least semi-automated campaigns. It is worth taking advantage of this.
Tip: regularly clean your database of old, inactive or spam emails – most systems charge a fee based on the size of your database. Also, more low quality emails means lower email results and a lower ranking of your address in mailboxes, which means more of your emails end up in spam.
4. Marketing Automation
More and more companies are introducing marketing automation systems. Apart from the main, largest, most developed ones, i.e. Marketo, Hubspot or Pardot, smaller ones have appeared, without certain functions, but still sufficient for SMEs and marketers new to the topic, e.g. GetResponse.
Often the system put in place does not deliver the expected results – why?
There are several common reasons:
– Lack of basic marketing and sales assumptions, e.g. customer segmentation, lead valuation, arranged lead process (from lead to contract). In such a situation the system will not help.
– No established rules or process for passing leads to sales. The result: sales does not deal with leads because they are of low quality (or perceived as such). This is where the lead process, lead scoring and lead valuation come to help again. Additionally, analytics – our treasure trove of knowledge, which is usually well developed in marketing automation systems, and when combined with CRM can help us improve our MROI effectiveness by several tens of percent.
– Unstructured functions and processes in the marketing automation system itself – no scoring, no set rules when running campaigns, no tagging and segmentation, no use of full functionality without which Marketing Automation becomes just an ordinary emailing system.
4. Other marketing systems and applications
Many companies have different systems and applications for things like social media management, analytics or advertising. It is worth reviewing your list of licenses and thinking about what you actually use and what brings you tangible benefits.
Decide on one main system and adapt the others to it so that they integrate and enable better analysis of marketing performance (MROI).
And what next?
After an “audit” of systems and applications, it is important to analyze what results the various communication and lead generation channels are giving us. It is also critical to know what resources (financial and human) we have for communication, marketing and lead generation.
The most important thing is to use these resources in the most effective way. If we have few salespeople, we need to provide them with warmer leads, and warm up the cool ones with nurturing campaigns (automatic emailing campaigns that adapt to the recipient’s behaviour and are designed to identify people who are at a further stage of the purchasing process, the so-called customer journey).
To achieve the best results, a few key steps need to be followed:
1. Map the marketing and sales processes to identify bottlenecks, good and poor performing elements
2. Optimize processes and define your lead process (what happens from the moment the lead is generated to the moment the contract is signed – when marketing passes the prospect on to sales, how does the sales and marketing work on a new prospect, what happens after the contract is signed – cross- and up-selling).
3. set up systems (CRM, MA) to reflect established processes.
The result: higher conversions, continuous optimization, more time for the important things, higher team satisfaction, more control over process and results.
Do you want to increase the effectiveness of your marketing and sales activities? Want to generate more leads and improve their quality?
Do you want to introduce CRM and MA in your company? Do you have systems in place, but their implementation has not worked?
We will be happy to help! We will audit, map your processes, make optimization recommendations and implement them. If you don’t have systems, we will also help you select them and set them up fully so that they deliver real value. Contact us!