What is B2B Marketing Automation? + The 5 Best Software, Platforms and Tools for 
Table of Contents
What Is B2B Marketing Automation?
B2B marketing automation involves the processes and automated systems that businesses use to drive marketing activities. This automation saves time and human error on activities like lead generation, customer support, account management, and other activities related to the sales funnel.
Several factors go into setting up an automated B2B marketing system. First, you want to evaluate your current marketing and business goal to see if automation aligns with those objectives. Secondly, you want to assess the size of your company to understand if it is ready for B2B marketing automation. Lastly, you must define what an ideal customer journey looks like and how automation fits in with this vision.
Why Is B2B Marketing Automation Important?
So, why should you implement marketing automation? First, traditional marketers must monitor several moving parts within the marketing and the lead funnel. These professionals must organize email marketing campaign management, social media, content development, and other digital marketing tasks. Marketing automation helps save time and stress so that you marketing team can focus on the things that matter.
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B2B Marketing Automation Types
We will dive into specific marketing automation examples later in the article. However, it is critical to understand the different types of marketing automation and how you can use them.
Marketing and Sales Collaboration
Marketing automation is not only sales and prospect outreach, but it will also help you funnel leads through the CRM. There are several marketing automation solutions that have metrics to determine the chance of someone buying from you (lead scoring). From here, the sales team can analyze this information and assess which leads to pursue first.
Customer Relationship Management
There is no better way to strengthen customer relationships than through face-to-face or live interaction. However, other automation tasks enhance this relationship. Platforms can now track customer purchasing history and data. There are also triggers for an automated system to check in with customers to see if they are satisfied.
The best marketing automation software will streamline and consolidate all these customer relationship management tasks. You can also deploy solutions to automate data collection processes, follow-up emails, and other notifications.
Marketing automation also applies to the types of emails you send out to your fans or customers. These messages could include abandoned carts, welcome messages, feedback requests, and more. There are also detailed analytics that show how effective your email campaigns are.
Website Landing Pages
Landing pages are effective for sales promotions, collecting emails, and other lead generation activities. Numerous marketing automation solutions allow you to not only create these pages but also analyze the performance. You can also use personalization to target the page based on visitor location, previous website visits, and other traffic sources.
Social Media Management
Social media engagement is essential for brand awareness and customer relationship building. You can invest in B2B content marketing solutions that automate tasks surrounding social media management. These tasks include liking posts, following other accounts, and posting new content.
B2B Marketing Automation Software
One of the most important steps in the marketing automation process is choosing the right software. Below are five of the best software platforms and tools to automate your B2B marketing process.
Keap is a cloud-drive platform that streamlines your customer and account details in one place. Its all-in-one solution offers e-commerce strategy, marketing automation, and customer relationship management (CRM).
Keap is geared toward small B2B businesses and starts because it fosters personalized communications. The platform also tracks engagements with customers, sends emails, and organizes contacts. Keap also has a reliable solution for inventory management, invoicing, receipts, generating quotes, and fulfilling purchases as well as all the tools you need for lead nurture, segmentation and email drip campaigns for those who don’t join your program.
ActiveCampaign is another affordable solution for small- and medium-sized businesses. Their software is easy to use and effective. Activecampaign is relatively inexpensive for the amount of features it offers . Their marketing automation platform includes lead nurturing, segmentation, lead scoring plus drip campaigns for people who might be a fit later on and relationship building. Everything you need to keep your pipeline flowing and healthy.
Versium Reach’s mission is to enable business owners to focus on a target audience, understand them better, and convert them into reliable long-term customers. Once the system helps you identify your target market, it provides solutions to connect better with these prospects.
B2B Marketing Automation Examples
Now that you understand the fundamentals of marketing automation, here are some examples of these principles in action:
- VIP status – you can set up a marketing automation tool that designates a customer as “VIP status” when they reach a certain amount of money spent on your website.
- Anniversary or birthday greeting – you can integrate a marketing automation tool that filters your contact list and sends out an automated message to people on their birthdays to assist with relationship building.
- Abandoned carts for B2B Ecommerce – if a customer adds a product to their shopping cart and does not buy it, you can have an automated marketing trigger that sends them a follow-up email.
- Welcome greeting – when you onboard a new customer, you can set up a B2B automation tool that messages the new client with helpful information to start their journey with you.
B2B Marketing Automation FAQs
Automating B2B sales starts with understanding your strengths and weaknesses. You want your automated robots to do the tasks that your employees are not so good at. Instead, you should redirect your employees’ time toward creative activities. B2B sales automation should take care of the small things that allow your employees to invest their time in more productive ways.
There is not a single path for optimal B2B sales automation, but here are some of the things you can do to set up a reliable system:
Outline your current marketing workflows, policies, and processes to identify where automation could help.
Locate and list out repetitive tasks that automation can take care of, including data entry logging activity, lead generation, nurture leads, email marketing, onboarding, and account reporting.
Form a strategic action plan with short-term goals, long-term goals, and other performance metrics.
Make sure your teams are on the same page by training team members on sales automation tools.
Identify the right technology investments that align with your organization’s marketing goals.
Research, test, and evaluate additional sales automation tools to see if they boost productivity and ROI.
The main difference between B2B and B2C marketing is the target audience. B2B marketing techniques are tailored toward other business entities. B2B businesses offer solutions to other companies besides themselves. Examples of B2B marketing products include software, safety equipment, and other repair solutions for delivery trucks.
On the other hand, B2C involves marketing techniques geared toward individual customers. Unlike B2B marketing, B2C marketing focuses on non-professionals through products like shampoo, grocery store products, and entertainment. These brands might sell to businesses, but most of their sales come from individual consumers.
At a high level, B2B and B2C marketing programs will have the same frameworks and practices. However, several components will influence the strategy of each:
- Expected sales volume or size of sales – there are fewer businesses than individuals, so the expected sales volume is less with B2B marketing campaigns.
- Budget size and spending capabilities – a big corporation will have a more expansive and flexible budget than an individual consumer, impacting how a business markets its products or services.
- Decision-making process – a business will likely need to gain approvals from several different stakeholders, which could prolong the decision-making timeline. On the other hand, consumers only answer to themselves, which will make the decision-making timeline much shorter.
- Emotion and logic – businesses tend to decide on logic and data, while customers generally make decisions based on emotion.
An automated sales funnel identifies users and their questions and then aligns them with content that answers their questions. The funnel guides them through several stages that allow them to receive the solution or answer they were looking for.
Messages within the funnel are provided automatically. You have the authority to choose which technologies and platforms. Automated funnels can also be behavior-based or time-based. A time-based funnel will send the messages at predetermined intervals throughout the end-to-end sales process.
On the other hand, a behavior-based funnel will obtain customers’ interests at a specific moment, which allows the business to see better results. These automated components and sequences will direct traffic down the funnel until their questions get answered or they make a purchase.
So, why is it essential for a company to implement funnel automation? Sales allow a business to survive, making it necessary to design an ideal pathway for customers to make a buying decision. There are also better ways to invest time into growing the business. The most effective way to free up the time and increase conversions is to invest in an automated funnel.
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