17. November 2021 By Simon Schulte
How to digitalise your B2B sales with marketing automation
1. The digitalisation of sales
Modern sales is in a state of flux. The time of prospective buyers making their purchase decisions solely on the basis of a personal conversation is coming to an end. Both consumers and customers can easily access information on products, services and offers to compare them without needing any extra help. In addition, the global pandemic has accelerated the behaviour of users, as it has made it difficult to get a personal consultation for quite some time. It’s reasonable to assume that some of the new consumer behaviour will remain after the pandemic ends.
Consequently, digital touchpoints for getting in contact with prospective buyers as early as possible are becoming increasingly important. This is the only way to generate positive attention before the purchase decision phase. If the compelling added values of a product are made accessible when prospective buyers need the product, they will remember the experience as a positive one.
For this reason alone, the fields of marketing and sales are moving ever closer together. The relevance of products and information is becoming increasingly important. Communication with prospective buyers is becoming increasingly digital. More and more, information needs to be tailored to individuals and respective contexts.
2. The synergy of marketing and sales
Accordingly, sales don’t begin with the initiation of personal contact, but rather with the offer of information while prospective buyers are researching – perhaps even earlier. Therefore, it is important to understand which channels the different target groups are on, what information they expect to receive, how far along individual prospective buyers are in making their purchase decision and in which phase demand still needs to be created or whether they already expect to be in contact with sales.
This presents many companies with the challenge of managing various online touchpoints for a wide range of target groups and expectations. It becomes even more challenging when needing to measure the interactions between prospective buyers and companies on various online channels because this is the only way to identify digital leads early on and accompany them along the customer journey. A professional scoring model can be used to classify leads and provide them with relevant content. Only those who break away from the classic target group approach and perceive prospective buyers as individuals with their own sensitivities and differing needs will have a chance in the race for leads in future. This is exactly where marketing automation comes into play.
3. Marketing automation as a part of sales
The role of marketing automation in the sales process is continually growing. The sales process can be positively influenced by online marketing from a central location. This results in a plethora of new marketing activities, which are also becoming increasingly important. Marketing automation helps to professionalise the necessary activities and align them with various prospective buyers and channels.
Common marketing automation tools offer a number of useful features for empowering marketing and professionalising the sales process – such as journey building, for example. Journey building allows individual customer journeys to be mapped for different target groups and prospective buyers. These customer journeys can consist of various touchpoints and coordinated marketing activities. This allows communication to become centred around the user, in that the activities mentioned correspond to the individual stages of the sales funnel and thus serve the need of the target groups. Additional features of marketing automation tools include the distribution of content (via automatic mailing lists, for example) and content personalisation for taking a target group-specific approach. A marketing cockpit continually indicates the success of the marketing activities and creates transparency about the budget being used, traffic gained and leads in the sales funnel.
Marketing automation can support a wide range of marketing activities and thus positively influence sales, especially on online channels. But it’s also possible to combine offline and online measures in order to reach the target groups and users in the best possible way. Marketing automation forms the basis for future and professional multi-channel marketing.
4. Procedure and benefits
Many companies ask themselves how they can approach the topic of marketing automation. The subject seems complex at first glance, and access appears complicated. To simplify this, adesso has developed its own process model. This makes marketing automation projects transparent and manageable in small steps.
The first thing companies need is marketing automation goals: Do more leads need to be generated? Is a higher number of completed purchases necessary? Should the first step be to professionalise mail marketing and generate more newsletter subscribers? All of these goals, which adhere as closely as possible to the SMART framework, help with the future roadmap and prioritisation.
Based on a status quo analysis of the sales processes, marketing and target groups, including customer journeys and content, use cases can be derived, and personas and audiences can be created. Content gaps can be closed and customer journeys are aligned with the sales process. The aim of this conceptual groundwork is to achieve the goals you set for the defined groups of prospective buyers and to find the ideal software solution for your marketing automation, if it hasn’t been found already.
adesso is also happy to help you with the implementation and set-up of the marketing automation tool and necessary interfaces so you can create and run your first automated campaigns. An accompanying tracking concept makes the marketing activities transparent and measurable so that it’s possible to constantly optimise the campaigns.
In summary, Marketing Automation by adesso includes eight steps for getting started with marketing automation:
- 1. Target definition
- 2. Status quo analysis
- 3. Strategic planning and use case development
- 4. Tool selection
- 5. Implementation and configuration
- 6. Campaign set-up
- 7. Implementation and campaign testing
- 8. Tracking and optimisation
We can of course still be of assistance, even if you have already performed some of the steps above. It’s important to make the procedure as structured and comprehensible as possible.
Surveys show that successfully implemented marketing automation solutions significantly improve targeting in almost 70 per cent of cases. In 80 per cent of the cases, more leads were generated.
The benefits are plain to see: marketing automation helps to professionalise sales processes and reduce the workload of the marketing department at the same time. The results are improved targeting, increased leads and much more. Marketing automation isn’t just a trend. Many companies rely on automation and thus gain an important advantage for scaling their own marketing in the future. Because if you don’t professionalise your marketing today, you may be left behind tomorrow.
Would you like to learn more about exciting topics from the world of adesso? Then check out our latest blog posts.