Oct 20, 2023

Maximize Your B2B Lead Generation With Marketing Automation

Automated marketing for lead generation is more than just programming content for faster distribution. Its biggest advantage is in enabling businesses to get to the close faster by facilitating the entire buying decision path.

This is a huge win when you consider that approximately 95 percent of visitors who come to your website are not ready to buy and the average B2B customer journey is over 6 months from first touch to won. The more complex your product or larger the deal, the longer the sales cycle. In some industries, the process extends beyond 12 months.

B2B Sales and Marketing Funnel

What drives the need for B2B lead automation?

The 95-5 rule, as published by the B2B Institute, suggests that at any given time, the majority of your website visitors are likely just beginning to gather information about the solutions to their problems. A smaller segment of visitors might be comparing options and evaluating the best solution for their needs. An even smaller group might be engaging with product or pricing information, but they still might need a push to make the final decision. Only about 5% of your website visitors are actually ready to make a purchase decision.

This rule underscores the importance of a long-term lead nurturing strategy that is tailored to each stage of this journey. Nurturing prospects through targeted content, follow-up communications and engagement strategies propels them from one stage to the next. This approach increases the likelihood that when the visitor is ready to buy, your product or service will be at the forefront of their consideration.

What is marketing automation lead generation (and why is it necessary)?

Lead generation and nurturing demand timely, personalized and efficient interactions with prospects. This is where marketing automation lead generation comes into play. Also referred to as lead automation or automated lead generation, the practice uses technology and software to streamline and automate lead gen processes. It leverages tools and systems to deliver personalized and timely content, engage with leads, track their interactions, and prioritize them based on their behavior and readiness to make a purchase.

B2B marketers automate their lead generation to increase its efficiency and effectiveness, boost their conversion rates and improve the customer experience.

Automation ensures that your brand provides the right information to prospects exactly when they need it. Without it, you risk losing prospects to competitors who are serving up relevant content in real time.

How marketing automation shortens the sales cycle

Lead automation offers several benefits besides just automating and streamlining lead generation workflows. It ensures that leads are engaged with the right content at the right time, delivering better customer experience and increasing the likelihood of conversion. Automation, at its core, is a data-centric process that enhances the sales funnel and drives operational efficiency by reducing overhead.

The benefits experienced by marketers who implemented marketing automation
77% saw an
increase in conversions
outperformed competitors
80% saw an
increase in leads
Marketers also experienced
10% increase in
sales pipeline
14.5% increase in
sales and productivity
12.2% decrease in
marketing overhead

(Source: DemandSage)

Aligning content to each stage of the buying journey

Today, buyers want information that answers their specific problem-centric queries.

Marketing automation tools like Marketo and HubSpot help companies identify the main customer pathways and their need states, ensuring brand messages and calls-to-action are personalized to individual personas and contextually targeted to drive buyers down their purchase journey.

Virtually every marketing automation platform tracks the purchases, actions and behaviors of individual contacts. With a data reservoir at your fingertips, you can improve your understanding of your buyer personas, their core challenges and purchase behaviors, and where they are in the buying process. Then, accordingly, engineer and align content assets with their corresponding information needs and stage in the buy path, ensuring that your messaging resonates effectively at each touchpoint.Bottom of Form

Delivering highly personalized messaging that converts

The beauty of marketing automation lies in its capacity for personalization at scale. For the 95% who are in the early or middle stages of their journey, personalized emails, content recommendations and engagement triggers can make them feel understood and supported, thereby fostering trust in your brand.

As these leads warm up, marketing automation can continue to serve tailored content to help them move closer to the decision-making stage, delivering educational content to those in the awareness phase, more detailed comparisons and case studies to those in the consideration phase and targeted offers to those who show signs of purchase intent.

Doing so requires integration of your CRM and marketing technology (martech) into a unified platform, which enriches targeting data for more personalized communications. This allows your system to then leverage sophisticated criteria – such as behavioral targeting to segment audiences based on actions like repeat downloads, webpage views and website visit duration – and deliver hyper-personalized messaging.

For instance, you can use custom field data in combination with specific behavioral triggers to precisely determine when and to whom to deliver critical sales resources that influence purchasing decisions. This also allows you to automatically funnel contacts into tailored drip campaigns with messaging that directly addresses specific pain points and that aligns with your call to action (CTA).

This level of one-to-one marketing boosts customer engagement and delivers higher conversion rates.

Enhancing lead nurturing with rapid response rates

Because the majority of your web visitors aren’t ready to buy, it’s crucial to have a response strategy in place for converting cold leads to hot leads. Marketing automation software allows you to set up an entirely customized automated workflow that sends a time-activated sequence of emails following a website download.

You can also create workflows that generate an automated email response to website inquiries, ensuring every lead is responded to promptly. This allows you to jumpstart the nurturing process and keep it going with tailored, behavior-triggered email content. Automation drives significantly higher response rates, moving visitors into higher-return categories and closing more deals.

Enhancing the sales funnel with data-centric decision-making

Marketing automation transforms the way your marketing and sales teams operate. This synergy enables both teams to access and leverage the same valuable customer insights from a single centralized platform. It provides a unified view of the customer’s situation, so your sales and marketing teams are better aligned.

The combined data resource empowers both marketing and sales teams to make informed decisions. They can draw insights and trends from the data to identify successes and areas for improvement within the sales pipeline. By having a shared and consistent understanding of the B2B buyer’s journey, both teams can work together toward common goals more effectively.

Improving lead scoring

A significant advantage of automation is the ability to implement a lead-scoring system based on implicit buying signals. This system identifies which leads are more likely to convert and close deals. By focusing resources on leads that exhibit strong buying signals, your teams can operate more efficiently, reducing the wastage of resources on individuals who are still in the early stages of the buying cycle.

Optimizing resources and reducing overhead

The targeted approach enabled by automation not only improves lead conversion rates but also optimizes resource allocation. Marketing and sales teams can prioritize their efforts on prospects with higher conversion potential, thus reducing overhead costs associated with chasing unqualified leads. This streamlines operations and increases cost savings.

Moreover, marketing automation platforms offer robust analytics for data-driven insights into visitor behavior, allowing your marketing team to continually refine their approach. The A/B testing capabilities of lead automation tools empower marketers to experiment with different messages and content types to see what effectively moves leads through the funnel. This empowers marketers to understand which content resonates with prospects at different stages and optimize their strategy to convert the 95% into the 5% over time.

How marketers are using marketing automation
35% of business owners prioritize it for
lead generation and sales support
Top uses by marketers

61% for increasing lead generation

66% for nurturing leads

47% for boosting sales revenue

(Source: DemandSage)

Ready to get started with automated lead generation?

From personalized messaging to data-centric decision-making, automating your lead generation processes streamlines your operations and fosters deeper connections with your audience. This enhances customer satisfaction, driving more conversions and more revenue, giving you a leg up on the competition.

But, selecting, integrating and setting up your marketing automation software to get the best results can be a daunting task. With over two decades in B2B marketing and extensive expertise with marketing automation tools, Elevation Marketing has you covered. Contact us to find out how we can help.

Looking for something specific? Check out our blogs on these topics:


Marketing Technique

Ready to talk with the experts in B2B marketing?
Request a free proposal.