B2B audiences are like any other: They want to be won over. They want to know they are understood, and they expect sales and marketing teams to speak to their needs.
When it comes to winning high-stakes pitches in B2B, you need both the head and the heart. You need KPIs and TLC. You need the tech stack and the personal touch.
For sales and marketing to get big wins together, it’s time to craft a laser-focused lead gen strategy that paves the way for a highly curated, swoon-worthy pitch experience.
1. Marketing and sales must align on goals and KPIs
Sales and marketing win big together when they rally around the customer as their North Star rather than vying for their siloed goals to take top priority. (The opposite is also true. According to the Harvard Business Review, when sales and marketing are misaligned, both suffer and lose out on major revenue.)
In fact, our research found that the customer no longer belongs to sales or marketing. The customer belongs to the customer, and it is up to sales and marketing to work in lockstep to woo them.
Instead of competing for the top seat, the most successful sales and marketing teams stack hands around the necessity of providing the customer with a seamless experience.
2. Sharpen your tech stack to laser-focus your leads
But teams that leverage technology to keep pace with the digital world and successfully scale integration are the ones that come out ahead of the competition.
Starting with a data-driven approach to lead generation and decision-making gets you from RFP to ROI in a fraction of the time. That’s partially because once you implement your account-based marketing (ABM) strategy (see step 3), you’ll know you’re pouring your blood, sweat and content into hard-won marketing-qualified leads—not just the first person to sign up for your email list or that 20-year-old account.
Casting a wide marketing net waters down your prospecting efforts. Digital strategies such as lead scoring and conversion rate optimization, all built on the right tech stack, help to laser-focus your leads so sales and marketing can reel in the big fish.
3. Refine (or develop) your ABM strategy
ABM aligns your marketing and sales teams around key accounts and uses personalized content campaigns to engage each one. This tailored approach is guided by what is strategically relevant and interesting to each account, making it more likely to result in a win.
So, once you’ve laser-focused your leads, you can take all those data-driven customer insights to create an ABM strategy that gives your audience the content they crave and carries them happily down the sales funnel.
Borrow this high-level ABM timeline from The Curiosity Report Vol. 5:
- First, analyze current high-value accounts and any identified opportunities to establish customer segments.
- Invest in an ABM-specific technology provider or software to gather the next-level data you need to analyze your prospects’ behavior.
- Then leverage that data to see where your prospects are spending their time on your website as well as other online hubs.
- Now you confidently create powerful, personalized content and serve it to your prospects in the places they’re spending the most time.
- Retarget and remarket to serve up content that aligns with where the target is in the buyer’s journey and nurture your prospects with custom content in their digital spaces.
- Finally, convert. When you determine that the prospect is primed for conversion, a salesperson should reach out.
Remember, when ABM is successful, sales and marketing teams get big wins together. But for ABM to succeed, sales and marketing must be aligned (see step 1).
4. Win big pitches together
It’s time: You’ve locked arms with the sales team, your tech stack is dialed in and your ABM strategy makes your prospects feel like you know their every challenge.
Now it’s time to bring it to life with the pitch.
Today’s B2B audiences are more like B2C audiences than you (or they) might even realize. They don’t want dull solutions; they want something memorable and solution-driven. Even the most regulated B2B organizations want disruptive ideas that help them stand out.
From the pre-send teaser to the post-pitch close, you must creatively and objectively find the link between emotion and motivation to develop something truly compelling. Show that you intimately understand their value proposition and the decision points they need to nail with their customers. Demonstrate consumer thinking and connect the dots to position your solution as the winning one.