73% of B2B Leads Are NOT Sales-Ready - What You Can Do About It

Posted by Bill Hunter on Jan 31st, 2018 in Marketing & Design

According to a recent study, 73% of all B2B leads are NOT sales-ready. That same study also found 65% of B2B marketers have not established lead nurturing campaigns, despite a demonstrated 35% lift in lead generation ROI. What can you do to help educate your prospects at the beginning of their customer journey, reinforce your unique selling position, as well as offer conversion opportunities to those who are primed for purchase? The answer could be: Marketing Automation. Deploying marketing automation tools and techniques, allows your sales team to focus their time on leads who are more likely to convert while nurturing the prospects that are at different stages of the buying process.  

Before we talk about best practices, we need to figure out if your business is ready.

  • First, do you have enough leads? Your sales team should have more leads than they have time to go through. If this isn’t the case, then you’ll need to turn your attention to lead generation activities.
  • Secondly, is your sales team swimming in leads but can’t seem to generate business? In that case, you’ll need to focus on increasing the quality of your leads through an in-depth ROI analysis.
  • If you’ve considered both of these things, then you are ready to learn more about some of the benefits of Marketing Automation techniques.

What Is Marketing Automation & Why Is It So Important?

Marketing Automation techniques assist in engaging a well-defined target audience by providing relevant and important information at each stage of a buyer’s journey. As a business owner, you want to actively move the prospects you’ve created through your marketing and lead generation efforts, to the point where they become paying customers. Here are 5 reasons why you should consider a lead nurturing plan as part of your larger Marketing Automation strategy:

  1. It establishes contact immediately with your customers.
  2. It can maintain consistent communication throughout your customer’s sales journey.
  3. It generates hot leads without an additional investment by communicating with your warm leads and preparing them to make a purchasing decision.
  4. It develops your reputation as an expert and trusted advisor. Lead nurturing builds credibility and strengthens the relationship with your customer by sharing useful, educational, and relevant content in the awareness and consideration phases of the marketing funnel.
  5. There are cross-sell and up-sell opportunities when using lead nurturing by offering a way to broaden a customer’s awareness of what other products are available, supporting your unique selling position(s) USP.

The reality is that your prospects are at different stages. Some are just learning about your product or services, others could be familiar with your business but need time to consider your offer. Marketing Automation techniques make it possible for every single lead no matter what stage your leads are in to receive information relative to their level of interest.

Consider the avenues in which your business currently receives leads. Is it by phone? Email? Contact form? Website contact form? Now consider how long each lead takes to nurture into a conversion. Some are ready to convert right away while others are merely kicking the tires, trying to figure out which is their best route. Marketing Automation techniques help ensure that no lead is left behind.

Tools & Techniques for B2B Lead Nurturing

    • Email marketing workflows. Building a series of emails with specific messages designed to address prospects at the initial stages of the sales funnel
    • Remarketing ads. Use Facebook & Google remarketing to reach prospects that have visited your website. Tip: Make sure that you change the messaging to fit the segment of the sales funnel that your prospect is in
    • Conversational style marketing. Use emerging web-based chatbot technology to help pre-qualify prospects
    • Website Content. Include blog articles and white papers related to your USPs (Unique Selling Points), latest trends, and industry stats. Webinars are also a great way to inform consumers about products and services
    • White Papers. Share customer success stories, details related to how you are different, and provide testimonials

 

Sales Funnel Whiteboard For Customer Journey

Benefits of Marketing Automation techniques.

  • Improves Efficiency. It provides a streamlined, automatic alternative to traditional manual processes. Multiple campaigns can be scheduled ahead of time and released as per your own settings
  • CRM integration. Leads won’t disappear off the radar after a couple of unsuccessful contacts.
  • Data collection. Automatic marketing offers a touch-point to clients or customers that aren’t necessarily sales-driven. It can help provide better insight and be used to collect specific data to improve future campaigns or communication.
  • Consistency. Incorporating all of your marketing efforts in one process can help keep a unified brand tone-of-voice.
  • Personalization. Automation helps tailor the experience to the user, creating a unique and more inviting experience that’s entirely relevant and will more likely lead to conversion.

When it comes down to it, automation is a numbers game. Properly vetting new leads, reaching out to existing customers, and encouraging your users to take meaningful actions, allows you to focus on other aspects of your business. As more people are entering your sales funnel, automation can help ensure that every single user has the maximum exposure to your products or services.