How many times have you visited a B2B website and cringed at being asked to provide your contact information, including your email just to download a white paper or watch a video?
Why is this a reality in 2023 on most B2B SaaS websites? Because "leads" are still a primary measurement of Marketing success and marketers have not yet invested in the processes and instrumentation to focus on both the "pre-opportunity process" and then the ultimate outcomes of pipeline and revenue.
One of the first topics we discussed was the "buying journey" which in the 6sense land is focused on the "pre-buying" or pre-opportunity journey which is often the area that is understood the least. A majority of the pre-opportunity journey is anonymous, most B2B companies will have multiple resources touching the early phase of the journey and there is real friction and resistance for buyers to reveal their identity early in the process.
However, by understanding the pre-opportunity journey, a company is better positioned to engage with potential buyers in a more personalized and impactful way.
Latane' defines the pre-opportunity buying journey into 5 phases including:
- Purchase (meaning they are ready to enter the active opportunity phase)
Once a company moves into the "decision" of which company a buyer wants to engage in a sales process is the best time for B2B marketers to proactively reach out to a potential future customer.
The concept of "IICP" takes the Ideal Customer Profile to another level by introducing the "in-market" Ideal Customer Profile. By understanding that an account is actively researching and evaluating a specific market category that your company plays in. Taking this concept to something that "Sales" cares about includes being able to provide the Sales organization with real-time leads that are actively "in-market" and thus have a much higher conversion rate to qualified opportunities.
Next, we double-clicked into why a minority of B2B companies are not actively using "intent data" to determine when an "ICP" account is actively in-market. Latane highlights that a major obstacle is that a well-defined "workflow" is not often in place to ensure that the Sales Development team comes in each morning with a complete, prioritized list available for them to start the day off productively...versus spending their time researching and building a prioritized list for outreach.
If you are responsible for engaging a target market and buyer to generate high-quality leads, and/or are interested in how to take advantage of intent data, account-based programs, and the dark web to increase pipeline quality - Latane is a great listen and her book NO FORMS, NO SPAM, NO COLD CALLS is a great read!