Does your marketing bring measurable results to the bottom line? According to one definition, the ultimate goal of marketing is to support sales, which is indeed the case. But does efficient marketing that brings in leads go to waste if the sales funnel falters, the sales process drags on, and results fail to materialize? In such cases, it’s worth exploring ways in which marketing can support and advance the sales pipeline.
Identify the Right Organizations
Organizations in the sales pipeline are often easy to identify because direct contact has been made with them (e.g., quotes, meetings, calls, emails). If you use a CRM, the most logical option is often to download a list of the organizations currently in the sales pipeline or in other states where positive activation is desired for your sales process (e.g., those who responded with “return later”).
This allows marketing to be targeted on a key-account basis, commonly referred to as Account-Based Marketing.
If it’s not possible to identify/list target companies, or if the size of the list audience is too narrow, the purchasing and consideration phases can be inferred from certain activities. These might include website visits or conversions, engagement with specific content, or reactions on channels.
Targeted LinkedIn marketing is an obvious choice for B2B marketers looking to reach specific decision-makers within designated organizations. If there are few target companies, the campaign targeting tool can directly narrow down the desired organizations. However, it’s advisable to use a list audience as it allows for a more detailed view of organizational behavior through Engaged Organizations reporting. Moreover, updating the list audience, for example, weekly or monthly, ensures that the targeting remains current as changes occur within the sales pipeline organizations, automatically updating the audience targeting.
Several platforms offer various targeting options based on email lists as well. However, leveraging these often requires a significant volume to be effective. Additionally, due to issues like marketing consent, data ownership, and the mixing of business/private emails, they can be problematic or at least in a gray area from a GDPR perspective.
Identifying and engaging with desired decision-makers and the decision-making committee is extremely important. Simply reaching decision-makers often isn’t enough, as prolonged sales processes often stem from challenges within the company’s internal decision-making. By influencing and convincing all key decision-makers within the organization, the best possible outcome for your sales process is facilitated.
Convince with Content
What kinds of content should be targeted during the sales pipeline? It can be approached from the perspective that often, it’s easier to convince the actual decision-maker, but the underlying committee remains indifferent because they aren’t directly engaged. Therefore, plan content that supports the message you’d like to convey when you eventually meet them face-to-face.
Typically, convincing content for potential customers may include:
- Company values
- Emphasizing the end benefit or problem-solving
- Content that provides more information and a deeper understanding of the topic, such as blogs or articles
- Activating content, such as brochure/guide downloads or webinars.
In addition to being convincing and engaging, the content must be visually consistent. Committee persuasion KPIs are often not measured in clicks or CTRs but rather in achieving sufficient coverage and impact among the target audience. Thus, a consistent visual identity and low-threshold intention indicators, such as video views, already have the desired effect on the audience.