For the past decade or so, B2B marketers have been using the SiriusDecisions demand waterfall to build out a demand generation funnel to nurture and route leads, track lead status and their sales pipeline. Companies have spent millions of dollars trying to fill the top of that waterfall or funnel with leads. Many marketers have optimized their funnel stages to push as many qualified leads as possible, that Marketing can pass onto Sales. Millions more have been spent on marketing automation (MAP) and customer relationship (CRM) platforms.
Over the past three years B2B companies have started investing in technologies and tools to help transform their current lead-based demand generation processes using “Account-Based Marketing (ABM).” Much has been written about ABM. If you are new to the space, the responses to this question on Quora can help:
Whether you are a large, global, B2B enterprise or a B2B SaaS software business, you have a broad range of platforms and tools to help you build out your ABM tech stack and put together an ABM strategy for your company.
However; while making these investments, most marketers have overlooked the stage between the very top of the funnel and when a lead is identified. We call this stage “ZeroTouch-to-Lead.”
From ZeroTouch to Lead: A Critical Revenue Gap for Demand Marketers Today
Today’s marketing and sales technology platforms and tools are great at managing, analyzing and driving demand, once a buyer from a target account has identified themselves by filling out a form (a “Lead”). There are many platforms and tools that can assist once you have leads in your pipeline.
However, as the visual below shows, today’s tools completely miss the “ZeroTouch-to-Lead” stage, at the very front end of the process. With ABM, you’d start with accounts first, identify your buying groups (called “Demand Units” by SiriusDecisions) at those accounts, as well as their buyer personas (or profiles). Then track engagement and interactions with all the members of the buying groups, whether they fill out a form (turn into a lead) or not, all along the buyer journey. You would map out your buyer journeys across the entire buying group in the aggregate, or map out journeys of individual buyers from that account.
Given new online B2B audience data that is now available, marketers can provide actionable insights on the ZeroTouch-to-Lead stage buyers to enterprise sales teams, before the buyers have self-identified (with their email address). Continue reading