B2B Marketing Blog

Pipeline Marketing and the Three Bears: How to get it 'Just Right'

By Alexis Getscher
Dec 17, 2015
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Pipeline Marketing

Marketers use different combinations of tech, different techniques for demand generation and different checklists for what counts as a qualified lead, but to be a pipeline marketer there are three requirements that are at the core of business: alignment with sales, a multi-touch attribution model, and a revenue-as-a-goal focus.

Want to learn how to implement each of the three, develop a marketing mix that’s “juuuust right” and turn yourself into a pipeline marketing hero? Read on.

Pipeline marketing is the next evolution of marketing. It focuses on decision making based on revenue, rather than leads or opportunities, and therefore turns the marketing department into a profit center instead of a cost center.

Pipeline marketing will prove to be the greatest shift in marketing mindset since the tracking pixel.”- A.J. Wilcox

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Pipeline Marketing, sales alignment

Alignment

True pipeline marketers are aligned within the marketing department and with the sales team. This does not mean simply grabbing lunch with a sales rep, although that’s nice too. It means working every day and establishing a routine that proactively enables the sales team.

Good starting points can include:

  • Weekly meetings with sales
  • A sales enablement folder in Google Docs
  • Encouraging sales reps to contribute blog post ideas
  • Listening to sales calls

The sales team speaks directly with prospects and customers and therefore is a great resource to utilize for marketing. Do they notice a trend in questions they receive from prospects? If prospects are all asking the same question, maybe the content team should write a blog post about it. This will help the community educate themselves, and provide great talking points for your sales team when they are presented with the question in the future.

This is only a small example in the myriad of ways sales and marketing teams can benefit one another.

A recent ToutApp survey found that 70 percent of B2B marketers want to meet with the sales team more often and almost 90 percent say that intra-team meetings improve marketing outcomes.

Not only is alignment with sales a priority, marketers must be aligned within the marketing department as well. If the CMO is focused on a revenue metric, while the rest of the team is optimizing for leads or page views, then it will be difficult to hit any of the marketing goals. Communication is key. Each team member should know exactly what is expected of them so that the team as a whole is on the same page.

Further supporting an alignment with sales, the 2015 State of Pipeline Marketing report found that marketing teams that were tightly aligned with sales primarily focused on total revenue and total opportunities as metrics for success. While the seldomly aligned teams were optimizing for metrics all over the board.

Instead of disjointed priorities and operating strategies, aligned teams work together toward common goals, and the more aligned marketing is with sales, the better the company will operate as a whole.

Pipeline Marketing, revenue focused marketing

Revenue

This brings us to step number two, a revenue-as-a-goal focus. With sales and marketing aligned, the most important goal for all teams should be revenue generation. Although they are an important part of any business, leads as a goal are dead. Optimizing marketing channels that bring in leads means nothing unless those leads are turning into customers.

Marketers are often looked at like the teenager who just graduated and is taking some time to figure out what it wants, travel, hang out with friends; it’s a fun part of life but at a certain point you wonder how you’re going to pay the bills. Holding itself responsible for a revenue goal legitimizes marketing spend and proves the value of the work that marketers put in on a daily basis.

To drive business, the marketing department must work to optimize the full funnel. Each transitional step should be met with the question, “how do we convert this lead to the next stage?”. There is no handoff to sales, it is a joint effort with a single-funnel view.

Even after a lead becomes a customer, revenue should be the focus. How do you keep the customer happy, how do you get them to renew once their contract ends? A marketer’s job is never done.

Pipeline Marketing, attribution

Attribution

Now that you’ve aligned with sales and have revenue as the biggest metric of success, your pipeline marketing strategy is pretty good. But how do you get it juuuust right? Add in an attribution solution, of course!

Attribution allows marketers to track all of their channels back to revenue. In turn, it provides a clear picture as to what strategies are working and which are not. Weed out the channels that don’t work great for your business and use that saved money to invest in the channels that do.

There are many options and it’s important to do research to choose the right attribution model for your company. Are you marketing with paid media, across multiple platforms? What about at events or with outbound calls? Multi-touch attribution can track all of this, from anonymous first touch to all of the channels that drove the lead through the funnel and eventually converted it into a customer.

Alignment with sales is good, add in a revenue goal and you’re better, take both of those two and implement attribution software and your pipeline marketing strategy will be just right.

Start your evolution at pipelinemarketing.com.

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