Using Purchase Intent Insight to Enable Common Sense Marketing (CSM)
As the CEO of a leading B2B marketing solutions provider, I see the world through the lens of our clients. Our clients are the best B2B tech marketers anywhere. The list is literally a who’s who of movers and shakers in the enterprise solution space. Right now, they’re all working like mad to get their arms around a host of new innovations that could potentially improve impact. No matter the specifics of any given case, practically every client tells me, that at the end of the day, what they’re really focused on is how to more effectively contribute to healthier sales pipelines. In short, marketers want to help sales.
Marketers need to focus on contributing to a healthier sales pipeline
A couple of years ago, we all heard about CEB’s data showing how much buyer research is done today before sales is ever contacted. Some even called it the “end of B2B Sales”. It certainly helped to further stoke the flames that have given rise to the “Stackies” and the term “MarTech”. At the same time, however, a few smart folks are getting under the covers to explain what really needs to happen in sales and marketing to help your business grow. You can start to read about it in posts like Lori Wizdo’s “Insights into the Customer Journey”. And in my last post, I made a play for steering everyone back to a concept of Common Sense Marketing (CSM).
Common Sense Marketing – What can you do to deliver value to sales?
Simply put, CSM means focusing intently on what exactly can be done by marketers that can quickly and consistently provide value to the sales team. In a world where prospects have access to more and better information than ever, great sales teams don’t sit on their hands and wait for leads to come to them. That’s a sure route to the kind of commoditization that destroys margins.
My takeaway from the CEB report is that more than ever, great sales teams need access to better information sooner. It’s why the best marketing teams understand the real power of purchase intent information to help guide everything sales and marketing do together.
5 ways purchase intent is helping technology vendors win
Here’s a look at how proven purchase intent information is helping technology vendors win in their markets right now:
- Providing access to more real “at bats” because there’s far less noise clogging up accurate information about real intent. When sales and marketing view the same high-quality information together, they can act together on exactly what really matters.
- Prioritizing both marketing and sales activity to focus on the right accounts, the right contacts and better content designed to help those buying centers make better progress. Marketing can nurture the journey, sales can engage in conversations that shape the deal.
- Engaging effectively well ahead of the RFP. Because no matter where you stand in your market, once the RFP comes out, your unique value gets lost too easily in the battle to win at any cost.
- Covering the market efficiently between sales visits to maintain proper mindshare and differentiation at all times. With the incredible clutter out there, it’s absolutely critical that you focus scarce marketing resources on the accounts and individuals who really matter when an initiative starts to take shape.
- Building momentum fast for new offerings as soon as they’re generally available. No matter how exciting your new offering, the market doesn’t respect that and therefore sales can’t act effectively on it unless you prime the pump. By targeting the right individuals extremely early, marketing opens the door to effective sales interactions from day one, the kind that shape buyer thinking in a win-win direction.
Do not mistake “data” for “insight”
As you might have sensed from my previous post, I’m a strong believer in the value and capability of professional sales people. And as the CEO of a leading marketing solution provider in the B2B tech space, I have very strong opinions about what can deliver the most value the quickest to both marketing and sales. It plays out across my five points above, but I can give it to you in one word: Insight. Insight is much more than just another data feed of mystifying provenance. You don’t get it from incomplete, hard-to-understand sources. It’s not inferred. It’s not confusing in any way.
Insight is what drives Common Sense Marketing
Insight is prescriptive. It tells you exactly what you need to do right now. Insight is what’s necessary to enable Common Sense Marketing. Shared insight is what aligns sales and marketing so they can work together on the right accounts and individuals in the right ways at the right times. It’s the information you need to act in the way you know you should, accessible so you can.
At TechTarget, our IT Deal Alert suite of offerings delivers purchase intent insight packaged to immediately power your specific workflows with minimum effort. Using the insight we provide, hundreds of clients in the US and EMEA are already winning more deals, achieving better terms and optimizing all along their marketing and sales processes. If you’d like to talk about a faster, better, less complicated path to reaching your objectives, if you’d like to discuss how a little common sense marketing might go a long way for you, I hope you’ll drop me a line!
Mike Cotoia is CEO of TechTarget. He’s been a leader in B2B tech marketing and sales for about as long as it’s been a thing.