This is post #9 in a 10-part series on the New B2B Marketing Paradigm.
Throughout this series, we’ve discussed how marketers can better meet the needs of sales by focusing on quality of leads rather than quantity.
For many marketing departments, this will require a complete paradigm shift. So, let’s put together everything we’ve learned over the last eight posts to assemble your new lead gen process—one that allows your sales team to more efficiently and effectively pursue the leads you send them, ultimately leading to better sales and more revenue for the organization.
Step 1: Analyze and segment your audience, taking buying stage into account.
As always, start with your audience. But build out your segmentation model not only based on 1) firmographics, but also 2) where each prospect is in the buying cycle. Are they eager to purchase tomorrow, or just browsing because their current solution comes up for renewal in two years? This will give you a more accurate view of a prospect’s propensity to purchase and help you determine how best to nurture them moving forward.
This process will allow your sales team to more efficiently and effectively pursue the leads you send them, ultimately leading to better sales and more revenue for the organization.
Step 2: Determine how you’ll create awareness within each audience.
To generate demand, you must first understand the customer and the problem they are trying to solve. So, put yourself in the heads of each customer segment. Write out a thorough profile highlighting their main pain points and how your solutions solve them.
Then, task your marketing managers with creating themes and campaigns based on this overlap between client need and your corporate goals by product. Create a media buy in order to build awareness. Your managers should work closely with sales, gathering feedback on what tactics are working, and continuing to tweak the demand gen strategy in order to help them reach their quotas.
Step 3: Develop a go-to-market content strategy that provides real value.
How will you reach out to prospects and start conversations? What will you talk about when? It’s one thing to get permission. It’s another to gain long-term attention. So remember the golden rule of content marketing: Always provide value. Use this rule to develop your content pyramid and distribute the campaigns you outlined above.
Step 4: Organize your team to support these goals.
Knowing everything you know now, you can appropriately estimate the workload this strategy will involve and organize your marketing department to cover your new needs. You’ll also want to create new processes between your teams in order to allow for seamless handoffs between product marketing and demand generation. And don’t forget the critical piece that will allow you to measure and execute all this: marketing ops.
It’s one thing to get permission. It’s another to gain long-term attention. So remember the golden rule of content marketing: Always provide value.
Step 5: Build the right infrastructure.
Once you’ve mapped out your lead flow alongside your customer journey, you can develop a clearer understanding of your technology needs, reporting requirements, and what systems you need to connect to for automation. (Your marketing ops team can help create this checklist as well.) Invest in the right infrastructure so that you can bring your new strategy to life and strike quickly through your work plan.
Step 6: Nurture each lead before sending them to sales.
Behind the scenes, map out your customer’s journey and develop lead nurturing strategies based on your buyer’s process, not your sales process.
As you are nurturing leads using your content, gather data and score each lead according to—again—the buyer’s intent (not just their account fit). Continue to tweak your scoring method until you are sending sales a pool of leads in which 30-50% turn into solid opportunities.
Step 7: Work, watch, and wait.
You probably will not see overnight success. A strategy like this requires time to develop and persistence to execute. It often takes about two full years for a change like this to take hold in a business. During that time, you will experience ups and downs. Plan for this fluctuation. Be persistent with the vision. And keep moving forward. We’ve seen our clients reap the rewards from this process time and time again. Sticking to the journey is worth it, for at the end lies a pot of gold.
It often takes about two full years for a change to take hold in a business.
In our next and final post of the series, we’ll discuss managing this change within your organization—including some strategies for gaining support and overcoming pushback.
In the meantime, feel free to reach out: