Most modern marketers consider themselves to be the person responsible for a set of leads. They lasso prospective customers and hand them off to sales to close the deal. But if you want to truly succeed, you need to think of your company’s entire pipeline–not just the top and middle.
Your marketing plan of attack needs to entail full-funnel thinking in order to engage, nurture, and close more prospects. Follow these five steps to become an effective full-funnel marketer today.
1. Do the Math
Your very first step to embrace the entire funnel is do the math on what is actually required of the company, and make that number yours. It’s impossible to fully embrace revenue responsibility unless you understand the math you’re working toward.
This is more than simply knowing how many leads to generate on behalf of the company. You need to understand the entire process, specifically: how many deals your organization needs to close, and how many leads are required to achieve your business goals. Examine the math on a quarterly basis, by rep or by sales team. It doesn’t need to be difficult or complicated.
It’s not uncommon for sales teams and marketing teams to lack continuity. Often, sales has one number or goal in mind, and marketing is working toward something entirely different. They don’t develop the math together, and that is a problem because all of a sudden, you have a marketing team generating leads with no thought for what the sales team needs. You can’t close more prospects if sales and marketing aren’t even focusing on the same leads. If the marketing team’s goal isn’t enough to fill the pipeline, then that lead number becomes arbitrary.
Start by crunching numbers and aligning your team’s goal with the rest of the organization. The marketing plan doesn’t start with a slide deck; it doesn’t start with a creative brief. It starts with a simple spreadsheet.
2. Create a Clear Customer Profile
You want to close more prospects? Great. But… who are they?
After you’ve figured out the basic math use it to flesh out your customer profile.
The math gets qualified by your understanding of the customer. Don’t just consider who they are; consider what they care about. What are they trying to achieve? When you know who each prospect is at their core, you will connect with them in their buying process.
Remember, a building doesn’t sign its own checks. Every company is comprised of people, and it benefits you to understand who they are and what their day-to-day concerns are. Discover their problems, and offer up a real solution to them. Create an accurate customer profile so you can speak to the outcome your prospects are trying to achieve independent of what you’re trying to sell.
3. Map the Sales and Buying Process
Journey mapping is where full-funnel marketers play an active role in managing the sales message. Your sales team may tend to push prospects into a demo because that’s the goal for your company. While this may be the next step to move someone along the funnel, it is decidedly not the next logical step in your prospect’s mind.
All prospects need to be personally walked from point A to point B, and C, and D. That journey might take them a day or a month, but either way, it has to happen with a personal touch. If you understand each step in their personal journey and treat each stage distinctly, you’ll align your goals with the prospect’s needs and get a commitment when they reach their destination.
4. Embrace Revenue Responsibility
Standout full-funnel marketers take revenue responsibility seriously. They operate as a profit center, embracing what it means to support every stage of the buying journey. You can no longer simply pass leads to sales, dust off your hands, and move on to the next task. You are responsible for pipeline contribution. If this doesn’t sound like you, you’re not alone! A lot of organizations aren’t used to having their marketing teams involved in this way.
A big part of becoming more involved in the revenue process is sales enablement. Sales enablement is a marketing function that is focused on boosting sales productivity and increasing conversion opportunities. How? With content, tools, processes, and systems. Your work can give sales the pieces and parts they need to accelerate their approach and ultimately close more prospects.
5. Create KPIs to Measure Success
“Thanks to the webinar our prospect attended, we closed a huge deal!” If only attribution were this simple! You are going to need definitive proof that your efforts are having an impact on the bottom line.
So, how will you measure the impact of tactics and touch points you focus on for each sale? It isn’t easy, but it is possible. An understanding of the lifetime value of each customer, the cost it took to acquire them, and other similar metrics can help you understand the return on the work marketing and sales are putting in together. This helpful article covers how to calculate some of the most important marketing KPIs you should be tracking as part of your full-funnel thinking.
The greatest marketers understand this truth: they need to put in work at every step of the buyer’s journey to be successful. By taking responsibility for the entire pipeline, they become full-funnel marketers who help sales to build better relationships with prospects and close more deals.
Picture credit: iStock
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