FAQ’s

FAQs - go-to-market questions and answers for and by sales and marketers

Answers to Your Go to Market Questions

Marketing: Is there a model or a systemic plan to develop an integrated lead generation plan?

An integrated lead generation plan is where the rubber meets the road. Lead generation can be done by anyone, anywhere. In more cases than not, lead generation “activities” are assembled that are poorly designed and generate lackluster results.  However, the perception is that there was an integrated lead generation plan and money was spent so marketing failed.  However, efficient and effective lead generation plans can only be designed, developed and executed by a small percentage of marketers who can balance strategic thinking with tactical execution. If focus is placed on the five fundamentals (served market, target account profiles, buying process, message and offer) described below you will avoid many lead generation pitfalls. The lead generation planning model below is a high level diagram of what to be thinking about when crafting a customer acquisition initiative. In general, it is best to start with an objective that is highly correlated to your reverse engineered demand creation plan—this should be a plan that is mutually developed with Sales and Marketing. From here, the center of the model emphasizes the strategy development—how will you achieve your objective. Typically, messaging or offers are the next component to be developed. With these critical elements of the initiative in place, the appropriate demand creation vehicles become obvious. Of course, there are many more pieces and parts to the puzzle, but if you focus on the core components below and the interrelatedness of each, you will find that your initiatives will be more efficient and effective. Here’s a how to video to create an integrated lead generation plan, a relevant blog post and a planning template as additional resources to further address your question.

How many steps are there in your B2B sales process

Responses to, “How many steps are there in your B2B sales process” include:
  • Most respondents, 42%, stated that there were 1-5 steps in their companies B2B sales process.
  • 36% stated that there were 6-10 steps in their companies B2B sales process.
  • 17% stated that there were 11-15 steps in their companies B2B sales process.
  • However, 5% of respondents noted that their B2B sales process included more than 16 identifiable steps.

View the Full Infographic - the Marketer's Guide to B2B Sales >>

About the B2B Survey The online survey was conducted with U.S. companies selling B2B in the fourth quarter of 2012. 247 completed surveys were compiled across multiple industries and revenue ranges. Approximately, one-third of the companies included had revenue of less than $10M. One-quarter had revenues in excess of $500M. More than half the respondents identified themselves as marketing executives (director or above), just less than a quarter were marketing managers and almost 15% were categorized as sales managers. Approximately 55% of the companies represented were public companies.

What sales force automation software is used to support their B2B sales process?

When respondents were asked, what sales force automation software they used to support their B2B sales process:
  • The vast majority, 46%, stated that they used Salesforce.com.
  • The next most often mentioned sales force automation software solution was Microsoft Dynamics with 23% of respondents citing this as their SFA system
  • 17% reported using Oracle as their sales force automation system
  • 9% cited NetSuite as the sales force automation software in use to manage the sales funnel
  • 5% said they use RightNow as there pipeline management software

Infographic-The-Marketers-Guide-to-B2B-Sales-Sales-Force-Automation-Software1

View the Full Infographic – the Marketer’s Guide to B2B Sales >>

About the B2B Survey The online survey was conducted in Q4'12 with U.S. companies selling B2B.  Almost 250 surveys were completed and compiled across multiple industries and revenue ranges.  Approximately, one-third of the companies included in the survey had revenue of less than $10M.  Approximately one-quarter had revenues in excess of $500 million dollars.  More than half the respondents identified themselves as marketing executives (director level or above). Slightly less than a quarter of survey respondents were marketing managers and almost 15% were categorized as sales managers.  Approximately 55% of the companies represented in the online survey were public companies.

What is the average selling price in B2B sales?

When respondents to an online survey where asked, “What is the average selling price for B2B sales”, the responses resembled that of a bell curve.
  • 20% of B2B sales were reported in the $25K-50K range
  • 18% of respondents reported in the $50K-100K range
  • 15% of B2B sales were reported over $250K
  • 10% of respondents reported under $5K
  • 10% of B2B sales were reported under $5K-10K range
  • 13% of respondents reported under $10K-25K range
  • 14% of B2B sales were reported under $100-250K range
Infographic-The-Marketers-Guide-to-B2B-Sales-Average-Sales-Price View the Full Infographic – the Marketer’s Guide to B2B Sales>> About the B2B Survey The online survey was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2012 with U.S. companies selling B2B.  247 completed surveys were complied across multiple industries and revenue ranges.  Approximately, one-third of the companies included had revenue of less than $10M and one-quarter had revenues in excess of $500M.  More than half the respondents identified themselves as marketing executives (director or above), just less than a quarter were marketing managers and almost 15% were categorized as sales managers.  Approximately 55% of the companies represented were public companies.

What are average conversion ratios in the sales funnel?

The average conversion metrics in the sales funnel that were reported by respondents were as follows:
  • 7% of responses or inquiries in the sales funnel converted to a marketing qualified lead
  • 31% of marketing qualified leads in the sales funnel converted to sales qualified leads
  • 46% of sales qualified leads in the sales funnel converted to forecasted deals
  • 34% of forecasted deals in the sales funnel converted to closed won deals
Infographic-The-Marketers-Guide-to-B2B-Sales-Conversion-Ratios-in-the-Sales-Funnel

View the Full Infographic – the Marketer’s Guide to B2B Sales >>

About the B2B Survey The online survey was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2012 with U.S. companies selling B2B.  247 completed surveys were compiled across multiple industries and revenue ranges.  Approximately, one-third of the companies included had revenue of less than $10M and one-quarter had revenues in excess of $500M.  More than half the respondents identified themselves as marketing executives (director or above), just less than a quarter were marketing managers and almost 15% were categorized as sales managers.  Approximately 55% of the companies represented were public companies.

What criteria is typically used to define a qualified lead in the sales funnel?

What criteria is typically used to define a qualified lead in the sales funnel? In demand creation and demand management, the criteria typically used to define a qualified lead in the sales funnel, based on a U.S. online survey conducted in the Q4 of 2012, was:
  • 36% of respondents stated that “Budget, Authority, Need & Timeframe (BANT)” was the criteria used to determine a marketing qualified lead (MQL)
  • while 16% stated noted that a “Clear needed stated for the product or service” was the MQL criteria used
  • 14% communicated that “Authority to make a purchasing decision” was the marketing qualified lead criteria used to identify a marketing qualified lead in the sales funnel
  • 12% used the criteria of “Willingness to consider, evaluate or demo a product or service”
  • 11% stated that “Willingness to accept a phone or in-person appointment” is the criteria to confirm a marketing qualified lead
  • 7% reported that “Having a budget allocated for this type of product or service” was sufficient to signify an MQL
  • And, 4% noted that if the “Decision making time frame matches the average sales cycle” that a marketing qualified lead existed in the sales funnel
Infographic-The-Marketers-Guide-to-B2B-Sales-Criteria-to-Determine-Marketing-Qualified-Lead

View the Full Infographic – the Marketer’s Guide to B2B Sales >>

Go-to-Market Strategy – How Should Development Hand-off to Marketing?

Most Go-to-Market Strategy allows for how hand-offs will be made between sales and marketing.  However, the go to market strategy that will be most effective includes a marketing blueprint that formalizes the hand-off from development to marketing. The marketing blueprint often includes:
  • Documents the plan by working with GM’s, Product Management, SMEs and Sales and guides marketing resources to build and execute campaigns
  • Builds the value proposition and messaging
  • Communicate the key use cases
  • Identify the compelling events that break the ice for the solution
  • Describes the target audience in a target Account profile
  • Documents the persona of the people in the purchase decision
  • Outlines where and how value is perceived
  • Describes who buys and why
  • Develops the SWOT for the industry
  • Provides the competitive landscape and positioning of vendors
  • Outlines the market penetration strategy
  • Summarizes the market trends, challenges and opportunities
  • Herds the crowd to formalize packaging and pricing
You can read a relevant blog post on the topic at GTM: Organizing Marketing to Generate Revenue There is also a good template that walks through the process of market landscape, competition and differentiation at Go-to-Market Strategy Planning Template

What is Included in a Go to Market Strategy

Go to Market Strategy centers around how a company will go to market.  Specifically, there are key questions that need to be addressed: Who Will We Sell To? This question is rather complex, but in a nutshell, the go to market strategy needs to document the target markets and who (roles and titles) in those markets will we target.  It is important to size the market opportunity and to develop a Target Account Profile (detailed description that sales and marketing craft, together, that serves to identify that target audience. What Will We Sell? This question is raised in any go to market strategy planning process and is best addressed from a product management and product marketing perspective.  A product, at least a minimum viable product should exist.  Ideally, a market backgrounder (MB), market requirements document (MRD), product requirements document (PRD), feature requirements document (FRD) and product introduction plan (PIP) should exist.  This content needs to be incorporated into the product roadmap and the time horizon typically spans 4 – 8 quarters. What Will We Charge For the Product? Again, there should be existing information from the market backgrounder and product introduction plan as to the value, competitive environment and internal financial requirements.  The go-to-market strategy is dependent upon real, accurate and compelling use cases that have be updated throughout the product development process and serve as a framework for establishing a pricing framework. How Will We Promote Our Products? A lynchpin in any go to market strategy will be the demand generation and lead management plan.  The market penetration strategy will be dependent upon understanding the buyer behavior model, building an accurate target account profile, creating meaningful content to support the journey board, employing the correct demand creation strategy and a comprehensive, methodical and timely lead management process will be critical for successful promotion. Leverage a proven go to market strategy template to build your go to market plan.

Unique Selling Proposition – How to Decide Between Two?

One tactic is to substitute your competitor’s name in place of yours in the unique selling proposition that you have created.  Now show the unique selling proposition to employees, customers, prospects, analysts and influencers.  Does the unique selling proposition still have credibility?  If so, start over because you have not identified the uniqueness / differentiation. Another way to conduct the test is to document the unique selling proposition but leave the name of the company out.    Show the value proposition to employees, customers, prospects, analysts and influencers and ask them to fill in the blank.  This approach tests for unaided awareness.  Once you offer vendor names the test turns to an aided test.  In the later scenario, introduce one vendor name at a time and ask if the statement is believable.  Test all vendor names in the same manner (pronunciation, same amount of time allowed to respond, same person introducing the vendor names, etc.) to limit bias. You can read a relevant blog post on the topic at Developing a unique selling proposition.
There is also a good template that walks through the process of market landscape, competition and differentiation that will facilitate the creation of a unique selling proposition.