Using Marketing Automation Across the B2B Customer Journey

05 February, 2016 | Marketing Automation

There's a tendency to think the only use case for marketing automation is at the front of the sales funnel. In reality, marketing automation can become the glue that ties the entire customer journey together. From lead generation and nurturing, through to solution selection, customer onboarding, and proactive account service.

Let's take high level look at how marketing automation can enhance the customer experience and drive revenue throughout the customer lifecycle:

Lead Generation

Marketing automation helps you cut through the clutter in your database to figure out who is actually interested in a specific proposition. Remember, as soon as a website visitor completes a form or clicks on a tracked email, their prospect record is associated with their device. When you send out a promotional email to your database, you can easily generate a call list of everyone who engaged by clicking through on the email link. This allows your sales team to focus on the 5 - 20% of your database that are worth calling.

Lead Nurturing

With complex B2B solutions, prospects often get in touch long before they're ready to sign. Marketing automation allows your sales team to put early-stage leads onto nurturing campaigns directly from within the CRM. Now they're on a tailored communication track, receiving a mix of one-to-one check ins as well as marketing collateral specific to their buying considerations. As soon as they start engaging with the content, sales is alerted and they can re engage with context at the right time.

Solution Selection

It's typical for multiple stakeholders to be involved in the B2B buying process. Decision-makers and influencers need to be educated around your offering as they weigh up alternatives. A solution selection drip helps influence stakeholders with customer testimonials, case studies, market research and competitor comparisons that build the case for your offering as they near crunch time.

Customer Onboarding

If your solution requires customers to become familiar with features and functionality to be successful, an onboarding drip is critical. A mix of welcome emails, educational content and automated check-ins help new customers navigate those first few months, ensuring they feel supported and capable. Alerts can also be sent to customer care reps if customers aren't engaging with this content as it may be a sign you have a disengaged or at-risk customer. This is especially important for technology solutions.

Account Service

Far too often, account service is reactive instead of proactive. If account managers only engage when there's a problem, this leaves a huge amount of money on the table. Marketing automation can deliver a high touch / low time approach to account service wiith a mix of automated check-in emails and upsell / cross sell content.

A final thought - engagement throughout the customer lifecycle drives revenue growth

Marketing automation allows you to craft engaging processes for every stage of the B2B customer journey and deliver them at scale, enabling teams to efficiently engage in the right way, at the right time with every customer. If customers get a great buying, onboarding and service experience they become loyal, buy more and become advocates for your brand.