The 2019 B2B Marketing Exchange wrapped up with a closing panel wherein marketing practitioners from Pendo, Outreach and GE Digital shared their go-to-market strategies for measuring and accelerating revenue growth, and discussed new trends shaking up the industry.
B2B markers are increasingly expected to report on their performance and tie marketing dollars directly to revenue. According to Demand Gen Report research, 87% say marketing measurement and attribution is a growing priority for their organization. But it is often easier said than done.
“If you’re on a desert island and just need to see a few things for your business, what do you look at?” asked Binch, who said Pendo’s key metrics are gross pipeline created and killed each week, as well as customer engagement scores and conversion rates. “At the end of the quarter, our board comes to us and they don’t ask about MQLs created. They ask how much pipeline did you create? And what are your conversion rates?”
Binch said that in addition to proving marketing’s value, measuring conversions rates has also helped align Pendo’s sales and marketing teams to accelerate growth.
Using intent data positions marketers to better identify target accounts, which is increasingly important in an ABM world.
Pat Oldenburg, Senior Director of Digital Marketing and Operations at GE Digital, said the company has shifted to focus almost exclusively on target accounts.
“We don’t sell to white space,” said Oldenburg. “We’ve named a certain number of accounts and those are the account that sales reps are allowed to sell into.”
To improve its account-based marketing and sales efforts, GE Digital also reevaluated its ideal customer profile. By blending firmographic data with intent data, its sales reps are able to sort through the list of 4,500 target accounts and prioritize their outreach accordingly.
“Our CEO said ‘[intent data] is not a long-term play; it’s the most important play you can ever make. We should be betting our company on getting intent data and making sure the account selection is flawless,’” said Oldenburg. “We’re seeing more account-based sales and marketing activities, and the very foundation of that and maybe the most important part is account selection and the identification of not only your target market but within that, your ICP target accounts.”
Sixty-five percent of B2B buyers rate review sites as “very important” during their evaluation process. According to the panelists, review sites mark the latest trend of consumer-like experiences transforming the B2B marketplace, and they expect the value of peer input to rise over the coming years.
“What we’re seeing in B2B with these review sites is the development of peers as trusted advisors,” said Max Altschuler, VP of Marketing at Outreach. “People are going to these sites, seeing these reviews and they’re making their decision based off of them. They’re not as focused on the analyst anymore, as they are on what their peers have to say.”
Binch agreed and suggested marketers take advantage of the insights into customer pain points that review sites such as G2 Crowd and TrustRadius can provide. When armed with this information, marketing and sales teams are better positioned to tailor their messaging to address a specific customer’s needs and pain points.
“Go on these websites and look at the two-, three- and four-star reviews and pick up some themes about what their users are saying. Then, give them a call and say, ‘I saw the reviews on a third-party site about your product and these are the areas we can help,’” said Binch. “You need to go from talking about yourself and your technology to talking about the customer and why it’s relevant for them.”
At Demand Gen Report, as well as at our sister publication ABM In Action, we have made it our mission to ensure that we’re providing the latest trends and best practices in the growing realm of account-based strategy. But during a recent webcast we produced with our friends at Engagio, I realized that there is always something to learn when it comes to one of the hottest trends in B2B business today.
The business consumer has become more self-focused than ever before, challenging marketing and sales teams to give up the reins of their buyers’ journeys and adapting their go-to-market strategies to fully embrace buyer expectations. This concept was discussed in detail during B2B Marketing & Sales 2018, an event hosted by Forrester Research in Austin on October 25-26. During the opening keynote, Forrester’s VP and Research Director Caroline Robertson detailed how B2B buyers today have grown even more indifferent to sellers — expecting to be the center of any form of engagement and to have outcomes that align to their own business goals.
The pressure is on — marketers are becoming more responsible for driving revenue. In fact, Forrester research shows that 82% of CMOs have goals tied directly to revenue. As such, modern marketers are taking an active approach to measuring and accelerating pipeline — a task that was typically reserved for sales. But at companies such as Oracle and CenturyLink, there is a growing priority for marketers to generate pipeline metrics, including velocity, which can provide key insights to accelerate deals and streamline customer retention and advocacy.
AmpLive is an audience development platform that provides enterprise marketers with large, targeted audience lists for their live-streamed events. AmpLive is designed to distribute live content to audiences based on criteria such as company, industry, job title, interest or location, and then helps marketers retarget engaged audiences to drive ideal leads further down the funnel.
B2B marketing executives are rethinking their approach to metrics and reporting as they look to speak the languages of the C-suite and have a deeper connection to sales and company revenue.
I’m the type of person who measures everything. I know how many proposals I convert to revenue. I know the profile of the executives that hire me vs. take free advice. I know how many hours each type of engagement takes to complete. I even know how many truffles it takes to get through a difficult conference call.
I’ve had more than a few conversations with B2B marketers lately who are starting to question the amount of hype that account-based marketing (ABM) has generated over the past year. That is not surprising when you consider that nearly every MarTech vendor is now spinning a story around ABM.
Sales and marketing are not aligned within most organizations, and it has been a common pain point for a very long time. However, that awareness has not prompted a sea change among marketers; it’s a complex issue to solve with several factors at play.