Flipping the Funnel: Account-Based Marketing Puts Customers First, Not Channels

April 28, 2016 Sangram Vajre

Editor’s note: this post was originally featured on OpenView Labs in September 2015.

As modern B2B marketers, we’re lucky enough to witness some of the most dramatic shifts in marketing strategies and technologies. One of the most pivotal changes of our time has been the transition away from a traditional sales and marketing funnel where leads come in the top and follow a linear path from awareness to purchase.

Lead-Based-B2B-Sales-Funnel


The #B2B #sales & #marketing funnel is dead says @sangramvajre. It’s time to #FlipMyFunnel
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This traditional approach bears one primary goal in mind: to capture as many leads as possible at the top of the funnel and drop them into the sea of marketing and sales communications. The new account-based marketing movement quite literally flips that funnel on its head.

flipmyfunnel_account_based_marketing

Account-based marketing starts with identifying your best-fit customers. While a lead generation model based on the traditional funnel might begin by selecting a set of channels, a more logical first step is to identify a set of potential customers first. In a marketing landscape that is increasingly focused on the customer’s needs, not the marketer’s, why start anywhere else?

Finding the best fit

Let’s use a simple analogy. Say you’re going fishing and you’re hoping to catch a few trout. You can throw a giant net into the water and catch a number of fish at once — that may or may not be trout — or you can specifically identify the trout you’re after and reel it in from there.

Account-based marketing best-fit fishing

Now, in the world of fishing, those extraneous fish caught in your net might not be such a bad thing, but step into the shoes of a B2B marketer, and those fish just become clutter in your database — and quite frankly, a waste of your time and money.

Let’s go back to our funnel. With your best-fit customers identified up front, it’s much easier to allocate resources and budget where they’re going to be most effective. Armed with the knowledge of your customers’ pain points, motivations, and interests, you can target them on the channels they’re using with messaging that’s been developed specifically for them.


78% of CMOs think custom content is the future of #marketing according to @DemandMetric
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It all starts with Sales

Don’t worry, I’m not talking about money right off the bat, I’m referring to the conversation with your sales team and other key stakeholders that needs to happen for marketing to be truly effective. As Craig Rosenberg, co-founder and Chief Analyst at TOPO, wrote on his blog, “Account-based marketing requires a truly coordinated effort between sales, sales development, marketing, and executive staff.”

B2B-targeting-customers


42% of salespeople feel they don’t have the right info before calling prospects @CSOInsights
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Once you’ve identified your target accounts and started building up your marketing stack to supplement the efforts of your sales reps, you’re ready to move on to the next stage of account-based marketing: Expansion. Want to learn more? Download our #FlipMyFunnel ebook now.
 

The post Flipping the Funnel: Account-Based Marketing Puts Customers First, Not Channels appeared first on Terminus.

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