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Discover five trends that will matter most as Demand and ABM leaders embrace buying groups

Laura Cross

Moving From A Lead-Centric To A Buying-Group Focus Is Key To Demand And ABM Success.

Laura Cross, VP, Principal Analyst

In 2022, demand and account-based marketing (ABM) leaders will focus on building and maintaining pipeline momentum in a post-pandemic world where B2B buyers’ expectations of being heard, known, and understood are higher than ever before. And, with the vast majority of B2B purchasing decisions being made by groups, meeting and exceeding buyers’ expectations starts with embracing a buying group focus.

Our recently published Planning Assumptions Demand and ABM report highlights five opportunities that should be on every leader’s agenda. While the report provides a deep dive, here is an overview.

Focus On Buying Groups In Scoring Models And Service-Level Agreements (SLAs)

B2B marketers have greater access to interest and intent signals than ever before. Scoring models are evolving to incorporate these signals to better prioritize active buying groups and identify true propensity to buy. Account scores, individual scores, buying group, and opportunity scores should all be considered to move opportunities with buying groups attached through the B2B Revenue Waterfall™. Scoring models that don’t include these additional signals will continue to prioritize individuals, potentially missing the real opportunity.

When passing scored opportunities between teams, SLAs should govern the handoff and outline next steps and activation timelines. These SLAs are critical for identifying productive trends, process breakdowns, and opportunities to create efficiencies.

Move From Click-Based Engagement To Real-Time Buyer Enablement

Real-time buyer enablement refers to the shift from selling “at” buyers to helping them get the information they need, in the moment, to support their decision-making. This requires a change in mindset from data collection to signal detection and contextual response to develop an enriched and actionable understanding of the buyer. Instead of deploying tactics to drive clicks, tactics are engineered as sensors that capture and connect the most relevant signals from buyer behavior and activity.

Use Demand Program Plays To Get And Move Members Of The Buying Group

B2B organizations rely on demand programs to influence buying group members, get new opportunities into the waterfall, and move existing opportunities through it. Demand marketers have access to data, process, and technology to support buying group needs and complex B2B purchase dynamics like never before. Demand program plays are different types of programs that support demand objectives and target individual buying group members, but they offer a scalable, repeatable process to help marketers refine how they engage and enable all members of the buying group.

Better Understand The Opportunities That Drive Your Revenue

Most B2B organizations’ total revenue comes from a mix of new and existing customers and spans acquisition, cross-sell, upsell and retention opportunity types. Each of these opportunity types converts differently and requires well-defined processes, integrated campaigns, and programs. Campaigns to drive revenue should blend demand programs with reputation and customer engagement programs to support revenue objectives.

Determine The Right Mix Of Marketing Approaches

Marketers are getting savvier about how they work with sales, often building parallel coverage against target groups of named accounts or segments, each with an opportunity type and projected value. Each patch of accounts warrants a different marketing approach, ranging from high-touch ABM to broad-based demand. Because marketing approaches vary widely in their scalability, requirements, and investment levels, leaders should be thoughtful and data-driven in their marketing approach decisions. This way, they can capture the full value of known or projected opportunities and apply resources wisely.

For a closer look at some of the key trends shaping priorities across B2B marketing, download our complimentary Planning Assumptions e-book.