In Marketing and Sales Alignment

Step 1: Mapping Your Marketing and Sales Funnel

The number one responsibility of any B2B Marketer is to keep his or her company’s marketing and sales funnel full, with leads converting quickly to drive profits. In other words, to keep the company’s lifeblood flowing.  The continuous battle to meet pipeline and revenue projections is frustrating when using traditional techniques.

There is a better, more deliberate and predictable approach to increasing the velocity and efficiency of the marketing and sales funnel. Hence the term Funnelnomics—the practice of extracting the most value out of the leads as they move through your funnel.

This is the first in a series of blog posts to present a proven method for improving your Funnelnomics by accelerating the conversion of qualified buyers into profitable customer relationships. It provides a framework for integrating your marketing lead generation programs with sales execution processes to drive growth and profitability.

Step 1: Mapping Your Marketing and Sales Funnel

The traditional sales-focused funnel is a relic of the past—a product of the rapid change that has taken place over the last six to eight years. It reflects the old practice of Marketers buying lists of names to fuel programs, expecting a 2% return and then turning over all leads—qualified or not—to Sales to convert into buyers.

Today’s marketing and sales funnel must be developed and managed by understanding both the sales process and by considering the way buyers move through the purchase process. It is vital for B2B Marketers to document the customer buy cycle including the critical parties involved, process and length of buy cycle.

According to industry analysts at SiriusDecisions, only 1% of B2B Marketers consider the customer buy-cycle when it comes to planning and executing marketing and communications programs.

Understanding the customer buy cycle is an important step in optimizing Funnelnomics—enabling Marketers to deliver targeted communications that move leads from one stage to the next in the funnel in the most cost-effective way possible.

Marketers must fully map the customer Decision Making Unit (DMU) including the title and role of each person in the decision-making process. Marketers also must understand the type of information they need (based on their individual pain points) and how they would like to receive it (i.e. direct mail, email, etc.) in order to move the decision maker to the next level of the funnel.

Once the customer buy cycle has been mapped, it is time to map the sales cycle. Product Marketing, Customer Service, Sales organizations, and Marketers together should:

  • profile customers and define top customer characteristics
  • define target audience characteristics including demographics (revenue, employees, industry) and psychographics (personae, likes, dislikes)
  • define the sales cycle including phases and parties involved
  • benchmark conversion rates to move to the next phase
  • define decision drivers and triggers including customer needs, events, etc.
  • secure agreement on qualification criteria for lead scoring
  • gauge Sales and Inside Sales capacity for engaging with qualified buyers

This must be done in order to monitor and manage prospects as they move through the funnel to optimize marketing programs for continuous improvement.

 

EB.Let the Power of Data Drive Marketing v3

Comments
  • wayn

    Nice post. Every company is struggling to generate qualified sales leads to keep the operation going, more sales leads, more sales revenue for the company. Continuous monitoring and managing will help the company reach its desired target