“ZeroTouch-to-Lead”: The Revenue Gap in Your Demand Funnel

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

ABM is Not a Horse Race: An Open Letter to Analyst Firms

Dear “Big Brand” Analyst Firm,

We just reviewed your latest ABM Landscape Report, which has a nice looking visual placing 10+ different ABM vendors in an X-Y layout, with one well-funded vendor in the coveted “top right corner”. You approached us earlier this year to participate. You collected a lot of detailed information. Your lead analyst spent 45 minutes 1:1 with us, at a recent industry event “to pick our brains”. You featured us in your first ABM report a year ago. Our business has grown stronger since, with many new, global, B2B enterprise clients. And yet, you sent us a letter that said:

“We will not be including your company in the upcoming ABM Landscape Report. The analysts writing this report considered a number of factors in making this decision, such as vendor revenue, product revenue, breadth of offering, and interest from our clients.”

At first we were concerned. Then we were confused. And now that we have reviewed your report, we want to say:

“Thank You for Not Including Us!”

With all respect to our fellow ABM vendors and partners, we’d like to provide you and your peer Analyst Firms with some feedback of our own: Continue reading

B2B Marketing: Create Your Customer Experience (CX) As Clarence Saunders Would…

Who in the heck is Clarence Saunders? Good question. However; with what Clarence Saunders did on September 6, 1916, some put him right up there with Henry Ford bringing the automobile to the mass market. All of us take his 100-year old genius idea for granted today and every week. So, what did Clarence Saunders do in Memphis, Tennessee back in 1916?

He opened up the first Piggly Wiggly grocery store. (Hey, a name as crazy as Kwanzoo!)

I know you weren’t around in 1916, but what Mr. Saunders did that day revolutionized the retail industry—especially retail grocery—forever. With that first Piggly Wiggly store, he introduced the world to the “self-service” model. Prior to September 6, 1916, customers would race to a grocery store, wait in a line, make their way up to the counter, give their order to one of the clerks, and wait for the clerk to go into a back room. The clerk would find the items, sometimes measure them out, bag the items, and total up the cost.

Continue reading

ABM Display Advertising: Huge Revenue Opportunities for B2B Agencies (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this blog, I focused on six trends to help convince B2B agencies that they should make ABM display advertising part of their revenue streams.

 Ok. Let’s say I have done my job and you are now sold on ABM display advertising. Now what?

 To tap into those new ABM display advertising revenue opportunities, you are going to have to supplement the skills and talent of your current staff. If you are a traditional B2B agency you probably have account management, copy writing, graphic design, media buying, negotiation, production management, public and media relations well covered.

 To help your clients succeed with ABM, you are going to have to hire some talent with skill sets and experience that you may not have needed—or considered—in the past. As a B2B agency, here are the five skills that you should seriously consider as you plan to embrace ABM and help your clients.

1. StrategyYou need to hire a few folks who have “been there, done that.” Successful strategy experience cannot be underestimated—and it is truly appreciated. Most of your clients who will be interested in ABM and display advertising “don’t know what they don’t know.” Continue reading