Here are two interesting yet somewhat contradictory statistics about marketing automation adoption and usage:
- “85% of B2B executives say they are not using marketing automation to full potential” Source
- The purchase of marketing automation software is rampant having more than doubled over the last 2 years. Source
What does this mean? Companies continue to buy marketing automation software such as Hubspot, Marketo, Eloqua and Pardot (plus about 27 new vendors!) yet knowingly only use very little of what the software has to offer! Fairly inefficient especially when you consider this equates to lost sales opportunities.
Having worked with B2B executives using marketing automation over the last four years, I can attest that the two areas least utilized by end users also happen to be those that can most help improve sales: Lead scoring and Lifecycle Stages.
1) Under Used Tool #1: Lead Scoring. This is using marketing automation to grade leads based on their engagement with your website. Simply a fantastic way to understand how site visitors engage with your site and who is most worthy of a sales call.
Why is it underutilized? I’ve found that end users simply don’t know where to start. We’ve covered how to set up Hubspot Lead Scoring in previous posts. In particular How to Target Sales Ready Leads published on Hubspot’s blog. In addition, here’s a step by step guide for lead scoring criteria. This free download covers the step by step specifics for establishing lead scoring criteria. In addition, how to set up an internal alert once a lead hits a specific threshold. This is how you can really provide sales value – an action oriented alert sent right to an inbox for the most active leads on your website!
2)Under Used Tool #2: Lifecycle stages. Lifecycle stages is the process that identifies leads based on where they are in the sales cycle. Inside Hubspot the lifecycle segmentation tool designates conversions on your site as “Lead,” “Marketing Qualified Lead” or “Sales Qualified Leads.” The magic happens when you can serve lifecycle-specific content offers right at the moment they visit site. For example, someone who already is a lead shouldn’t see a regular whitepaper offer, but a download that is the next step in the funnel – a marketing qualified lead offer.
This is a difficult implementation for many users because they don’t understand what content aligns with each sales cycle stage. In our post What is Funnel Marketing we detail exactly what content goes with each lifecycle stage. In particular, the “middle of the funnel” content offer is often misunderstood. We clarify this by calling the middle of the funnel offer a straightforward services guide. Most importantly, using lifecycle stages provides a clear path for end users to self identify as sales ready.
Don’t be one of the 85%! Dig into your marketing automation tools and start identifying your most sales qualified leads.
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