Holy Grail of Marketing Automation
There are two problems that Industry still wants to solve efficiently.
1. Are you engaging (with) the right buyer ? In other words, Is buyer engaged in solving the problem that you want to solve ? How do we answer that question. One can check the following:
Is potential buyer hiring resources in the problem space that your product/services?
Is potential buyer investing in tools that are pre-requisite to your software ?Is potential buyer investing in center of excellence relevant to the areas ?
Is potential buyer building platform similar to the solution that you do offer ?
Is potential buyer using technology that is the precursor to your technology?
There are other signals to check.
Is potential buyer financially stable ?
Is potential buyer active in the market out there doing partnerships, acquisitions, appointments ?
These signals tell us about the intent. Intent is all we need to know at this stage.
2. Who should you engage with ?
Its humanely impossible to keep an eye on high number of target accounts, spread in various geographies. That is where sales intelligence tool and predictive marketing tool come in handy. This tool category provides you with relevant information about target accounts that you can use to focus and run your marketing campaigns on. There are B2B companies where number of target customers is limited (less than 100). It is possible for marketing and sales department to know all of them, do research on them on google. I would still argue that its efficient that a sales intelligence platform keeps an eye on these accounts.
I do see that B2B software companies have hundreds of unqualified leads in their CRM database but dont have enough insights on those accounts and hence are not able to make a decision to pursue them or not. B2B software and services providers have spent good money on collecting email addresses and list of companies. Some have gone further and collected quantitative information such as number of stores, revenue, growth. B2b companies have built good foundation. My proposal is that B2b companies should take the next step and save insights on target customers (financial, growth, production, software, and decision makers). Intelligence on customer is becoming available. Tools to fetch more intelligence on customers through their website is also becoming maintsteam.
There are many sales intelligence and predictive marketing products that solve it in bits and pieces. I believe that these are the holy grail use cases of marketing function.
Furthermore, you have to be engaged with potential customer at the right time. Customers also do expect that you have done good home work about them before you call them for a discovery call. Marketing domain focused on these two problem statements will be well for themselves and the industry.