Today’s B2B marketing departments are often faced with three major hurdles: time, budget, and headcount. Businesses everywhere have started to demand hefty returns in all of their marketing investments, evidenced by budgets being cut and CMOs asked to leave their posts within a year of taking the job. With all of this added pressure, the success of a B2B marketing team relies heavily on targeted efforts that yield mammoth results.
Marketers will be asked more of their efforts in 2022 than they ever have been before; Forrester found that the two most important metrics on a marketing dashboard are marketing-sourced revenue and marketing-sourced pipeline. So how can these marketing leaders get the most out of their efforts? The answer is account-based everything.
Account-based marketing (ABM) strategies can cultivate a sustainable sales pipeline, actively engage target accounts, shorten deal cycles, and set B2B marketers up for success.
However, in order to reap the most rewards from your ABM efforts, it’s crucial to have a comprehensive view of account engagement and pipeline impact. This bird’s-eye view provides a deep understanding of what accounts are stuck in the buying cycle, what accounts need to be more engaged, and opportunities to optimize and enhance your ABM tactics.
In this article, we’re going to discuss why having an extensive perspective of account engagement and pipeline impact is essential for B2B marketers in 2022 and will continue to be vital to your success for many years into the future.
What is a Sales Pipeline and Why is It So Important?
If you’re in marketing, then you’ve probably heard a lot about ‘increasing your pipeline,’ ‘shortening your pipeline,’ and ‘filling your sales pipeline with quality leads.’ But what exactly is a sales pipeline and why should you care about having one?
A ‘pipeline’ is far more than just a buzzword. It’s a critical tool that can significantly impact your company’s bottom line. A sales pipeline is an organized, visual method of closely monitoring multiple accounts as they progress through the different stages of the buying cycle.
Marketers can use pipelines to track progress towards a specified goal, show them exactly where in the sales cycle an account is, what accounts are stalling, and where funds, deals, and efforts are, at all times. Having a comprehensive view of your pipeline adds an extra layer of accountability and helps you to achieve your marketing and sales goals faster.
What Should Your Pipeline Look Like?
No two B2B companies look exactly the same, and neither will the entirety of their sales pipelines. For instance, a SaaS company may have a sales presentation stage in its pipeline while a CRM solutions company might have a demo stage.
However, most B2B sales pipelines should include these stages:
- Prospecting (top of the funnel): Finding accounts that need what you’re selling
- Qualifying: This stage is all about learning what prospects are the most likely to buy and eliminating those that aren’t. Savvy marketers can leverage the power of Madison Logic’s historical performance engagement data to efficiently identify and prioritize the prospects displaying the highest purchase intent. According to the Pareto Principle, about 80% of your revenue will come from about 20% of your leads. To get to that 20% faster, it’s wise to know what accounts are clogging up your pipeline. You can then move these accounts to a future callback list or identify ways to further engage them to give them a better chance of moving down the funnel.
- Contacting: When Sales reaches out to a contact in an effort to make first contact with the account.
- Nurturing: Nowadays, it’s simply not enough to just sell to a customer. You need to establish and nourish a strong relationship with them to build trust and brand loyalty. This part of your sales pipeline can include a number of stages and strategies, such as account-based display advertising and ABM content syndication to keep your brand top-of-mind. If accounts are displaying low to no engagement, additional marketing strategy enhancements may be needed.
- Closing (bottom of the funnel): This is when your sales team finalizes the deal after reaching out to quality accounts, building trust, and getting them over any hurdles or roadblocks.
In order to move an account as quickly as possible through the pipeline and generate more revenue, you need to thoroughly understand the impact each stage is having on the prospect and how to actively engage the ones that are stalling.
How a Comprehensive Pipeline View Results in Marketing Success
Having a sweeping view of every stage within your sales pipeline allows you to know exactly where your account is at in the process, if it has stalled, and if it needs to be engaged. This helps marketers finetune their campaign efforts to ensure maximum efficiency and success, guaranteeing that their pipeline is a well-oiled sales machine.
An optimized pipeline vastly shortens the sales cycle. Unlike the B2C space, Harvard University found that it can take about seven months on average to close a B2B deal. The longer an account stays in the sales cycle, the more chances it has to change its mind or find an alternative product to solve its problem.
Marketers who know what accounts need to be engaged can deliver valuable content to that particular prospect to push them through the sales pipeline. Whether it’s an informative blog at the top of the funnel or coupon code at the bottom of the funnel, staying abreast of the right account engagement, and taking action at the appropriate time, will speed up the entire sales process.
Tips to Achieve a Clear View of Your Prospective Pipeline
Successful B2B marketers have a comprehensive view of their pipeline to accelerate the sales cycle. You can achieve this by:
- Using a CRM to effectively manage the accounts in your pipeline
- Ensuring all departments companywide, including marketing, sales, and customer success, are working cohesively together to share prospect information
- Understanding what accounts are stuck and need to be re-engaged
- Enhancing marketing campaigns based on account intelligence
With Madison Logic’s solutions, marketers automatically inherit more operational efficiency. They have the ability to use a single entity to reach numerous business professionals in practically every sector worldwide. For busy marketers who are already stretched thin, Madison Logic’s measurement capabilities allow them to efficiently view the key data insights they need to make real-time optimizations to shorten their sales pipeline and speed up conversions.
It’s no longer about ‘what could we have done?’ but ‘what can we do right now to improve performance?’ The shift in this mentality can be contagious and help your marketing team exponentially increase the number of accounts and new customers you’re receiving while improving the functionality of your entire pipeline.
If you want to learn how Madison Logic’s services can help you achieve a comprehensive view of pipeline activity and account engagement to boost sales while trimming your bottom line, request your demo today.