Growth Colony: Australia's B2B Growth Podcast
Rebroadcast | EP #99 How to Roll Out Pipeline Acceleration
This episode covers various aspects of pipeline acceleration, including understanding sales cycle stages, increasing pipeline velocity, efficiency and value of content, the role of Business Development Representatives (BDRs), sales velocity, building relationships, and building connections in B2B marketing.
Pipeline acceleration is crucial for driving business growth.
Understanding the sales cycle stages, identifying problems, and shrinking time spent in each stage are key components of pipeline acceleration.
Efficiency and value of content play a significant role in accelerating the sales cycle.
Maximizing the value of existing assets, reducing costs, and highlighting content as an asset can help organizations demonstrate savings and accelerate the sales process.
Business Development Representatives (BDRs) are essential for maintaining continuity and relationships with prospects.
BDRs ensure smooth transitions between sales stages, regain contact with prospects, handle progress beyond initial meetings, and align marketing and sales goals.
Sales velocity and building relationships are key factors in driving business growth.
Analyzing data, understanding time frames and conversion rates, and building connections based on individual interests contribute to increased sales velocity and stronger relationships.
Building connections and excitement in B2B marketing requires treating prospects like people, finding common interests, and being open to reinventing strategies.
Treating prospects as individuals, finding common interests, and embracing failure while seeking new opportunities can lead to improved conversion rates and excitement in B2B marketing.
- Pipeline Acceleration
- Increasing Pipeline Velocity
- Efficiency and Value of Content
- Role of Business Development Representatives (BDRs)
- Sales Velocity and Building Relationships
- Building Connections and Excitement in B2B Marketing
00:03 - 07:44
- Pipeline acceleration involves understanding the sales cycle stages and identifying where problems occur.
- Shrinking the time spent in each stage is crucial for driving pipeline acceleration.
- A full front office approach is necessary to identify product, information, and individual problems.
- Setting SLAs and benchmarks for each stage helps measure progress and identify areas for improvement.
- The focus on pipeline acceleration at AcroLink's was driven by a bottleneck at the early stage of the sales process.
- Improving conversion rates from lead to interest confirmed and interest confirmed to discovery helped optimize the pipeline.
- The goal is to pass on high-quality leads that are more likely to close, reducing the need for excessive fueling of the sales engine.
Increasing Pipeline Velocity
07:18 - 14:24
- The initial impetus was to find the right fuel for the fire and make it burn longer and brighter with less fuel.
- The focus now is on understanding the ongoing health of the business and looking ahead to future quarters.
- Tactics to increase pipeline velocity include monthly meetings with sales reps, identifying risks in the pipeline, and involving product marketing in solving sales challenges.
- The goal is to create acceleration within each stage of the pipeline.
Efficiency and Value of Content
14:01 - 21:34
- Efficiency is a key value driver for the product, helping organizations reduce content costs.
- Content creation is often not budgeted as a line item, making it challenging to demonstrate savings.
- Highlighting the value of content as an asset can accelerate the sales cycle.
- Maximizing the value of existing assets and reducing costs are important considerations.
- Data collection and alignment across the organization is crucial for accurate reporting.
- Delegating reporting work to a central organization helps ensure consistency in metrics.
- Pushing BDRs further into the sales cycle may be counterintuitive but worth exploring.
Role of Business Development Representatives (BDRs)
21:08 - 28:23
- The BDRs (Business Development Representatives) at Acrylinks play a crucial role in maintaining continuity and relationship with prospects.
- The BDRs are responsible for ensuring smooth transitions from one stage to another in the sales process.
- If a sales rep cannot regain contact with a prospect after the first meeting, it is the BDR's responsibility to do so.
- The BDRs also handle progress beyond the initial meeting, such as business alignment.
- At Acrylinks, the BDRs report to marketing initially but now have a separate manager within the pipeline organization.
- The relationship between sales and marketing at Acrylinks is strong and aligned on their respective goals.
- The success of this relationship is attributed to the confidence and lack of ego between the leaders of both departments.
- Marketing focuses on creating assets that drive growth in specific quarters, while sales focuses on selling and driving business growth.
Sales Velocity and Building Relationships
27:57 - 35:13
- Sales velocity for expansion opportunities has more than doubled over the last five quarters.
- Sales velocity for new logo opportunities has tripled over the last five quarters.
- Continually evolving data and analyzing how production impacts marketing production specifically impacts pipeline over time is crucial for improvement.
- Understanding time frames and conversion rates associated with each opportunity in the pipeline allows for individual impact on conversion rates.
- The goal is to create a tunable machine that consistently produces results.
- Knowing the individuals and their interests within an organization is important for effective B2B marketing.
- Taking extra steps to understand individuals, such as finding common interests like CrossFit, can help establish connections and build relationships.
Building Connections and Excitement in B2B Marketing
34:49 - 39:58
- Finding common interests with prospects can increase hit rate dramatically
- Treating prospects like people instead of business buyers improves conversion rates
- Mike Volpe, former CMO at HubSpot, is an influential figure in sales and marketing
- Creating content for a community that may not be customers can have long-term benefits
- Doug Kessler, managing partner at Velocity agency, is a great strategist of content creation
- The mystery and unknown of what's coming next excites about B2B
- Reinventing strategies to break through in new ways is a challenge and opportunity
- Being open to failure and finding the next big thing drives excitement