For most runners, the last 10 kilometers of a marathon are the toughest. During this final stage, runners exert maximum effort to keep up their speed, but often "hit the wall" as their legs weaken and they feel depleted of energy. Running experts say that proper training, adequate fluid intake and positive mental strategies are vital to avoid much of this discomfort.
Many b-to-b sales opportunities similarly move through the sales pipeline until they stall in the final stages, just shy of closing. At this critical juncture, sales may turn to marketing for support in facilitating a final interaction to help push late-stage prospects to close. In this brief, we examine the use of events for a form of pipeline acceleration we refer to as last-mile.
Last-mile acceleration offers are designed to drive positive interactions with late-stage opportunities with the goal of pushing them across the finish line. Late-stage buyers must decide whether the product or solution's perceived risks are outweighed by its perceived rewards; therefore, last-mile acceleration events must enable sales to address the offering's perceived risks. To leverage events for this purpose, apply the following best practices:
Last-mile events are the most common type of event used for pipeline acceleration. To avoid diluting their effectiveness, collaborate with sales management and sales operations to establish criteria for determining which opportunities qualify for attendance. Also, ensure that event content is consistent with previously executed programs and tactics that generated the opportunity, and aligns to the needs of buyers in the final stage of the sales pipeline.