If you are a B2B SaaS company setting up a sales & marketing process, how potential buyers flow through your CRM system is important stuff. If you want to scale your business and become a predictable sales and marketing machine, here are the reasons why you want to put a little thought into your setup:
- Gain a better understanding of Funnel Attrition and Funnel Velocity so that you can see how quickly deals move through the funnel, and how many “leads” it takes to win a new customer.
- Figure out where “leads” are coming from. Get a handle on Lead Source attribution so that you can double down on the lead sources that work and stop spending on the ones that don’t.
- Understand where a buyer is in their journey with you so that you can respond appropriately and with the correct urgency.
- Hold your sales and marketing team to task on leading indicators. The leading indicators should become predictors of future success.
What’s the best way to structure your process?
Wondering the best way to structure your marketing & sales process? Even for B2B SaaS companies (which is a market that Twopir specifically focuses on), the answer is not always straightforward. Ask yourself these questions:
- What percentage of your top-of-funnel leads (TOFU) are coming from Paid or Organic web traffic versus outbound or referral-type activities?
- How definable is your target universe? Can you identify 80%+ of the target buyers in your market?
- At what point does your team engage with early prospects?
- How long is your sales cycle?
- Do you sell one or multiple products to one or multiple buyer personas within one customer account?
This information will help decide if you should use one of these three approaches.
- Leads: If you have a strong inbound marketing process, shorten the sales cycle, are product-led, and a wide open target audience.
- Contacts: Best way to go is if you sell many solutions to many buyers in one organization, and all are sales led GTM strategies.
- Accounts: Perfect for sales led organizations that have complex sales cycles and multiple decision makers.
Till the approach you take, think about including these principles into your sales & marketing flow.
Sirius Decision’s Demand Unit Waterfall
We are big fans of the updated Sirius Decisions approach. You’ll be familiar with the old acronyms like MQL, and SQL.
Thank Sirius for those. Well, they updated the approach in 2017 with more human language and a much simpler
process. I mean who wants to be called an MQL? And trying to create those workflows ina CRM system was crazy. I like
the new approach because it allows for more fluidity in a non-linear sales process. This is often common in Enterprise
B2B SaaS where prospects go in and out of buying patterns over long periods.
Types of Relationship
With the Account or Contact stages, differentiating contacts and accounts is equally important. We differentiate
prospects from customers of other relationships. And we get a little more granular because we differentiate certain
situations. For example, we recommend classifying active customers differently from lost customers; and prospects
from re-prospects. Workflows automatically update the relationship type based on the event. For example, a prospect
that has its first opportunity Closed Won updates to an Active Customer. An Active Customer that doesn’t renew becomes a Lost Customer. A Prospect that loses their first opportunity becomes a Re-Prospect.
If we use a marketing automation system, consider combining Lead Scores (and potentially grades) into the Sirius Decisions Demand waterfall. Specifically to move a ‘lead’ record from Active to Engage, or Engaged to Prioritized. Lead Scoring is behavior-based, which means the score is determined by actions taken by a potential buyer. The Grade is applied using potential information. For example location, industry, or title information to score a lead. Some systems use grading like Grade-A through Grade-E, and others use a numeric point system. Generally, we’d recommend not to include lead grading because the data is not always perfect, and often requires more profiling than is reasonable. Here’s a sample behavior-based Lead Scoring system:
- The threshold for Prioritized = 100
- Inquiry Form Fill = 50 points
- Page Visit = 10 points
- Event Registration = 20 points
- Download = 20 points
‘Lead’ that has > 0 points will get ‘engage’. You can role-up the points from contacts associated with an account. Else, you might miss some action. Identify at what point you want your sales or BDR team to engage prospects. Someone who downloads a document could probably be left alone for a while. But if they download two documents and register for an event, that’s 60 points in this model. It might be worth a courtesy call. We recommend engagement at 100 points with a human decision on whether or not to move them to Qualified or push them back down to Engaged. If you want you can also consider negative points for certain actions like when the opportunity is lost set points to zero or resetting points after each year.
Once you can capture this information you can track historic results, for example, the number of ‘leads’ that were
Prioritized month over month. You can also track the ratio of ‘leads’ that are converted from Prioritized to Qualified.
Ideally, you would track all the times a lead comes in and out of these stages, not just the last time.
Over time, you’ll get a sense of how long your average buying cycle is from Engaged to Closed; and the number of
Prioritized Leads it takes to get a new customer. By tracking lead sources and other enriched data points, you’ll be able
to analyze this information by segment. Let’s talk about Deal Velocity in another post, but equally important is
capturing the number of days that deals take at various stages. Let’s talk about Deal Velocity in another post, but
equally important is capturing the number of days that deals take at various stages.