We’re four weeks into the year, and your CEO wants to know: where’s the pipeline? Why are we behind?
Maybe you didn’t realize that as a marketing leader, you’d be signing up for a target. After all, isn’t that what sales quotas are for? But the pressure is on and the stakes are high for CMOs to deliver high-quality pipeline – yesterday.
The good news? If you have an intent vendor like 6Sense or Demandbase, you’ve already unlocked the dark funnel. You have insight into the estimated 60% of buyer activity that takes place online (and that’s before they’ve even engaged with a sales rep). You are privy to web visits, form fills, and third-party research for qualified buyers who are looking for a solution to a problem that our product solves. That’s exactly what intent data is – a collection of signals left behind by buyers while they’re browsing the internet.
The bad news? There are a few extra steps you need to take to accelerate the next steps for sales. Knowing what prospects are looking for and when they’re looking for it helps you zero in on a critical part of the buying journey. But pairing that with sales engagement – a way of measuring if sales outreach is occurring – will truly accelerate pipeline for your business. Sales engagement ensures that all of the right accounts with high intent signals are getting outreach, in the right cadence, the right number of times.
Fortunately, forward-thinking marketing leaders are now powering the revenue engine with a healthy mix of intent and engagement to find predictable paths to pipeline. How? It all starts with the data, of course!
There are buyers out there who have high intent signals. They’ve done their research, they’ve read your blogs and seen your ads, but they haven’t had contact from your company’s sales team yet. These prospects have high intent and low engagement, and you can easily spot them in Salesforce.
We call this the goldmine. These prospects are primed and ready for outreach. Thanks to intent data, you know what they’re searching for and can quickly pair their business pain with your value proposition.
The real magic happens when you add sales engagement to the mix. Paired with intent, sales engagement unlocks a clear pathway for identifying quick wins:
Your intent vendor may show 20 marketing qualified accounts, but a sales rep may only be engaging with half of them. Those other 10 accounts are pipeline dollars left on the table. Engagement tools help you clearly identify who is getting left behind from a sales perspective – whether it’s intentional or not. Create tighter alignment with your sales counterparts by reviewing how accounts are moving through the funnel based on intent and engagement.
People like to do business with people that they trust. How do you create trust with prospects? Being more buyer-centric. Intent and engagement data gives you the power to create an experience that shows prospects you are putting their needs first: you’re reaching out at the right time with the right content (intent signals) and you’re able to zero in on the right people at the account (engagement intelligence) to progress the deal.
Major purchase decisions do not happen in a vacuum; marketers today need to build awareness across multiple lines of business before large investments can be made. Intelligence tools can show you where you might be missing out on engagement from specific personas.
For example, if you know that IT buyer engagement is imperative to moving a deal forward, and you have low or non-existent engagement with that buyer, you can launch targeted ABM campaigns to that group. Now you can optimize your marketing spend where it will make the biggest impact on deals in the pipeline.
Once you’ve lit up your dark funnel with intent, you need a sales engagement tool to help point sellers in the right direction so you don’t leave any accounts on the table. Get the right buyers the right information from sales at the right time – and you’ll come out on the other end as a hero to the team as you watch the high intent accounts move from low engagement to new pipeline.
Want to go into your sales and marketing alignment meetings with confidence this year? Let’s partner together on your pipeline creation machine.