Tag Archives: B2B Buying Cycle

Pipeline Acceleration: What’s to Be Done?

In my previous post, I explored the benefits of breaking down the sales pipeline into specific zones in order to drive more effective pipeline acceleration programs. We looked at the main program types – rapid entry, intra-pipeline and last mile – and explored how marketing can best prepare and engage with sales to push new and stalled opportunities through the pipeline more quickly. Let’s turn our attention now to look at what marketing can deliver to ensure program success. In essence, all activity should be designed to educate and encourage the prospective buyer to feel confident enough to move forward, or educate and enable the sales executive to be in a position to re-ignite the opportunity. SiriusDecisions recognizes two major tactic categories to achieve those goals: stimulus offers and (sales) enablement offers:

Continue Reading....

When Best Practices Aren’t Best Practices

The more time I spend as an analyst, the more I dislike the term “best practice.” I think it is often misapplied. Let me explain. What's best practice for me may not be best practice for you. What may be best practice today is unlikely to be best practice tomorrow. And when you believe you've achieved a best practice, don't be surprised when that victory proves fleeting because the definition of the best practice has evolved. Best practices are not something you achieve – best practices are something you continually pursue. More importantly, don’t expect to go out and mimic someone else's best practice and see the same results. It doesn't work that way. What you can see and replicate is just part of the solution.

Continue Reading....

You Win Some, You “Luge” Some

A client recently came to us with the following question: What do we see other b-to-b companies doing to help their reps accelerate late-stage deals? Their reps often struggled to “cross the finish line” and close opportunities at the bottom of their funnel, so the client wanted to know what content and tools they should develop. What training might be useful? What offers should be extended? The truth is, there are probably several factors contributing to this problem. Maybe their reps are weak at negotiating. Maybe they are unable to sell effectively to senior-level decisionmakers who often play a role late in the buying process. Right now, we are helping the client to diagnose the exact problem, and then we’ll explore the possible solutions to address them. Perhaps they could leverage tools like ROI calculators or client reference systems. Of course, this discussion got me thinking about the Winter Olympics – particularly the luge competition. Perhaps this client’s problem wasn’t a “bottom of the funnel” problem at all.

Continue Reading....

Understanding Your Buyer’s Journey: The Most Important Thing You’re Not Doing

As b-to-b marketers, we’ve come a long way. We understand our role as helping buyers progress through their buying process. We know that we’re more successful when we align marketing efforts with the ways our prospects prefer to buy as opposed to the ways we want to sell. And to do this, we know we need an ever-improving understanding of our buyers. Organizations committed to understanding their buyers draw upon solid research. They build buyer personas and learn about their buyers’ preferences, including the issues that matter to buyers and their preferences for consuming information. Research may include interviews, analysis of market trends, conversations with analysts and third-party research. All these are great steps, but once marketers begin executing, too many skip a critical step – analyzing how buyers are actually behaving.

Continue Reading....

SiriusDecisions EMEA Summit Day Two: Highlights

In case you couldn’t make it to SiriusDecisions’ Summit 2013 Europe in London, here are some highlights from day two:

Continue Reading....

SiriusDecisions EMEA Summit Day One: Highlights

Today, SiriusDecisions began its fourth annual EMEA Summit, which drew more than 350 delegates to London’s Grange Tower Bridge Hotel. Held just a stone’s throw from the landmarks of the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, Summit is bringing together senior executives from across Europe to focus on b-to-b marketing, sales and product issues and best practices. Here are today’s highlights:

Continue Reading....

Content Sequencing for Inbound Marketing

At SiriusDecisions, we are always on the lookout for new and interesting technologies that can potentially help sales and marketing leaders meet their business goals. Until recently, content sequencing (providing specific, sequential offers to a target audience based on its last behavior or response) has been the exclusive domain of outbound marketing – typically in the form of e-mails. OneSpot, a vendor from Austin, Texas, recently briefed us on its offering, which brings content sequencing to inbound marketing. OneSpot uses earned and owned content, converts it into standard-size Web advertising units and sequences those ads using retargeting to match the content to the phases of the buyer’s journey. It’s not hard to imagine the use cases. Almost every marketer I know has, at some point in their career, had a CMO hold up a great media review and ask, “How are we going to leverage this?” The standard answer has been to post the review on the company’s Web site or social properties, and occasionally order reprints for sales. With content sequencing, that review could be used in a series of ads placed on the target audience’s favorite Web sites and could take visitors who click on the ads to additional useful or thought-provoking content. The sequencing case study that OneSpot recently shared with us went like this:

Continue Reading....

The Top Five Characteristics of High-Performance Marketing

Many b-to-b CMOs find themselves in a tricky position. The evolution of the buyer’s journey means that many CMOs and their teams are taking on an expanded scope of responsibilities to reach empowered buyers who are conducting their own research before talking to sales. At the same time, marketing is still struggling to prove its value in many organizations, which typically focus on sales and product management. As Jay Gaines, vice president and group director at SiriusDecisions, explained in a recent webcast, the only solution for CMOs is to lead a high-performance marketing function. Here’s our earlier post describing Jay’s take on what high-performance marketing isn’t. Now, the top five characteristics of true high-performance marketing:

Continue Reading....

How to Close the Deal in All Three Regions

So you’ve taken your prospect through the buying cycle to the last step: choosing the vendor. The senior business executives, who have not been involved since the early stages, are now smack in the middle of the decisionmaking process. How can you make sure you close the deal?

Continue Reading....