Two fundamental truths apply to most B2B buying and selling scenarios. First, each individual account often presents multiple selling opportunities. Second, most purchase decisions are made by buying groups — not an individual acting alone. Let’s explore each of these truths to see how and why they influenced the design of Forrester’s new B2B Revenue Waterfall.

The first sale to an account often serves as the entrée to a suite of additional opportunities such as cross-sell, upsell, and retention. Yet many sales and marketing organizations spend most of their time and energy on the acquisition motion, with sales reps and demand generation functions spending a lot of time trying to generate interest from cold or unqualified accounts. We believe that organizations must rethink how they approach their target market — whether it comprises new accounts or existing customers. A key part of this change is to understand all your opportunity types so you can make informed decisions about process design and resource allocation.

We also know that between 60% and 90% of purchases are made by groups of three or more people acting together (source: Forrester’s 2021 Revenue Operations And Buying Groups Survey). It’s not at all uncommon to find buying groups composed of five to seven individuals. Before 2017, most B2B demand waterfalls were organized to attract and track leads (e.g., individuals) at the top and opportunities through the sales pipeline. B2B marketing and sales organizations must shift from a focus on individual leads to understanding, recognizing, and reacting to multiple leads from the same company that together make up a selling opportunity. They can then attach all members of the buying group to the opportunity record and improve their ability to detect, engage, prioritize, and qualify opportunities.

The B2B Revenue Waterfall provides the framework for capturing and visualizing the movement of opportunities, and their associated buying groups, through the selling process. It is designed to be easily implemented in common sales force automation systems using standard objects and brings a new level of alignment between marketing and sales.

Join me and VP, principal analyst Julian Archer at Forrester’s B2B Summit APAC September 14–15 as we unveil the new B2B Revenue Waterfall. B2B Summit APAC is the only event that leverages the insights, analysis, and experience of the brightest B2B marketing and sales leaders in the region. Top analysts, inspirational thinkers, innovative technology providers, and your peers will come together as a community to learn from each other and stake out audacious plans for success in 2021. B2B Summit APAC provides you with the unbiased perspective, inspiration, and real-world solutions you need to be successful.​