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SiriusDecisions’ Terry Flaherty Shares A Roadmap To Move B2B Orgs Beyond The Lead

FlahertyTo enable B2B businesses to make a purchase decision, every stakeholder within the buying unit must be on board. To accomplish this, marketing and sales must align under one common goal to accelerate deals within buying units to create more opportunities — and potential revenue.

During this year’s B2B Marketing Exchange, Terry Flaherty will present a session titled Life Beyond The Lead, where he will share a roadmap for B2B organizations to make the internal transformation to target and engage buying units within target accounts. Flaherty will also discuss a roadmap for aligning marketing and sales on one goal and position one another to automate their processes.

Flaherty is the Senior Research Director for Demand Creation Strategies at SiriusDecisions, the research firm behind the well-known Demand Unit Waterfall that was unveiled close to a year ago.

Read on to learn a bit more about Flaherty’s session.

Demand Gen Report: What new realities are B2B marketers facing, and how have you noticed it impact your vertical in particular?

Terry Flaherty: There’s been a huge amount of interest in ABM, obviously, and it does represent something relatively new and significant from a perspective of helping align sales and marketing on the same outcome. What we’ve seen in the past is that marketing success is often measured in its ability to generate leads that are individuals.  With sales, they’re trying to close deals. They know that they must generate opportunities to close deals, and they also recognize that those opportunities involve different people in the buying group. That whole difference between marketing thinking about individuals, and sales thinking about opportunities that are in buying groups means that there are sometimes issues or vagueness on how they make a connection.

The earlier organizations can surface the concept that they’re not really aiming at an individual, but multiple individuals with context — the context of the buying group — the sooner you can start addressing questions such as what needs they have and what solutions best help them. So, when we can calibrate market and sales both thinking about potential opportunities converting into real opportunities, it starts to transform the process a lot.

DGR: How does your session topic impact the above realities, and what advice would you give marketers who are just beginning to learn more about it?

Flaherty: What’s been interesting over the last eight or nine months as we’ve talked to clients that are really focused on an ABM strategy is seeing how our Demand Unit Waterfall helps put some structure around how B2B companies link individuals into that buying group and associate it with the opportunities, business needs and solutions for them.

The session will provide a pretty clear crawl/walk/run strategy to make this transformation and introduce the concept to the organization. What are some of the process changes we can make even before we go in 100% automated?  What are some of the process changes we can make?  How do we start to modify what we’re doing and think about buying groups as opposed to individuals?  Then how do I automate it?

DGR: What real actionable takeaways can attendees expect from your session at B2BMX?

Flaherty: During the session, we’re going to show a crawl/walk/run roadmap, if you will.  If you’re starting today where your organization is purely focused on individuals from a marketing perspective, we’ll cover how to move towards having fully automated demand units that populate and get informed all the way through the process.  I think that’s going to be an extremely valuable thing because a lot of organizations just can’t automatically go in today and say, “Hey, I’m going to completely transform the business and move immediately from individuals to buying groups.” They need a roadmap, and we give them a roadmap to say, “Here’s how to get started.  Here’s how to start to change some of the cultural views, some low-risk things you can do to start to evolve your processes and get the culture and the process and the systems in place to, ultimately, wind up with a fully automated, scalable, repeatable process.”

Brian Anderson

An avid B2B journalist with a knack for all things trendy in the POS, mobile and social space.