Pipeline marketing is more than just generating leads to make a sale. It enables marketers to take a more active role in the lead generation efforts to create revenue for the company. The goal is to connect both marketing and sales to make decisions based on a common goal.
Focusing on pipeline marketing has become essential in marketers lead generation strategies as bottom on the funnel efforts get a lot of attention. Because the goal is gaining revenue, bottom of the funnel efforts become more important rather than campaign diagnostics where the focus is at the top of the funnel.
This results-drive focus will drive marketers to look at all aspects of the company’s marketing efforts as opposed to micro points. This will ensure ROI and revenue targets are met and not missed. Understanding which part of the funnel does not yield results can help marketers refocus on what requires more resources and what strategies will deliver tactical execution.
The Alignment Between Sales and Marketing
A successful marketing pipeline needs both marketing and sales to work together. It should be noted that both activities of marketing and sales should lead to one thing: revenue for the company. Sales can only be effective with the help of marketing and marketing will only be relevant with sales.
According to Content Marketing Institute, the current disconnect between marketing and sales results in 60% to 70% of the content becoming useless because irrelevant don’t appeal to the brand’s target audience. More importantly, without having the same goals, sales chase after 79% of marketing leads that ultimately lead to nowhere because of failure to nurture consumer connections.
While it may require some work for both teams to align their strategies and assist each other at weak points, it should be noted that sales and marketing teams that work together have:
- 36% higher customer retention rates
- achieved 38% higher sales win rates
- 24% faster growth
- 27% faster profit growth over a three-year period
The Importance of Pipeline Marketing
The marketing pipeline is a multi-stage, and multi-dimensional way of looking at the buyer’s journey, so a simple slide down the pipeline to revenue is not what happens when leads are generated. In every stage of the funnel, potential B2B clients can always exit if they feel it doesn’t suit their organization’s needs. Lack of nurturing, wrong messages, and even the wrong timing of content, can make prospects leave the funnel at any given time.
As with any good marketing, bringing in quality leads is the foundation of a good marketing pipeline. Many leads don’t make a sale. Leads that show initiative in buying and interest in your products and solutions are quality leads. But targeting these potential clients can only be possible if both sales and marketing comb through their data to see which leads qualify as quality leads. Data on lead qualification from sales gives marketing a perspective of quality leads. More importantly, this data gives marketers information on how to make decisions based on where the leads are in the pipeline and how to encourage prospects to move along.
There are different strategies marketing can employ to gain and retain qualified leads until they close. These strategies include inbound marketing, content marketing, lead nurturing, and growth hacking. Using these strategies from your sales funnel addresses different parts of the sales pipeline.
Even if your pipeline is adverse, you can still make efforts to improve it by focusing on key areas to recover the health of your pipeline. These four metrics determine the health of your pipeline and what you can do to enhance it:
- Number of deals in the pipelines
- Average size of deals
- Average percentage of closed deals
- Average time for closing deals
Marketers have to be fully aware of the impact they have on the pipeline. Taking ownership of it means that your team is taking a step toward achieving your revenue targets as a team player with the sales team. The marketing pipeline induces this cooperative environment, and those that are aligned report an average increase of 32% in annual revenue growth. Take ownership of the pipeline and tackle revenue results.
Pipeline marketing is the next evolutionary step marketers need to take to gain ownership of the pipeline and fuel revenue. To learn more check out our White Paper, How Marketers are Tackling Sales Pipeline Ownership.