How to drive a healthy pipeline

Sophy Gray, director at Yellow Spider, outlines five top tips to help drive the most opportunities from demand marketing strategies

Over recent years we have seen how the perception of marketing has evolved from being a cost centre to playing a fundamental role in driving and generating sales revenue.  Demand generation has got sophisticated, and use of data has allowed marketing teams to achieve results that we only dreamt of years ago.

Here we outline our top five tips to help you drive the most opportunities from your demand marketing strategies:

1. Plan multi-touch, integrated campaigns

The days of single activity campaigns are over.  The way we consume content in this digital age means we need to evolve our marketing tactics and use digital to drive awareness and action.  It will take multiple touches before your audience will engage with you.  Within each of your campaigns plan a mix of tactics, content and media to plan for a minimum of seven engagements or touches with your audience. 

2. Tailor your campaigns

A savvy buyer is spoilt.  We have all come to expect the information we need to be presented to us in a way we wish to consume it.  So take this philosophy and apply it to your messaging.  Spend some time with sales learning about your customers, and build up a picture of what the buying groups look like.  Then create message frameworks to tailor the message you want to give, to make it relevant to your segmented audience.   Use the same thinking to tailor the way you deliver the message.  Do your technical communities like a different style of communication to the CEO?  Yes, more than likely.

3. Adopt lead qualification and lead scoring

Understanding the leads you gather, and how best to follow them up is an often over looked part of the demand process.  But if you think about it logically, are all leads created equal?  To score your leads you must first create a scorecard against which all your leads can be measured.  These typically follow the BANT methodology (Budget, Authority, Need, Timeline), but consider too other factors depending on your lead source - you can ascertain interest from event leads where you’ve had a conversation with the prospect, engagement through a digital campaign where you can track their behaviour and demographics where you have data available to understand a prospects company and situation.   Use the scorecard to define your lead follow up strategy - Which need immediate follow up? Which need nurture?  Which to disqualify?

4. Nurture your prospects

Like every good gardener knows, nurturing young seedlings will grow strong healthy plants.  Work with sales to understand the sales cycle, agree clear sales stages and decide what support and content you can provide to your prospects to help move them through the stages.  Then devise a content plan and nurture campaign to deliver timely, relevant messages to support your prospect’s buying decisions.

5. Build a relationship with sales

As you’ve hopefully picked up on so far, none of this can be achieved without the support and buy in from sales.  You need mutual trust and respect between sales and marketing, with shared language, common goals and agreed processes - only then can your demand strategy reach it’s potential.