Your marketing team has been hard at work generating leads via email marketing, social media, gated content, SEO, PPC and other inbound-based campaigns. Your sales team is also jumping for joy to have all these marketing qualified leads!

But what happens to a lead when a sales member decides they are not ready to proceed through the sales process?

Do you have a process in place to keep your leads interested in your brand if they decide they’re not ready to purchase but you want to stay in touch for future opportunities?

How can you make it easier for your marketing team to score and qualify leads based on their engagement with your content (i.e., downloading a case study or attending a webinar)?

Fortunately, all of these challenges can be solved with B2B marketing automation tools. These tools give marketers the ability to automate various processes and can empower organizations to make informed data-driven decisions and simplify their marketing efforts.

Specifically, here are three powerful benefits of B2B marketing automation tools:

Scoring and Routing Leads

Lead scoring is a highly valuable process in supporting your sales teams to help them prioritize their efforts based on the activities the prospects have taken.

For example, someone who downloads a case study or someone who attends a webinar is more likely to warrant a ‘sales worthy’ score versus someone who visits your website to look up careers – which would be a case to attribute ‘negative scoring’ since it is irrelevant to the sales team. These examples are all cases in which B2B marketing automation solutions can help your marketing and sales team easily assign scores to properly qualify leads.

With lead scoring established, sales can also prioritize their leads based on pre-defined “firmographics” – meaning the characteristics of your ideal prospect in terms of job title, type of company, company revenue, etc.

For example, your team may want to target prospects who have self-identified as CEOs or Directors of “X” Department to focus on the decision makers instead of individuals who would need to get buy-in from the higher-ups in the company.

B2B marketing automation tools can also be useful for lead routing, which can help align your Marketing and Sales teams to classify leads, ultimately helping them through the sales funnel. For instance, you can efficiently have an automated process set up to move your marketing qualified leads to a sales qualified status.

Content Personalization Through Segmentation

Another key benefit of B2B marketing automation tools is the ability to segment your database based on the contact information you gather in your online web forms.

Different ways you can segment your database include:

  • Job Title – CEOs, VP of Marketing, VP of Sales, etc.
  • Type of Industry – Technology, Hardware, SaaS, Professional Services, etc.
  • Size of Organization – early-stage startup (1-10 employees), medium (11-50 employees) or enterprise (100+ employees).
  • Geographic – by cities, states or countries, depending on how targeted you want your segments to be.
  • Product Interest – if your organization offers various products/services, you can ask potential customers which product type they are interested in, and segment these audiences to deliver tailored content.

With this kind of information, marketing automation allows you to develop and serve personalized content, such as email nurture campaigns and tailored landing pages with specific offerings, which is more aligned with your prospects and will ultimately lead to greater engagement as a result of your content marketing efforts.

Lead Sourcing and Tracking

The third key benefit of B2B marketing automation tools is the opportunity to implement lead sourcing to track what specific channels your prospects are coming from. With these insights, your team will be empowered to make data-driven decisions and determine which activities are performing well. This will help to determine the channels your team will need to re-evaluate and optimize based on your findings.

Most marketing automation solutions will ask you to install a tracking code to keep track of visitors on your website. Once visitors convert on your website (via a web form fill out) and become a lead in your database, the tracking code will retroactively associate the new lead with all the activities they performed prior to filling out your web form and will continue to track their activity so you can continue monitoring and evaluating the lead’s interest in your product/services.

For instance, if a lead comes in on Monday and decides to read a few of your company’s blog posts or check out your services page and then comes back on a Thursday to request information through a web form, the tracking code you have installed will give you visibility into what pages they looked at and where they originally came from when they first entered your website.

All marketing automation solutions can source lead information based on the marketing channel they converted from, whether it be PPC, organic, social media, email, etc., allowing you to see what campaigns are most effective in capturing leads.

B2B marketing automation solutions have come a long way in recent years and continue to be a powerful tool for technology companies looking to effectively plan, execute and measure their marketing efforts. As technology continues to evolve, so will the capabilities of these tools, which will help make the lives of marketers a whole lot easier.

With this kind of automation, marketers can score their leads in alignment with their Sales team’s qualification criteria, create personalized content based on segmentation and track and analyze the various sources of your leads coming in the sales funnel.

If you’re considering a B2B marketing automation solution, take a look at Marketo, HubSpot and Pardot, and check out the marketing automation showdown blog post, where we personally evaluated Marketo vs. Hubspot. What other key benefits are you gaining from your marketing automation solution? Let us know in the comments below!