The world of B2B Marketing Automation Platforms can be intimidating — there are a lot of options and every company you talk to will likely give you a different rundown with different talking points. And then you, the lucky consumer, get to cut through the mud!

Don’t worry, we’re here to help!

Looking for an in-depth guide at how to purchase the right Marketing Automation Platform for your B2B organization?

Download the buyer’s guide and get the 10 concrete steps for making the best decision for your business

Who are we?

Hi, we’re Net-Results, a B2B Marketing Automation Platform. We talk to people like you, B2B marketers, on a daily basis. We know what you’re
looking for in a marketing automation platform. We also know not every platform fits every use case.

The following pages are intended to help you make a decision. If at any point you’d like to chat about your use case, hit us up and we’ll tell you honestly if we’d be a good fit!

Back to the problem at hand — how does someone possibly choose the right marketing automation platform for a B2B organization when there’s so much to choose from?

Easy! 😉 Three simple tips and you’re already on the right track. Let’s get into it!

1. Make a list of requirements.

Now this seems really simple, right? Yes… and no.

There are two kinds of requirements you’re looking for: Return on Investment (ROI) requirements and technical requirements (aka feature requirements, or software requirements, etc.)

The technical requirements are exactly what they sound like and can encompass things like feature necessities. For example, you definitely want to have your B2B marketing automation platform sync natively and bidirectionally with your CRM. You want it to automate your complicated email campaigns, building great-looking landing pages easily, and have all the features you want at your fingertips. Totally understandable, and a great place to start; you definitely don’t want to neglect this step!

But above that, requirement lists should also include the “ROI requirements.” The software not only needs to check off these feature boxes but actually help move the needle of your marketing efforts towards your organization’s goals.

Here are some examples of what might pop up on your list of ROI requirements.

  • You want to generate leads and revenue.
  • You want to save time for yourself and your team.
  • You want easier (and better) data visibility.
  • Heck, you want to make everyone’s lives easier.
  • You want to be able to segment your audiences down to very granular details.
  • You want to show your boss that you made a good decision.

Taking into account the small details and bigger picture (and having that list ready while you go to compare) already puts you in a fantastic position to succeed!

2. Compare, compare, compare.

Compare — and crowd-source that comparison.

Sites like G2, formerly G2 Crowd, are a goldmine of information regarding comparison data. We even license their data to put into a yearly report because we’re so partial to their data!

Real comparison data will tell you a lot about a company and what they’re made of. For example, if you were to download the comparison of Marketo, Pardot, and Net-Results with real data from marketers like you, you’d find who ranks highest in Customer Support, Time to See ROI, and more! (Hint: it might not be who you think!)

The benefits of using third party data like that is that it’s impartial — yes, some people get paid for their feedback and companies can pay to have their listing ranked higher, but those reviews are still from real people, who really use the B2B marketing automation platforms to enhance their marketing efforts.

Comparing and crowd-sourcing data in this way gives you a real look into what consumers of the product are really saying about it!

3. Demo and trial.

We talk a lot about the importance of a demo and trial in our Marketing Automation Buyer’s Guide, which outlines 10 concrete steps to purchasing the right Marketing Automation Platform for your organization — but it’s so important that we’re going to go over it again!

For the person giving a demo, it’s all about pitching their software. For the person receiving a demo, it’s all about figuring out whether that platform is what you’re looking for. The first demo (and maybe even the second) is not about getting to know everything about the platform; it’s about moving a potential fit from a general list of comparisons to a shortlist of companies that you’re really considering working with.

Throughout the demo, a big goal is to disqualify the company from whether you think it’s a good fit. This can take a lot of things into account but some of the big ones you’re looking at are:

  • How does the sales representative talk to you? Respectfully, or like they have something better to be doing?
  • Does it do what you need it to do?
  • How’s the training and support?
  • Are they transparent with their pricing? Will you likely get nickel-and-dimed for things that are necessary to your usecase?
  • And lastly, do they offer a free trial?

A free trial is a big, and often overlooked aspect of the shopping process. Ask if you get to test drive the software before purchase. Actually spend time in the platform you’re looking to invest in.

(Would you buy a car without first driving it around? The same rules apply here.)

And those are 3 simple tips to help you choose the right B2B Marketing Automation Platforms for your organization!

Hope you found those helpful! As always, schedule a 20-minute chat with our team of marketing automation experts if you have any questions about how Net-Results can help your organization achieve all those ROI requirements you put on that list!

Here’s to your success!
Sarah Augustinsky
Marketing at Net-Results

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Sarah Augustinsky

on the books: marketing at Net-Results — more commonly known as: sass master extraordinaire