Do you need more leads? Or more closed deals?

Why do so many marketing directors spend so much time, energy and resources on lead generation? And so little on the rest of the buying journey? A buying journey that, in the case of B2B, typically requires active listening, creative input, lots of patience and comfortable walking shoes.

Sales reps usually have more than enough to do keeping their customers happy, and pushing prospects through the pipeline. Day after day, month after month, one baby step at the time. And, sometimes, sifting through all those unqualified "leads" generated by the marketing department via analog and digital “campaigns”.

What if marketing could focus its efforts on the leads that are already in the pipeline? The ones already identified by sales as primary and within reach in the foreseeable future – supporting their efforts every step of the way?

Imagine all the impact of your marketing budget, or most of it anyway, focused on a few dozen clearly identified and researched accounts. So you could reach everybody that counts with the exactly right messages.

 Not just the routinely performed "sales support" of yesterday. Not the usual self-centered ads or banners. And not just a four-week campaign – but the works:

  • Relevant content – that will also be perceived as relevant – new, honest and useful
  • Thoroughly customized in cooperation with sales
  • Impregnating every corner of the target companies
  • Evolving in tune with the sales dialogue until the deal is closed
  • Monitored continuously in real-time
  • Measured in relevant terms – actual customer engagement!
  • Continually sharing the progress with sales

Yes, you can. It’s called Account-Based Marketing, and it’s easier and way more cost-effective than any other B2B marketing strategy. Simply ask yourself:

  • Which companies generate 70, 80 or 90 percent of your revenues?
  • Which leads that are already in the pipeline are the most promising?
  • What do these accounts have in common, in terms of pains and hopes?
  • What issues are most likely to engage them all?
  • Not the “personas”, but the organizations as a whole.

You don’t have to bother about hidden influencers in the organization – they will see you. You don’t have to bother about timing, like right before strategic budget decisions – you will be visible to the right people at all times.

If your focus is on “brand building” rather than sales support: Whom do you want to impress the most – the people generating 80 percent of your revenues or everybody else?

As for the remaining 70, 80 or 90 percent of your customers, those generating 20 percent of your revenues – simply apply a complementary strategy. So, where do you start?

Talk to your sales director (who will almost certainly love your initiative) about it, and make sure that your top management is onboard, 100 percent. Just to make sure that everybody understands the priorities, setting the targets right and rewarding the most productive behavior.

No wonder it is the hottest topic in the world of B2B.

Start walking!

Rolf Andersson
Senior Writer & Strategist at Freya News

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