How to Boost the B2B Buyer Journey with AI

b2b buyer journey with ai

Written by Billy Attar

Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most promising technologies for marketers.

AI’s ability to use data to anticipate customer’s behavior is already helping companies improve the B2B buyer’s journey. When you combine AI and Machine Learning (ML), it’s possible to optimize the customer experience by delivering the right information at the right time.

AI on demand

An On-Demand World

Google research shows that if a mobile web page takes more than three seconds to load, 53% of visitors will leave

When people interact with your marketing, they aren’t going to wait around until you have time to respond. A quick response is crucial when it comes to customer experience. 

If you can’t respond immediately when B2B buyers make an inquiry, you’ll likely miss the opportunity. So how do we make sure we don’t miss our closing opportunities? AI. 

Let’s say you work for a university or educational institution. When someone requests information directly from your website, through a lead gen suite, or at a recruiting event, your AI assistant can interact in a conversational manner using email or a chatbot on your website. Then long the information into its system for analysis. A sales team, marketing team, and assistant all in one. 

Your AI assistant can also answer questions, handle objections, and respond to requests. Once a connection is made, automation can intelligently nurture your lead with personalized follow-ups to guide them through the funnel. 

As it engages, it’s directing the conversation until the lead becomes qualified (based on your parameters) and then hands off the lead to the right person on your team.

How AI Supports Your Marketing Objectives

AI supports your marketing objectives by nurturing interest, engaging prospects, and getting conversions.

By combining email bots and chatbots, you can personalize each potential lead’s marketing journey. If they are seeking specific information, you can direct them to the right place or set up an appointment. If they have not yet requested information, you can probe for interest and create demand.

You can create the right marketing messages for different scenarios and automatically deliver it into the hands of prospects at exactly the right time. You can then nurture the leads with regular (and strategic) contacts. AI can anticipate the next step in driving customers through the journey. 

AI provides analysis and reporting. 

As more data is acquired, AI and ML will get even better at optimizing marketing campaigns to deliver better results. A/B testing tools for email and chat allow you to test various combinations to find out what works.

AI can augment your marketing efforts. The data it generates can help form the foundation of other marketing or supplement qualitative data for better consumer insights.

Why Use AI in Marketing?

One of the most important commodities you have is time. AI not only optimizes your time, it also optimizes your marketing and sales strategy. By sorting through prospects, it can surface more qualified leads that increases your conversion rate. It also reduces the time you spend chasing less qualified leads.

Consider it a sales and marketing virtual assistant. 

AI tech can boost productivity by up to 40%. 72% of business leaders say AI lets their teams concentrate on more meaningful work.

Automated assistants can handle routine, repetitive, and mundane tasks. This frees up your team to handle higher-level tasks and reduces job burnout and human error. 

AI works 24/7 without overtime or time off and It never calls in sick.

You can train your AI to respond to events the way you want, and they can remember what you’ve taught them. As more input is accumulated, it will learn from consumer data and optimize on its own.

How AI Works In Each Stage Of The B2B Buyer Journey

Effective marketing drives customers through the five-stage funnel: 

  1. Awareness
  2. Interest
  3. Consideration
  4. Evaluation
  5. Conversion

AI can help customize the message as customers progress through the customer journey.

Awareness

AI can identify prospects that may be targeted for your product or service based on customer personas and help them learn about you. This stage focuses on making prospects aware of who you are and the benefits you offer.

Leads are gathered and pulled into your automation where AI begins the task of nurturing with targeted messages.

Interest

In the Interest stage, prospects are learning more about your organization, products, or services. Your automation should deliver helpful information, research, and introduce your positioning. You might encourage signups for newsletters or webinars.

Consideration

In the consideration phase, prospects are actively engaging with you. This is when you want to deliver customized messages that reinforce the benefits you offer and provide specific information that overcomes objections. Your goal is to convert these from prospects to qualified leads. Automated email campaigns should highlight case studies, testimonials, and free trials (if applicable).

Evaluation

Buyers are now showing an interest in your product or service. At this stage, they’re doing online research and likely comparison shopping to make a final evaluation. In this phase, it’s important to make your case for why they should choose you rather than a competitor.

Conversion

Once you’ve moved someone through the funnel to becoming a customer, it’s time to market onboarding material, messages that reinforce and celebrate their decision, and probe for satisfaction. For B2B businesses, it may also be a great time to market upsell opportunities.

AI Helps Your Exceed Customer Expectations

61% of marketers say AI is the most important aspect of their data and marketing strategy as it allows you to exceed customer expectations. 

Here’s a daunting statistic: 79% of marketing leads never convert to sales. AI can weed out low-quality leads and let you focus on higher converting ones. At the same time, it can engage every customer and potential leads. AI and automation make sure leads don’t fall through the cracks.  

AI optimizes your time and marketing spend by automating campaigns and scheduling relevant content and marketing messages to prospects at the right time in the customer journey.

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