Words of affection. Gifts. Physical touch. Quality time. Acts of service. All of these are ways we display love and interest in a relationship—with a partner.

But what about gauging business relationships with prospects? How do we know if they are ready to take the next step? We don’t want to push them away by being too clingy, but we also don’t want to lose them to another suitor.

This is the beauty of leveraging marketing automation — technology that, when applied smartly, signals when prospects are ready to hear your opening line. Consider automation your wingman – or wing-woman.

Read more: Four reasons B2B needs to get identity right

Build & identify your signals

The wingman pre-qualifies prospects on behalf of their buddy. Marketing automation technology does the same, providing the signals are right. Signals are buying indicators identified at the outset and built into your program. They’re the marketing version of a coy hair flip or lingering gaze across the room.

Consider automation your marketing wingman - or wing-woman. Click To Tweet

Here’s how your wingman can gather intelligence on which prospects may be ready to speak to Sales.

1. Don’t come on too strong

Send a new nurture email each month that delivers content on industry hot topics, and include buying signal content—in a way that it’s given much lower priority from a design and copy perspective.

If a prospect makes it through or past the industry insights and decides to read how you helped solve a pain point for a customer, you’re dealing with a lingering gaze.

2. See if they’re on the market

Determine what content prospective buyers are more likely to look for on the website and allocate points to their lead score if they consume enough of it (e.g. if they click on any two of the three: about us page, product video, pricing page—then their cumulative lead score increases).

Most commonly marketers think of tracking form fills, engagement with assessment tools and consumption of content like articles and case studies – but don’t forget about the pages within your website they may visit when vetting you.

3. Offer a second & third date

Send a timely one-off email campaign, ideally to a selective, highly engaged audience.

Leverage an EOFY offer, a hot-off-the-press announcement about a new industry regulation or free tickets to an event you’re sponsoring to open a conversation. Then trigger an email to those who engage with to position your company’s value proposition and introduce yourself. Then, perhaps follow that with a case study or consultation offer for the remaining engaged audience.

Let your wingman do the hard yards so you can focus instead on building the relationship.

Need a good wingman? Try our marketing automation services.

Why marketing automation is your wingman

Tushar Warrier
Over the past 15 years, Tushar has worked with B2B and B2C brands across the Asia Pacific region, particularly in Singapore, India and Australia. He prioritises problem-solving and has worn many hats across his career – the latest being a Green one. At Green Hat, he works with our clients as a senior marketing consultant, as well as a part of the Account Service team.