map to sales.
Because the internet has revolutionised the way buyers
go about their buying, whether in a consumer or B2B
context (another conversation), demand generation is
singularly re-inventing the science of marketing.
However you go about your selling right now, demand
generation will be affecting your bottom line. In this
instance, ignorance isn’t bliss, but a missed sales
opportunity, every time a potential buyer of yours elects
to buy from a competitor.
So, marketing automation, in a few words, is the platform
that lets us do more with less, helps us to deliver more
relevant, customised communications at the right time,
to the right people.
To get the attention of people who don’t know
who we are, or aren’t ready to buy from us.
n Content engine to deliver relevant content
n Asset library
Guidance in content marketing
In fewer words still, marketing automation feeds your
prospects’ need to fill a hole in their business.
As one-third of a demand generation triangle, marketing
automation enables you to replicate customised, one-to-one
communications on a scale not possible before, acknowledging
the customer journey and maximising your opportunities to
influence prospects on their terms.
People don’t find us, or what they’re looking
for from us, online.
Greater online visibility
Make relevant information easily available
Ask them to give us some information
Giving them the right information at the
right time to move them towards purchase.
n Understanding their needs
n Marketing automation process
n Personalised communications
map to sales.
It’s not whether, but when.
Marketing automation makes use of new technologies to deliver
unprecedented returns-on-investment to its fast-growing
fan base, with 84% of top-performing companies already using or
planning to use it (Source: Salesforce/Pardot). The most compelling
reasons for implementing marketing automation include revenue
increases, increases in insight and better performance
measurement. And companies that have used marketing
automation report 53% higher conversion rates and nearly
10% higher sales quotas.
And even if you’ve
got it, you’ve probably
not got it all.
Even among companies who have seen the marketing automation
light, few are using the technology to its fullest potential.
Only 36% of companies are using their platform to nurture leads,
under 10% use it to follow up later in the buying cycle, and less
than 25% of companies with a marketing automation platform use
it to its utmost capabilities. So it’s not what you have, but what you
do with what you have that’s important.
Most compelling reasons for implementing Marketing Automation
Gain more insight
Increase sales and marketing
Transparency into sales and
Understand marketing ROI
and other reporting
Companies that use automation have:
53% higher conversion rate
from marketing response to
marketing qualified lead
9.3% higher sales
quota achievement rate
Top 10 tips
As with anything, as you put marketing automation
to work for you, it’s best to have a plan, point one
in our ten top tips:
Get a good strategy together,
consider cost, quality, speed and risk
– and breakdown your project into
people, processes and systems.
Identify the technologies that best fit
your in-house resource and skillsets
– and your existing systems.
Start capturing behavioural, online,
and sales data. You need to get your
data in good shape to make the
most of behavioural triggers.
Effective communication is key
to getting senior stakeholders,
contributors, partners and the
channel on your side.
In 2011, 80% of the top 1,000
websites used tracking technology.
7 weeks a year are lost by workers
seeking clarification due to poor
Develop a content plan.
Understand the four types of
content you need (broadcast,
sticky, trigger and community) to
develop a Marketing Automation
platform and plan accordingly.
40% of IT projects fail because of
65% of management decisions are
now based on data (not guesswork).
source: MIT 2011.
source: Ensighten 2011.
source: Watts S Humphrey, IBM 2005.
source: National Assoc. of Prof
Half of all sales are lost because
of poor content.
source: KissMetrics 2011.
Learn how SoLoMo – social, local,
mobile – can make an impact on
your business. B2B is using more
localised targeted messages than
ever before, often messages
delivered on mobile devices.
Understand your customer journey.
Look at every possible touchpoint
and interaction – and maximise
every touchpoint with a sales
Demand Generation programmes
can deliver excellent ‘drip’ leads on
a daily basis but you need planning
first, and patience later, to make it
work. Detail matters and can return
Work with your sales and product
teams along with other stakeholders
throughout the process. Marketing
automation blurs the lines between
departments and becomes much
more collaborative in approach.
Twice as much time spent on
‘urgent’ rather than ‘important’ tasks.
66% of sales teams don’t believe
You won’t reach utopia instantly.
Put your projects into phases with
clear goals at each stage – and
communicate it internally. Setting
sensible goals helps manage
expectations and ensures the
project stays on track.
source: Stephen Covey, 7 Habits.
source: IBM – Breaking the Feud 2009.
65m Americans use social, location
based services on smartphones.
source: CommerceInMotion 2011.
It is six times easier to sell to
existing customers than prospects.
source: Harvard Business School.
No.1 cause of project failure? – lack
of direction and goals.
source: Pink Elephant Conference 2012.
A state-of-the-art marketing automation platform
covers end-to-end delivery of targeted messaging once a
prospect becomes known. With minimal intervention and
impressive customisation of messaging, it’s as close as
you’ll get to your prospect saying, “Excellent, just what
I needed to know right now. Maybe I’ll look into this a bit
more, it sounds like it could really help me to crack my
And this bit is really important. Research shows that your
precious buyer has already done 67% of their research on the
product or service that might meet their need. On their own.
Independently. In their own time. Before talking to you or any
of your competitors once.
That you’re able to identify them here is a great thing. That you
can communicate with them and get them thinking positively
about your proposition is better still. And this is marketing
automation at work.
B2B buyers are 67% through their buying
cycle before interacting with suppliers.
source: Sirius Decisions
Sounds like a paradox?
If it is, it’s also a gold mine for anyone who uses
a marketing automation platform to its fullest potential.
Where historically, outbound activity meant a scattergun
‘batch‘n’blast’ approach, today you can provide the precise
information buyers are looking for, meeting them nose-tonose during their journey towards purchase.
The more you exchange, the easier it is to develop an
understanding, which can become a relationship, which can
lead to trust and confidence, which can lead to a meeting,
which can lead, ultimately, to that gold we mentioned above.
Reading prospects’ digital body language enables you to
determine where they’ve been on your website, where they’ve
stayed around to find out a bit more, what they’ve passed over,
what they’ve downloaded.
Automated messaging, where communications are created
dependent on the levels and types of interaction between
you and your prospect, makes the process productive,
low maintenance and highly cost-effective.
From here, you can start to build up a picture of this new visitor
to your online shop. Move purposefully and you’ll be able to
swap useful information of yours with useful details of theirs,
name, email, sometimes business size and/or sector,
sometimes even what it is they’re looking for.
Low-touch or zero-touch programmes cut costs dramatically,
and are achievable when lead scoring, nurture marketing and
data management are automated. When you understand the
potential of the platforms available, and combine them with
the experience, insight and intuition of a good marketing team,
you’ll start to question why you’d do it any other way.
Relevant emails drive 18 times more revenue
than broadcast emails.
source: Jupiter Research
With any new technology, it helps to have yardsticks
against which to measure performance and success.
Taking a step back before you focus on specifics helps
to prioritise – many businesses fail to capitalise on the
potential inherent in their marketing automation platforms
either because they fail to see the wood for the trees, or
they underestimate or overlook the functionality, flexibility
and capabilities of their purchases. It’s about balance.
Look at a marketing automation platform in relation to four
or five key business opportunities over the course of a year.
Set a meeting, get the right people involved. Forget technology
at this stage – focus on the basics of business marketing.
Take each opportunity in turn, in small, bite-sized chunks.
Be specific – identify the target audience, the target sale,
and a very specific message. Why and when will they receive
this message? What is your goal here?
Modern marketing is data-driven. Identify what information you
have at your disposal. Your goal here is to identify exactly what
data sets, fields and information will contribute to creating your
segment. Marketing automation platforms can segment
dynamically, saving time, customising messaging and increasing
interest and uptake.
Never underestimate the power and importance of content.
Writing compelling, useful, relevant and consumable content
will be the number one success factor in converting more
sales, bar none. This is where the bulk of your energy and
investment should go – strategically planning out and mobilising
your content assets as and when appropriate.
91% of b2b marketers profess to using content marketing
for the following three reasons: to engage customers and
prospects (82%); drive sales (55%); and educate the
source: Marketing Profs
Why sales may view technology as a threat and how
to use marketing automation to help enable sales.
From a marketing perspective, marketing offers
unprecedented opportunities to explain why a given
product or service meets precisely defined customer needs.
However, it’s not always easy for the sales rep to view
automation as positively as peers. In their eyes, it might be
that nothing can replace the face-to-face conversation with
a prospective customer, with real human interaction driving
the buyer journey towards purchase.
The main point to consider here is, as we’ve said before,
that face-to-face conversations between buyer and seller start
later in the process these days. We are not, however, replacing
human interaction, just focusing this effort on where it delivers
the most value – at the sharp end.
It just means that more conversations take place at later stages
and require slightly different props to help balance the scales
against the modern buyer’s world, which is where marketing
automation comes in.
Here are five ways sales enablement can be fuelled from marketing
Marketing automation gives you the information
on a prospect’s digital body language that helps
you to map their journey towards purchase. So
when pre-agreed lead scoring matrices show a
warm lead to be ready for handover to sales, they
come complete with online behaviour, with what
they’ve viewed, downloaded and interacted with.
From a sales perspective, the new model enables
you to keep tabs on your customers. You can
monitor their interest through visibility of their
actions, taking action at pre-ordained points in
the buyer journey. When a warm lead you have
previously spoken to returns to the site, clicks
on an email and downloads a document, then
it’s easy to continue the conversation given the
additional interest shown.
It’s a great help in letting sales know exactly what
the prospect spent doing in the first 67% of their
buyer journey. They can then start the conversation
at an appropriate level of engagement, taking details,
tailoring information and addressing specific subject
areas known to be of interest.
less manual input
Workloads become easier to manage and
communications become more effective and
less time-consuming. You can take care of your
warmest prospects via automated responses to
given actions, making the process more efficient
and customised down to the individual and their
perceived needs. These communications can
come directly from the sales manager, yet
require zero touch and effort from them.
Working this way, you make the best use of the
time available by only following up really hot
prospects, leaving aside visitors to your site who
have simply filled in a form.
Far from being an anonymous process that
undermines the importance of personal relationships,
marketing automation opens up new, more rewarding
ways of talking to customers. Focus can be on their
explicit business needs and how you can meet them,
increasing both your credibility as a facilitator in the
buyer journey and, at the end of the day, your value
to your organisation.
The other great benefit of the marketing
automation approach is that it makes results of
action transparent, enabling you to adapt or tweak
messaging based on response and feedback. Is there
an area in which prospects never convert to sales, the
upstream messaging is misleading, and is it apparent
which behaviours lead to a conversion? Do more of
what worked, and less of what didn’t, saving money
and streamlining processes at the same time.
While sales may view a new platform as less desirable
than a bigger sales force, it’s actually a tool that helps
sales close down more leads, with better insight and
opportunities and less manual effort. It’s a tool that
enables sales to have more telling, rich and advanced
conversations than ever before. Your sales
force is better armed to convert and spends
more time talking to people who are ready
While we’re at it, a little insight into how
marketing automation can help you to grow
the value of existing customers.
These people have bought into your product or service,
your company and your approach. In the online world
where trust is irreplaceable, you’ve earned their trust.
The 80–20 rule consistently shows that it’s more costeffective to drive sales through existing business than
to sell to a new audience. And yet so often companies
fail to capitalise on their greatest supporters, the existing
Treat your customer like a new prospect, even if they’re
a new customer you know some really useful things about.
Use the insight gained from your original lead nurturing
exercise. Whether cross-selling or inviting customers to trade
up to a higher level of product or service, accessing and using
relevant information is key to communication and extra sales.
Use these five top tips for growing customer value:
n onitor purchase behaviour and look for opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell
Track digital body language to see what interests them and personalise communications based
on their interests
Don’t just focus on selling. Aim to build a deeper, more meaningful relationship, offering
support and adding value where possible. If you have content you know will be useful or of
interest to them, communicate it – at worst it opens up the potential for another conversation
n e personal. Don’t think all communications need to be marketing messages – you can
automate them from individuals with existing relationships
n rovide sales, account managers and business development professionals with as much insight
on the customer as possible to give them the best chance of converting to sale
About Ledger Bennett DGA
Telephone: +44 (0)8458 383883
Ledger Bennett DGA
Tungsten House, Warren Road
Little Horwood, Milton Keynes
Ledger Bennett DGA
1st Floor Centric House
390-391 Strand, London
We are a B2B Demand Generation agency that uses
sales and marketing know-how to help customers
increase revenue by deploying Inbound Marketing,
Content Marketing and Marketing Automation
strategies. Our highly focused Demand Generation
programmes drive our customers’ business
performance, helping them to:
n Generate more opportunity
n Convert that opportunity into sales
n Retain customers and grow their value
Using more measurable and cost effective
techniques than traditional full service marketing
agencies we are able to maximise business revenue
in the modern world where the internet has
fundamentally changed the behaviour of the buyer.