- Marketing and sales are not always aligned on what demand marketing success looks like
- The Demand Unit Waterfall provides a process and measurement framework to better align the B2B revenue engine
- Marketing and sales technologies play a crucial role in helping operationalize the Demand Unit Waterfall
Imagine this scenario: Marketing shows up at the quarterly business review with its dashboard showing green – it’s delivered a lot of leads this quarter! But its sales counterparts paint a picture not quite as rosy – the number of new opportunities, total pipeline and closed revenue for the quarter aren’t where they need to be, and early indicators for the next quarter aren’t much better. As you might guess (or have experienced yourself), this type of meeting doesn’t create a warm and fuzzy feeling of alignment throughout the organization – and unfortunately happens all too often.
One way organizations are overcoming this disconnect between marketing and sales is by adopting the Demand Unit Waterfall, a demand management process and reporting model that better aligns marketing and sales from the very beginning. Think of this process change as replacing a relay race (in which marketing passes the baton, aka leads, to sales) with a three-legged race (in which marketing and sales are running together shoulder to shoulder).
This transformation to better alignment through the adoption of the Demand Unit Waterfall includes many critical parts (e.g. process, people, change management), but technology is playing an increasingly significant role in enabling better sales and marketing alignment.
Tools such as sales intelligence, predictive analytics and intent monitoring technologies can play a pivotal role during the target demand and active demand stages of the Demand Unit Waterfall – ensuring sales and marketing understand what an ideal customer profile looks like, which segments and accounts should be prioritized, and where they might want to double down on efforts on the basis of who appears to be in the market. These technologies allow B2B sellers to remove a lot of guesswork from their activities and help marketing and sales take a data-driven approach to assessing the realistic addressable market opportunity and where to focus.
As B2B organizations move through the Demand Unit Waterfall into the stages of engaged demand, prioritized demand, qualified demand and pipeline, technology providers bring capabilities to support additional marketing and sales requirements.
For example, dialer and sales orchestration technologies allow for efficient outreach to engaged and prioritized accounts. Marketing can help create multiple templates and craft various messages that support sales acceleration techniques. Additionally, gamification technology can facilitate friendly competition between inside sales teammates (e.g. sales development reps, business development reps) to provide optimal conversion between prioritized and qualified demand, for example. At the bottom of the Demand Unit Waterfall, artificial intelligence–based sales technologies can enable accurate forecasting of what everyone in sales and marketing cares about: closed revenue!
Marketing and sales leaders have many more requirements throughout the Demand Unit Waterfall, as well as supporting technologies that enable joint success. Organizations must evaluate technologies against a set of critical business requirements for marketing and sales to avoid ending up with a bunch of siloed, standalone tools.
For more details on this topic, don’t miss my presentation with Barbara Rubis, “Aligning Account-Based Marketing and Sales Technology Using the Demand Unit Waterfall™,” at the fourth annual SiriusDecisions Technology Exchange on November 7 through 9 in New Orleans.