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Marketing automation for small- and medium-sized business-to-business (B2B) firms is all about leads, according to March 2016 research.
Based on polling by marketing automation platform Salesfusion, more than two-thirds of B2B marketers in the US with less than $100 million in revenues were investing in marketing automation to enhance their ability to nurture leads. That made lead nurture the No. 1 reason for these B2B SMBs to spend on marketing automation technology.
Not far behind was the desire to increase lead volume, as well as improve lead quality. A majority of respondents also wanted to automate lead scoring and management.
Marketing automation promises to help SMBs handle leads better all around, from capture through nurture, down the funnel to a conversion and beyond. According to LinkedIn research conducted by to Market Cube in January 2016, relationship-building tools and sales intelligence tools were the most effective technologies for increasing revenues. Along with customer relationship management (CRM) tools, they came in ahead of technologies like productivity apps and email tracking tools.
Lead nurture campaigns are getting better, with improved personalization and targeting, and they’re almost universal. According to July 2015 research, 81% of US B2B marketers of all sizes had early-stage lead nurture campaigns, for example—the most common kind. Later research, conducted in November 2015 by DemandWave, found that 57% of US B2Bs also had email nurture programs for leads that were not yet ready for sales.
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