Kicking off BtoB's Leading Edge virtual trade show Thursday, Tony Jaros, senior VP-research at sales and marketing advisory company SiriusDecisions Inc., discussed the importance of digital marketing in the demand “waterfall.”
“Digital marketing has a major impact throughout the demand waterfall, regardless of where you are within the schematic,” he said in the show's opening keynote speech.
SiriusDecisions first introduced the concept of a demand waterfall in 2002 to show the alignment of marketing and sales throughout the buyer's journey; in 2006, it introduced a demand waterfall that was tied into marketing automation and different sales and marketing processes.
Last year, SiriusDecisions unveiled a rearchitected demand waterfall based on years of research with b-to-b market leaders.
The revised waterfall has four main stages: inquiries, marketing-qualified leads, sales-qualified leads and the close.
“About 50% of all b-to-b inquires come from inbound channels, and that will jump to about 70% by 2015-2016,” Jaros said.
B-to-b marketers can use social media, online advertising, SEO, online demos and content syndication to help drive inbound inquiries, he said.
During the marketing-qualified lead stage, marketers can use what he termed “small-net fishing” to provide resources to teleprospectors to generate and nurture leads. Some of these tactics include outbound calling, email and other programs that run for a short duration, all supported by marketing automation technology.
In the sales-qualified lead stage, lead scoring is significant, with account-based lead scoring becoming more important than individual lead scoring, Jaros said.
In the closing stage, “Marketing and sales collaborate to create a set of activities that extend to the late stage—it could be an event or a digital ROI calculator to help buyers justify the purchase,” he said.