• More than 20 new models were unveiled at SiriusDecisions 2015 Summit in Nashville
  • Attendees learned that the B2B buyer’s journey contains three buying scenarios: independent, consensus and committee
  • Attendees also learned four ways to optimize the Demand Waterfall® and the importance of aligning marketing and sales compensation

After a whirlwind week attending the SiriusDecisions Summit in Nashville, I reflected on the things I learned. As a client, I always admired SiriusDecisions’ think-tank approach – and this year, my first attending as an SiriusDecisions analyst, was no exception. There were over 20 new models unveiled, each offering unique insight into how to bring order and clarity into the chaos that so often rules the lives of marketers.

SiriusDecisions Summit 2015If you weren’t able to attend, here are my top three “light bulb” moments from Summit.

One: The B2B Buyer’s Journey – It’s a Long, Windy Road

  • There isn’t just one buyer’s journey; there are three! The three buying scenarios present in B2B are Independent buyers, Consensus buying, and buying by Committee.
  • It’s not a sequential journey. It’s episodic, and buyers often jump back and forth between the Education, Solution and Selection stages. The price point of your product also influences how buyers proceed through their journey.
  • A successful buying interaction will have between 11 and 17 buyer/seller interactions. Over 40 percent of those interactions will take place via a non-human conduit (e.g. online), but that doesn’t mean buyers aren’t talking to sales. Buyers are interacting with sales at every stage of their journey, from Education right through to Selection, proving that sales interactions are still a key part of winning a deal.

Two: Four Funky Ways to Use the Demand Waterfall®

  • Divide and conquer. Why limit yourself to one view of your Demand Waterfall? You can gain great insight by segmenting your waterfall and comparing performance across teams, geographies and verticals. It’s like having your own in-house bake-off every month.
  • Solve mysteries. By analyzing patterns you see in your waterfall, you can identify clues to help you improve processes and performance, test hypotheses and determine the areas that need tweaking. It’s like having Sherlock Holmes on your team!
  • Forecast your future. Use your waterfall conversion rates, velocity and average deal size data together with current pipeline volume to forecast future revenue scenarios. See where you are on track and where gaps are likely to occur. Armed with that information, you can act quickly to change your future for the better.
  • Be prepared. Use your waterfall to help you plan for the year ahead. By reversing your waterfall, you can determine your top-of-funnel requirements for the coming year and align campaigns accordingly. You’ll be ready and raring to go from day one.

Three: Compensation Is Killing B2B Alignment

  • Marketing MBOs. As Upton Sinclair once noted, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” When marketing compensation is not aligned with sales compensation, you are effectively paying marketing not to understand. It has to stop.
  • Motivating teleprospectors. If you are telling new teleprospecting reps they have the opportunity to be promoted into sales within a year if they are successful, you are inadvertently encouraging them to focus more on ingratiating themselves with sales than on performing well in their roles. These teleprospectors end up spending too much time on non-core activities doing whatever it takes to makes sales happy instead of following agreed-upon SLAs.
  • Same old, same old. Organizations often fail to recognize that their infrastructure shortcomings are what’s preventing employees from achieving stated goals. You can change employee behavior with pay, but usually for the worse if you do not first address their need for tools and training. On average companies spend less than $1,000 per year upskilling marketers.

If you want the opportunity to hear from the crew at Sirius and have some of your own “light bulb” moments, join us at the EMEA Summit (http://sdsummiteurope.com).