9 Benefits of using marketing automation in B2B

The benefits of marketing automation are not always obvious, especially in B2B businesses. Marketing automation works in the background. It’s not visible like an advertising campaign is, but it can have an equally big (or even bigger) impact. It can help you to be more efficient and grow your business substantially. 

So, let’s take a deep dive into the benefits of marketing automation in B2B. 

1. Increase productivity in sales and marketing teams

When marketing and sales teams are aligned, more leads are likely to convert to customers. Optimizing the marketing-sales process (and funnel) is one of the main benefits of marketing automation: it can help the marketing team to generate more leads and qualify them using an automation tool, and help the sales team to focus on the high-priority leads. 

Cumbersome processes and repetitive tasks, like assigning leads and doing follow-up, can be automated and streamlined. The team will be more productive and efficient, and they’ll have the time to focus on higher-priority work. 

Also: marketing automation reduces human error and increases accuracy, which will not only benefit the marketing and sales team, but the entire business. 

2. Generate more and better leads

As mentioned above, marketing automation helps the marketing team to generate more leads and qualify them. Most marketing automation tools provide the necessary functionalities to build landing pages with a lead capture form to offer gated content. By running campaigns to drive traffic to those landing pages, you can efficiently target, attract, and acquire more leads. 

The next step is to qualify those leads. Based on criteria defined by the sales and marketing team, and using functionalities like lead scoring (more about this below), lead qualification can be fully automated.

3. Follow up on leads automatically

One of the most common marketing automation use cases, is automating lead nurturing and lead follow-up. By setting rules around specific actions a lead takes (for example: visiting a certain page, submitting a form,…) follow-up emails can be triggered. Since no manual action is required, follow-up will be a lot faster, and leads won’t have to wait for a reply. 

A few examples: 

  • Welcome sequences: a series of personalized emails sent to leads who subscribe to a newsletter or to welcome new customers. 
  • Autoresponders: emails sent after a lead takes action (for example: submits a form to download a gated asset – the email could contain a link to the asset). 
  • Nurturing emails: a series of follow-up emails with personalized content, sent to leads who show interest in particular subjects. Nurturing emails are meant to warm up leads until they can be handed over to sales. 
  • Up-sell or cross-sell emails: emails sent to existing customers, intended to inform them about products or services that may interest them. 

4. Prioritize leads with lead scoring

Lead scoring can help the marketing team to identify sales-ready opportunities and prioritize them. When lead generation is on point and leads are entering the marketing automation tool, the next step is to create a set of rules and criteria to automatically score them. 

The score can be increased or decreased based on: 

  • What you know about a lead – For example: if they live in the area in which your business operates, the lead becomes more valuable to you and the lead score can be increased. 
  • The actions a lead takes – For example: if they submit a contact form, they’re clearly interested in your products or services, so the lead score can be increased based on that. But if they visit the job pages on your website, they probably aren’t looking to buy, and the lead score should be decreased. 

This allows the marketing team to capture sales-ready leads in time and send them over to sales. Compare that with the tedious work of looking at each lead manually to see where they are in the customer journey. Because of the sheer number of leads, this process cannot be sustained. So, you’re left with trying to engage all incoming leads and hoping any of them will convert. 

5. Database segmentation for better targeting and personalization

Have you ever heard of dynamic lists? Most email and marketing automation tools have them. They let marketing teams easily create segments of leads and customers that are always up to date. Marketing defines the criteria for the segment, and the list will be automatically populated with contacts matching those criteria. The more data you have (and the more creative you are), the more dynamic lists will prove their worth. 

By segmenting the database, the marketing team can target the right audience with the right message at the right time. Communication will be more personal and more relevant to leads, increasing the chances of them converting to customers. 

6. See what’s working (and what’s not)

Marketing automation runs on data, and in turn, it will provide your business with the data necessary to analyse marketing and sales processes. You will be able to spot gaps and pitfalls and that will allow you to optimize even more. 

In addition, a marketing automation tool (in combination with your CRM) can measure, compare and analyze the effectiveness of marketing efforts. You’ll know which campaigns perform best for different buyer personas, and you’ll be able to calculate ROI more easily. 

7. Increase the value of your CRM system

By connecting your CRM to your marketing automation platform (or by using a tool that does both), you can capture more data about leads and customers, enabling your marketing and sales teams to better engage them. Integrating the two systems makes both of them more valuable because you’ll get better insights. 

8. Reduce lead conversion time

When leads are nurtured and qualified automatically, that will reduce the lead conversion time significantly. Leads will get the right information at the right time, informing them about the products or services they are most interested in. They no longer have to wait for someone to provide the information they need, and your business will remain top of mind without your team having to take action (except for setting up the automation flows, of course). 

9. Increase revenue and customer lifetime value

By now you already know automating lead qualification will allow the marketing and sales team to focus on converting only the best leads. But the main benefit here is that it can boost sales and new revenue. Because the best leads are the most engaged leads, the ones that are really interested in your business and the products or services you provide. 

This automatically results in a better relationship between you and your customer. Add to that automated follow-up and up- and cross-sell, and you can really strengthen that relationship and build a long-lasting partnership with your customers. 

And if you don’t believe us: a B2B marketing report found that 77% of marketing automation users reported increased conversion rates. 

Do you want to increase your marketing automation activities in your B2B company? Feel free to contact us for more information about how we can help you and your company.