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Lead LifeCycle Series Wrap-Up: Accelerating The Buyer’s Journey, From Lead Generation To Nurturing And Beyond

  • Written by The Demand Gen Report Staff
  • Published in Industry News

LLS-Funnel imageMore than 1,000 attendees gained insights from their peers and industry thought leaders during Demand Gen Report inaugural Lead LifeCycle Series (#LLCSeries), a week-long webinar event offering case study examples and expert insights on the tools and tactics top B2B organizations are using to effectively address each stage the buying cycle.

Here are some highlights and links to on-demand versions of the sessions.

Justin Gray, CEO of LeadMD, kicked off the series with his session, Benchmarking The Buyer’s Journey, which outlined changes in the demand funnel. Some statistics he shared:

  • Only 22% of marketers use analytics to manage campaigns (Beagle Research Group);
  • Only 38% of marketers have a single view of interactions with content across digital touch points (Forrester);
  • Only 27% of B2B leads are sales-ready when first generated (MarketingSherpa); and
  • 82% of marketers report being incented on lead volume (LeadMD).

DocuSign Demonstrates The Power Of Predictive Lead Scoring

As marketing continues to move away from art and increasingly toward science, predictive analytics has become an essential tool for many organizations to improve conversions and win rates.

DocuSign, a digital transaction management platform, implemented Lattice Engines predictive lead scoring service to help manage its 135,000 new leads every quarter. Ryan Schwartz, Director of Marketing Systems and Operations at DocuSign, outlined the results in The Evolution Of Lead Scoring webinar. “The hardest part of predictive lead scoring is converting your sales team from being intuition sellers to trusting the predictive scoring.”

Some of the results that DocuSign has seen with Lattice include:

  • 38% increase in scoring;
  • 131-times ROI;
  • 84% of won opportunities by calling only leads scored with a 9 or 10; and
  • More than 30% increased conversions over traditional lead scoring.


“The biggest time waster for sales reps is spending time with the wrong prospect,” added Brian Kardon, CMO of Lattice Engines. “94% of your marketing-qualified leads will never close.”

Schwartz’s tips for adopting predictive lead scoring include:

  • Build a benchmark dashboard to prove success;
  • Track original score, current score, and last score date;
  • Transition sales from intuition selling to predictive selling; and
  • Develop personas over time.


During his presentation, How To Implement An Effective Lead Scoring System, David Lewis, President and CEO of Demand Gen International, emphasized the importance of marketing and sales agreeing on the characteristics and behaviors that constitute a sales-ready lead.

Prepare your forms and your marketing automation and CRM systems for lead scoring, Lewis said. “You have to present lead scores in a way that is meaningful for sales. Also, have a lead view that lets you drill down for additional insights.”

Other critical steps in the lead scoring process Lewis recommended:

  • Build out the lead scoring system and pilot;
  • Train sales on CRM interface and SLA’s; and
  • Hold quarterly meetings to assess progress and discuss modifications.


Tips for Personalizing The Buyer’s Journey

As buyers are spending a lot more time engaging with content before they contact sales, it is critical to personalize the experience as much as possible with each engagement. “It is important to personalize the journey across all of the buying stages and channels,” said Michael Berger, Director of Product Marketing for Marketo, in his webinar, Guide Prospects Through The Buying Journey With Better Tracking and Targeting.

Some personalization “enablers,” according to Berger, include:

  • Inferred information (e.g. IP address);
  • Demographic (e.g. job title);
  • Firmographic (e.g. company size); and
  • External data value changes (e.g. CRM).


Limelight Networks uses data to personalize messaging and improve engagement, according to Tom Kahana, Senior Director of Marketing Operations in his session, Improving Lead Quality With Analytics Across The Lifecycle. “We could talk more effectively to our buyers because we knew who they were.”

Kahana shared some results they achieved with Demandbase:

  • 30% improved form conversion;
  • 101% pipeline contribution increase for webinars;
  • 20% direct contribution to pipeline; and
  • 100% of new video sales resulted from sales and marketing alignment.


Taking Nurturing Beyond Email

Nurturing leads has become a key aspect of marketing strategy for modern marketers, but studies show that email nurturing is no longer sufficient. Display and social ads supplement traditional methods of nurturing such as email, SEO and paid search and provide greater reach.

“It’s important that we build a relationship with the people in our database — that we educate and engage them through targeted content and nurturing, and really help accelerate them through the buying process,” Amanda Halle, Senior Marketing Manager at Bizo, shared in her webinar, Lead Nurturing Beyond The Inbox.

Some reasons display advertising works for lead nurturing:

  • Display ads are everywhere your prospects are;
  • Display lets you reach and nurture prospects at every stage of the funnel; and
  • You pay only for impressions that reach your target audience.


Nurturing Webinars have become an important nurturing and engagement tool, but many only them only at the top of the funnel, said Mark Bornstein, Senior Director of Content Marketing at ON24, during his presentation, Lead To Revenue: How To Use Webinars To Accelerate The Buying Cycle.  “But now, webinars are being leveraged to support the entire buying cycle, not just for demand and lead generation.”

Modern marketers are leveraging webinars at all stages of the buying cycle:

  • 45% to drive awareness;
  • 51% for lead generation;
  • 37% for lead nurturing; and
  • 42% for upselling and cross-selling.


Marketers are not the only ones who can benefit from marketing automation. Top performers are four-times more likely to invest in marketing automation, according to Gleanster Principal Analyst Ian Michiels in the session, What Sales Leaders Should Really Expect To Cultivate & Convert More Leads To Deals. “Marketing automation isn't just for marketers. It provides an aggregated view of the prospect that benefits sales.”  

Some other stats Michiels shared:

  • Top performing organizations report two-times higher bid-to-win rations in the first six months of using marketing automation;
  • 82% of sales leaders report “significant improvement” in lead quality within the first year of investing in marketing automation; and
  • 76% report a “significant decrease” in lead quantity, enabling them to focus on leads that are more likely to convert.


Other Highlights

In another session on data quality, How Data Impacts The Entire Lead Lifecycle, David Raab, Principal of Raab Associates discussed how prospecting, acquisition, nurturing, routing and post-sales success all depend on lead quality.

Dayna Rothman, Director of Content at Captora, highlighted the key metrics that marketers need to track in her session, Content Marketing For Demand Generation ROI.  “Measuring content helps you understand what impact your content has on your buyers,” said Rothman.

Content has to be optimized for mobile devices, as buyers are increasingly accessing emails and even long-form content such as E-books on their phones and tablets. “Generate better qualified leads and a stronger, more accurate pipeline with a multi channel approach to content,” said Paul Danter, VP, Sales and Marketing for Genwi during his webinar, Optimizing Campaigns For Multiple Screens, Channels & Audiences.