My last blog post, “Maximizing the Effectiveness of Events for Pipeline Acceleration,” struck a chord with many marketers who are struggling to increase the effectiveness of their event strategies. Not surprisingly, most of the comments and inquiries I received were from marketers seeking additional guidance on improving the effectiveness of the ever popular “closing event,” an example of what we refer to as last-mile pipeline acceleration.
Many B2B organizations make the mistake of inviting a broad audience to closing events, which can dilute the focus on opportunities with the greatest chance of closing. Sales and marketing need to work together to establish criteria for last-mile opportunities and remain focused on the goal of pushing the opportunities closest to closing across the finish line. Determine which opportunities are eligible for last-mile event participation using the following criteria:
Sales gates. For opportunities to be eligible for last-mile treatment, a series of key audience interactions must have occurred prior to the event, sales reps must be able to verify that the solution matches the buyer needs, buying centers must have been identified and there must be a confirmed budget for purchase. Additionally, if technology is being sold, confirm that technological resources have signed off on the offering’s capabilities.
Winnability. Matching an opportunity against previous wins can also help determine its propensity to close. Consider the favorability of the competitive landscape and whether previous deals have been won or lost with a company of the same size in the same industry.
Deal importance. Allocate the greatest amount of resources to deals that are the largest or most strategic for the organization. Consider the size of the deal, its expected margin and its strategic significance in terms of new logo acquisition to qualify it for last-mile treatment.