Account-Based Nurturing and Pipeline Velocity
Perhaps the last time you had to calculate velocity was in your high school physics class. The calculation is straightforward if you can recall the formula from years gone by: just divide the distance by time. An example that we're all familiar with is the speed of an automobile: miles per hour. Similarly, pipeline velocity is the rate of account-based revenue opportunities moving through the pipeline; from the moment they first interact with you, to the moment you close a deal with the account.
Automobile drivers must apply pressure to the gas pedal to accelerate and go further, faster. Similarly, account-based marketers must increase the quality and quantity of interactions with the pool of contacts within the high-value account to accelerate the pipeline velocity. Pipeline acceleration campaigns produce the energy needed to ramp up the revenue-generating potential within the pipeline by maximizing the reach to all the account-based contacts. Pipeline acceleration campaigns also hasten the process by enhancing the contact's knowledge, driving excitement for the solution, and creating organization-wide familiarity and trust of your brand.
Determine Your Opportunity's Velocity
The first step in creating a pipeline acceleration campaign is to determine the velocity of the revenue opportunities within the pipeline of the high-value account. Acceleration happens when technology is leveraged to increase the touch points while personalizing the experience for each contact. Measuring these touch points provides real-time insight on how to accelerate more efficiently.
Increase Velocity with Acceleration Metrics
Common pipeline acceleration indicators include the categorization of opportunities as high touch, low touch, high tech, or low tech. Opportunities are "high touch" if the contact requires a hefty time investment and a more personalized approach to moving them through the pipeline. Contacts who need a lesser time commitment but efficiently drive velocity without much interaction are "low touch" opportunities. Connections requiring targeted ads or a marketing automation platform are "high tech" opportunities. Conversely, a "low-tech" campaign requires less use of technology and can also be categorized as high or low touch, depending on context and where the opportunity is at in the buyer's journey. Using these metrics helps your team decide the best approach for accelerating the pipeline velocity.
Focus on High-Probability Opportunities
Not all opportunities in your pipeline have the same velocity. Opportunities with the highest velocity also have the highest probability of closing and are likely to close within the next 30 days. These campaigns are high touch/high tech and require a lot of resources to implement. Segmenting opportunities by velocity helps guide your sales team to focus their efforts on these high-probability opportunities.
Mid velocity opportunities require a different approach as their timeline to closing a deal is extended out between 30 and 60 days. Opportunities falling in this category are a good fit for either a high tech/low touch or low tech/high touch campaign with just the right amount of personalization. Implementing a high tech/low touch campaign to nurture the low-velocity opportunities (>60 days to close) will free your sales team up to focus on the profitable high-velocity opportunities.
Nurturing Opportunities to Accelerate Sales
Pipeline acceleration strategically nurtures opportunities through the pipeline to close more deals faster. Your sales and marketing teams must deliver relevant content on the appropriate channels to quickly remove barriers and keep the opportunity on track to close a deal. Efficient acceleration campaigns include nurturing activities using these common touch points:
- Advertising on multiple channels as mobile, social media, display, ads and video
- Content-rich inbound marketing including case studies, whitepapers, infographics, blog posts, and eBooks
- Real-time events-includes industry trade shows and individual meetings as well as multi-attendee webinars
- Social media interactions, such connecting with a salesperson on LinkedIn, or targeted messaging on LinkedIN
Signs of Success
Defining success is different for account-based marketing than the traditional lead-based B2B marketing metrics. Measuring account-based marketing success is usually in terms of revenue derived from closing high-value accounts. Before closing a sale on high-value accounts, metrics correlated with revenue growth provide real-time insight on how the account-based marketing strategy is performing. Common indicators are the # of qualified accounts driven by marketing, # of opportunities added to the pipeline, length of the buyer's journey, and increases in an account's engagement score.