April 5th, 2013
A prospect's penchant for digital information keeps them more reclusive and anonymous than many marketers and sales reps would like. Traditional marketing tools may be great for pushing a message out but not really helpful at improving visibility and remaining top-of-mind. It’s great to know that prospects are responding to content offers in some ways, but without the ability to identify, monitor, and score their behavior on an individual basis, marketers are left in the dark. Beyond that, marketers also need insight into which campaigns, lead sources, and content are paying back the biggest dividends on demand generation. After all, accountability is an imperative that marketers must deliver to their executive boards.
Marketing software accompanied with a strategic, lead-to-revenue process improves sales and marketing results and can ultimately increase revenue growth. A technologically supported process provides increased visibility into measurable data. This allows sales and marketing leaders to make educated decisions as well as easily determine ROI. Some of the ways in which a technologically supported process can help include the following:
- Discovering and targeting prospects. Inbound lead generation is proving a valuable way to attract prospects. The issue is in knowing just who these prospects are so that a follow-up can be targeted and proactively implemented. With marketing technology, marketers can use anonymous web visitor ID to see click paths and identify the company associated with a website visitor. Also, it can help identify the source that attracted that prospect which, when measured at a higher level, can provide detail on where a target audience lives. This information is invaluable when designing targeted campaigns or for a sales rep when a prospect is ready to be engaged.
- Tracking individual prospect behaviors. Marketing software also provides the ability to narrow the focus to the behavior of an individual prospect. It can identify the campaigns they've responded to, the number of times they've visited a company’s website, and their click path details. Armed with this information marketers can separate the random “tire kickers” from the prospects expressing sustained interest in solving a specific problem. [Provided the right content has been developed.] Prospect behavior data can also give marketing leaders information on the success rates of various marketing channels and provide insight on resource allocation for future campaigns.
- Compiling lead behavior and demographic information into one profile. Lead scoring is a tool that all B2B companies should have in their arsenal. The beauty of a lead scoring model is that it enables marketers to create profiles that measure fit, interest, and depreciation. Accessing all the information about the lead’s demographics, activity, and frequency means that marketers can see when a lead is sales-ready based on the universal lead description they've agreed to with their sales team. No more hunting through a variety of databases or relying on gut instinct when trying to prioritize leads for sales pursuit.
- Assessing the overall ROI. One of the biggest issues for marketers is proving that their campaigns deliver a return on investment. With the plethora of data provided by marketing software, company leaders can immediately identify which marketing programs are paying off and which are falling flat with prospects and should be replaced. The best part is that marketers can do this as their programs roll out, not the quarter after the campaign has ended. Current data allows for changes to be made more dynamically, in response to prospect behavior, optimizing budget on campaigns that produce the highest results.
Visibility is necessary to address the needs of prospects choosing to self-educate and hold salespeople at arm’s length until they are ready for a sales conversation. With the right technology and process in place, marketers can become more responsive to prospects and reduce the leakage from the funnel that will happen without the capability to see and assess the meaning of virtual behavior over time.