By now you have read this often-stated statistic: on average, buyers progress 57% through their buying process before engaging with a salesperson. This means that 57% percent of buyers are in the hands of Marketing before they talk live with anyone in your organization. B2B buyers are initiating their journey by doing organic search, reading online content, engaging on social media, downloading whitepapers, accessing webinars and/or visiting web portals. The process of self-education means completing more than half of the buying cycle without the help of a vendor.
Because of this, marketing automation is a must-have for virtually every organization. Everyone knows this. But what is it about a MAP that world-class marketers can’t live without? Let’s dive into the 6 marketing automation features that enable Marketing to “engage” with buyers before a live conversation even happens.

1. Visitor Tracking

Marketing automation enables marketers to gain valuable insight into visitor and prospect behavior. With MA, marketers can get answers to questions like: How did they get to our website? What are the visitors doing once they’ve entered a website? What is their visit history? How much time do they spend on each page and what are their demographics and origin? These answers help marketers understand their prospects, segment and target them based on this, and as a result, move them through the funnel at a quicker rate.

2. Lead Nurturing

Educating prospects that aren’t yet ready to buy is a key component of MA. Delivering content that is valuable and engaging means building a strong brand, and lead nurturing is that capability that enables marketers to track prospects while automating the entire content delivery process. Sending the right message to the right prospect at the right time is marketing automation at it’s apex.

3. CRM Integration

CRM integration works to maximize the success of marketing and sales alignment. Key data stored in CRM is relayed back to the MAP, and vice versa. With insights and data gathered from Sales, the Marketing team has a better understanding of customer preferences and behaviors and as a result can execute more targeted and personalized campaigns. Sales people can always have the latest behaviors and actions taken by their prospects as well to have the right conversations.

4. Reporting/Analytics

Using effective reporting to analyze campaign performance means gaining insight into the marketing campaigns, landing pages, forms and other processes that yield the best results. A MAP enables marketers to analyze prospect behavior on a more granular level. With reporting and analytics, marketers gain knowledge of customer needs and are more equipped to roll out stronger, more refined campaigns.

5. Lead Scoring

Lead scoring enables Sales and Marketing to work in a set of common definitions of what constitutes a sales-ready lead based on the prospect, their activity and their engagement levels. MA enables marketers to assign points to a lead. What stage of the sales cycle is a lead? Is the lead ‘Anonymous’, ‘Engaged’, ’Marketing Qualified Lead’, ‘Sales Qualified Lead’ or ready for the close?

6.  Social Media

Top performing marketers understand the importance of social media and use their MAP to engage in conversations on the various social media platforms. Making the most out of social media engagement is part of a winning strategy for world-class marketers and MA enables this process more than any manual effort.
Best-in-Class performers are working with MAPs to enable their sales team to close more deals by moving more prospects to the sales-ready stage. While MAPs have so many features to them these days, you should ensure that you are at a minimum utilizing the core features set to drive more qualified leads.
Isn’t it time to automate your lead management processes?

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