In the traditional method of operations, most companies work to garner as many marketing qualified leads (MQLs) as possible in order to feed the sales pipeline. When sales departments only close a small percentage of these MQLs, it becomes a volume game — trying to get hundreds of leads just to end up with a few deals sourced from marketing efforts.
Without an account-based marketing strategies, it’s been a volume game for a long time, and this response-based model only favors dogged determination over having an intelligent system that makes you more efficient.
To build up the volume of incoming leads in the top of the sales funnel, most organizations work diligently to build an inbound engine. However, this is a very difficult and time consuming process. Building one requires coordination and combination of technical capabilities and a developed, coordinated content strategy.
This model will see content pushed out as the company waits for people to read, watch, or listen to it. In most cases, people will provide their name and contact information to get it, but there’s a good chance they’ll give a false name and information, which means you have to wade through it all just to find the quality leads.
Other people will only download the content because they’re interested in the subject, but not because they actually want your product or service. These people — the ones who actually give you their correct information — are accounts that you can actually try to sell to. Of course, an even smaller subset are people who are actually looking to buy something. And looking for them is like panning for gold in a fast-flowing river.
For years, marketers have been taught to believe that this is the de facto go-to-market strategy that everyone must follow. It absolutely requires a very wide top of the sales funnel, and it relies on sheer overpowering of your market with phone calls, direct mail, and email newsletters.
But it’s not the best way, not by a long shot.
Why Account Based Marketing Can Help Align Sales and Marketing
On the other hand, account-based marketing is successful if you have a marketer who has an aptitude for sales. It’s someone who understands the selling process and fully comprehends what is needed for a good sales appointment to turn into an opportunity, which will lead to a great deal and strong relationship with those customers.
In the traditional model, there’s a lot of garbage — fake names, bad contact information, companies who aren’t a good fit, companies who don’t intend to buy — which only wastes the sales department’s time and energy, which causes the sales and marketing departments to lose trust in one another. That tears down the company’s relationships, and it ultimately cuts into the profits.
This is also why it’s important to an organization to have someone who either leads both teams and can see the bigger picture, or to have a marketer who deeply understands sales (or vice versa).
This is where applying FIRE — Fit, Intent, Recency, Engagement — to your inbound sales funnel can change everything and make your sales and marketing teams fit well together and fire on all cylinders. You don’t have to weed through the insanity of the wide top of the funnel; you get to the cream of the crop from the very start.
By finding companies that Fit with your products or offerings and have an Intent to buy, you can eliminate most of the junk leads immediately so the sales people never even have to call on them. It also helps marketers to focus on the right indicators of a strong lead, reducing the pool of potential leads into a smaller pool filled only with people who are likely to make a purchase.
If you’re ready to start employing the FIRE methodology, check out the How To Power Your Go-To-Market Strategy with FIRE. Or if you’d like to learn how EverString can help you reduce the number of go-nowhere leads, bring in more MQLs, and reach a greater number of closed deals in a shorter amount of time, schedule a demo with us now.