B2B sales pipelines are more about accounts than leads. Now, if you have to add new accounts to your sales pipeline, you put your Inside Sales team on the job and let them do their magic. But with digital in play, you now have more ways to do this, and while you’re at it, get more targeted and engaged accounts into the pipeline.
Let’s say you have to get more deals in a specific industry vertical. Brief your Inside Sales to build the new database. Great.
Let’s look at what else you have in hand. The monthly newsletter that has been going to subscribers for so long? It’s likely it has slipped out of the attention of many. That’s the number one channel to gauge potential leads (and hence accounts).
Then there are paid channels: LinkedIn, Adwords, Facebook and Twitter ads, content discovery platforms, and account-based advertising.
New Accounts for a B2B Tech Company’s Sales Pipeline
How do we use all these channels to help our clients get to more accounts in the sales pipeline? Here’s what we did recently for one of our B2B tech clients.
The brief from the sales head for the Americas was, “Let’s target the Travel vertical.” His Inside Sales team started building out a database.
We started with what content we needed to create to be able to attract prospects in the Travel domain. Our content team came up with the idea of an e-book and got right down to research, writing and designing it. The idea was to generate leads using the e-book, and the landing page was set up on HubSpot.
Choosing the Promotion Channels
The promotions team decided to use these channels:
Use the Inside Sales database to send an emailer with the CTA to download the e-book.
Seed the e-book as a link in the monthly newsletter.
Do social media posts for the e-book.
Run ads through Adwords Display by selecting travel and IT oriented publishers.
Use content discovery platforms like Taboola and Outbrain to seed the content to the right target persona.
Run sponsored posts on LinkedIn with the CTA to download the e-book.
These channels were chosen to ensure a judicious mix of reach and spend.
Some of these channels worked better than the others. The newsletter turned out to be the source of the maximum downloads, but many of them were not from the targeted vertical. The Inside Sales database didn’t work very well, as expected, as it was a cold outreach, and needs a workflow approach for nurturing them. Our best new accounts came from organic reach, social, and from the display ads.
At the end of the campaign, the sales head had a sizeable set of new accounts added to the pipeline. Meanwhile our content had already planned out the next set of content pieces that would be now used to engage the leads in these accounts.
After that campaign, we have been working on several new campaigns for the client, and we have added an account based advertising platform into the promotions mix. And are seeing good results.
Such campaigns need an understanding of the various channels, experimentation to arrive at a good combination, understanding of personas and account profiling, an eye on the ad spend and regular monitoring of the results.
There are hundreds of channels available to target new accounts, but not all will be relevant wrt the target persona, and not all will fit into the client budget, and not all will perform equally. With experimentation your team will be able to arrive at a good mix of channels that deliver optimal results for your B2B sales pipeline.