B2B Marketing Blog

10 B2B Marketing Experts Weigh in on The State of Pipeline Marketing

By Alexis Getscher
Nov 13, 2015
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State of Pipeline Marketing, B2B Marketing

We recently surveyed over 350 B2B marketers in The State of Pipeline Marketing Report on topics ranging from how they measure success and metrics with the greatest impact on revenue, to marketing priorities and 2016 budget expectations.

Hundreds of marketers from across the country have downloaded the report, so we thought we’d ask some experts to weigh in on the specific statistics that stood out to them. Below you’ll read commentary from 10 marketers regarding key takeaways from the 2015 State of Pipeline Marketing Report.

Matt Heinz, President at Heinz Marketing

Matt Heinz, State of Pipeline Marketing“The better marketers can embrace revenue responsibility, the more valuable they become to the organization. Marketers doing this today, embracing their complete role as pipeline marketers, are transforming their departments from cost centers to profit centers." 

 

 

The better marketers can embrace revenue responsibility, the more valuable they become.

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Meagan French, Founder and CEO at Lotus Growth

Meagan French, State of Pipeline Marketing"These days, pipeline marketers and demand generation experts are tasked with not just generating leads, but driving revenue as well. This report has critical insights on what successful pipeline marketers do differently, like creating opportunities and customers rather than generating leads in target. Focusing on lower pipeline metrics enables marketers to drive revenue and grow the business in way that we couldn't before." 

Focusing on lower pipeline metrics enables marketers to drive revenue and grow the business.

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Sangram Vajre, Co-Founder and CMO at Terminus

Sangram Vajre, State of Pipeline Marketing“I am very perplexed by B2B marketers thinking and reporting that email marketing is the #1 source to generate demand and PR over many of the other channels that are sacred for B2B marketers. The challenge for anyone looking at this chart without too much thought, might be that they think they should just start sending more emails, but I am sure that is far from the truth. The reality is probably somewhere in the middle. As modern marketers know, the first touch or last touch attribution is just not a real thing, and customer journey is much more multi-touch, multi-channel driven process.

I love the stat that over 26% of CMOs will change their attribution model, and I think the reality is probably much higher for high-growth and forward-thinking CMOs. With new strategies like account-based marketing taking mainstream, it's likely that CMOs will look at pipeline and revenue-driven metrics as the cornerstone and ignore the vanity metrics that shows activity but not results.

Love this report and look forward to seeing another one next year.” 

As modern marketers know… customer journey is a much more multi-touch, multi-channel driven process.

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Rich Norwood, Founder of ClosedOpp

Rich Norwood, State of Pipeline Marketing“We think budgets are increasing for two very different reasons. First, we are getting better results for our clients because we spend more time optimizing for the outcome of marketing and less time talking about whether or not AdWords Conversions should be a goal. The second reason we believe companies are increasing budgets, is because paid search is more accountable; it's not a mystery anymore. We can tell you exactly what caused the deal down to the channel and the visit. Pipeline marketers now have quality data their CEOs and CMOs actually trust. There is no reason to be skeptical anymore and more CEOs are approving AdWords spend because the cost per opportunity for AdWords is lower than their other channels. It just makes sense to increase the budget and feed sales more opportunities.” 

It just makes sense to increase the budget and feed sales more opportunities

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Julian Archer, Research Director, Demand Creation Strategies at SiriusDecisions

Julian Archer, State of Pipeline Marketing"It’s good to see sales and marketing alignment called out as a key component of effective Pipeline Acceleration. At SiriusDecisions, we see too many marketers responding to sales support requests in a reactive fashion. Alignment is ensured by jointly agreeing on the deployment options of the programs. Determine whether marketing should be allowed to place accounts into certain programs based on pre-defined criteria. Likewise, describe in which situations sales must always make the account selection. Sales and marketing alignment doesn’t simply just happen. Effective alignment between sales and marketing requires a shared set of definitions together with agreement on roles, responsibilities and programs that drive opportunities to the important closed/won status.” 

Sales and marketing alignment doesn’t simply just happen.

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Matthew Buckley, Marketing Manager at New Breed Marketing

Matthew Buckley, State of Pipeline Marketing"The biggest thing that stuck out to me in the State of Pipeline Marketing report was how many marketers are struggling to prove the ROI of their efforts. This is illustrated by the fact that many marketers have not chosen an attribution model, or were using only a single-touch attribution model (first or last).

It’s clear that by having a model in place, and aligning marketing and sales teams, that marketers are better positioned to not only show successful attribution, but also be more successful in working across teams at their company to help meet broader, long-term goals and make more educated decisions on their marketing investments. In addition to these finding being clear in Bizible’s report, they were also echoed in HubSpot’s State of Inbound Report to further solidify their accuracy." 

Aligning marketing and sales teams... marketers are better positioned to be more successful.

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Steven Moody, President and CEO at Beachhead Marketing

Steven Moody, State of Pipeline Marketing"90.4% of marketers think they know which channel has the greatest impact on revenue, but only 30.8% believe they are using the right attribution model. This demonstrates that the real problem in marketing today is not sales-marketing alignment, but traditional marketing/pipeline marketing alignment.  Traditional marketers still believe their job is to spend money, create pretty things, and track vanity metrics. Pipeline marketers have been miscast; they belong on the Sales team, where the revenue is created."

Marketers say they know channel w/greatest $$ impact, but only 30.8% think they use right attribution model.

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Peter Dean, Founder and CEO at Rendertribe

Peter Dean, State of Pipeline Marketing"The primary metrics for success used by marketers and CMOs graph is interesting. One element that seems to be missing is the scale and/or magnitude of the opportunities. Hopefully marketers aren’t measuring simply to the number of opportunities. It is important to measure to both revenue (closed/won deals), as well as pipeline opportunities’ revenue, for a number of reasons based on client customer acquisition volumes.

Measuring to pipeline opportunity revenue is mostly to obtain relevant data volumes to make more informed decisions about each marketing channel’s success opportunities. The revenue gives the potential impact that using the number of opportunities alone cannot give. We have found, in our marketing efforts, that in some cases opportunity revenue for some marketing channels is high, but the conversion rates from opportunity to closed/won are lower. As marketers in the SaaS software space, we often explain it away to pipeline created early in the discovery and purchase process. That leads to one very important point in this process; strict alignment with sales and marketing consistency in reporting. The more detailed and specific your process can be in reporting opportunity stages, the more impact you can extract out of your data when using the data to make changes to your marketing channels."

It's important to measure to both revenue (closed/won deals), as well as pipeline opportunities revenue.

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AJ Wilcox, Founder and LinkedIn Ad Consultant at B2Linked

AJ Wilcox, State of Pipeline Marketing"The movement within pipeline marketing is exciting. I'm encountering more and more companies who are focusing on driving real business goals, and fewer focusing on the elusive CPL metric. The results are that companies are more profitable, marketers are more sophisticated, and less time is wasted between sales and marketing teams engagement in political maneuvering.

Before I had visibility into offline conversions, I routinely optimized towards the wrong metrics, which meant I was making the wrong decisions. What's the point in even testing/optimizing if you can't ensure that they will move business goals forward?

Pipeline Marketing will prove to be the greatest shift in marketing mindset and results for business since the tracking pixel."

#PipelineMarketing will prove to be the greatest shift in marketing mindset since the tracking pixel.

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Dave Rigotti, Head of Marketing at Bizible

Dave Rigotti, State of Pipeline Marketing"It’s really surprising to me that over 24% of companies don’t have an attribution model in place to measure and optimize performance. It’s also interesting there are so many different types of attribution models in place for B2B companies. Most companies are using single touch models. However, the big problem with single touch models for B2B is that the sales cycle is often fairly long and involves multiple decision makers. By measuring and optimizing performance for just one person and one time, marketers are likely facing model bias. In other words, they’re optimizing for the model they happen to be using not necessarily what’s driving the biggest impact to deals. The worst part of this is a company doesn’t realize its biases until it adopts a full, multi-­touch strategy and weights the key transitions in a B2B buying journey: first touch, lead conversion, opportunity conversion. This model is of course w­-shaped."

A company doesn’t realize its [attribution] biases until it adopts a full multi-­touch strategy.

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Download the report here and tell us your biggest takeaway by tweeting @bizible.

Definitive Guide To Pipeline Marketing  Everything you need to know to be a revenue-focused B2B marketer.  Download Now

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