A lot of B2B businesses have standardized metrics based on their demand generation funnel, but did you know that account-based funnels can actually improve how sales and marketing work together?
Foster Sales & Marketing Alignment by Focusing on Funnels
We’ve seen it a million times as B2B revenue leaders. The pipeline and booking numbers for the quarter are proving to be disappointing. The CRM says X, sales says Y, and marketing says Z. Finger-pointing ensues across teams and suddenly there’s a toxic environment. The easiest conclusion to jump to is that the sales or marketing team dropped the ball, but what if it’s about the funnel that is in place?
Identify where the problem lies.
When a B2B business’ benchmarks for funnel conversion rates aren’t reaching or exceeding industry averages, it might be a people-problem, but it’s more likely to be an issue of poor alignment either on process or definition across sales and marketing that can be seen in the funnel.
It may be relatively easy to build a B2B funnel, but it is incredibly challenging to build one that works perfectly for the teams that rely on it. Especially if views of how it “should” work differ. These different points of view are as much of a signal of the problem as the disappointing KPIs themselves.
Funnel stage definitions within the funnel need to be the same for both sales and marketing teams, stage triggers also need to be aligned, and technology needs to be well integrated across the sales and marketing tech stack. Thee good news is that there are several places you can identify misalignment issues and create a plan for improvement.
The data doesn’t lie.
Whether a funnel is brand new or has been part of the business for a while, if conversion rates have everyone scratching their heads, it’s time to dig into the current funnel stages and identify where the wheels may be falling off. There may be a lack of agreement between teams on lead or stage definitions, or perhaps automated flags aren’t triggering correctly.
Alternatively, if the process is too hard to follow or requires too much manual input by sales teams, processes can break down. A great funnel considers how prospects come in from various sources, whether it is from a marketing or a sales activity, at a variety of points in the funnel, and if the funnel isn’t set up to account for this, it’s a recipe for misalignment and inaccurate forecasting.
Put a stop to the bickering and lack of clarity. Learn how to create alignment and improve success rates by building a demand generation funnel.