B2B Demand Generation

Bring BANT Into the Future

with TelAffects

Nature vs. Nurture: The Benefits of Account Based Nurturing! (Part 2)

In Part 1  of my post “Nature vs. Nurture: The Benefits of Account Based Nurturing,” I explained that as sales and marketing professionals, it was in our nature to give way to the tried and true results that come from discipline and diligence. Because we are commissioned to find more, better and faster ways to drive sales and increase revenue, we are naturally inclined to the next big thing that promises with less time, less effort and less expense we will finally get our buyers to raise their hand and say, “pick me.”

It’s no wonder that throughout the last decade, many B2B companies staked their hopes on a marketing “automated” world, where disciplined outreach and nurtured relationships gave way to a belief that complex humans could be reduced to buying personas and digitally funneled into purchasing transactions. After a decade of effort, expense and belief in an automated world, we are left with a reality that most companies have little more than 30% visibility into their target markets and their flow of actionable sales opportunities isn’t enough to meet demands of revenue forecast.

Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a solution to many of our self-inflicted problems. I choose to call it Account Based Nurturing because it’s a better description of what needs to be done in order to gain greater visibility into the actionable sales opportunities that exist in your target markets, as well as generate the necessary flow of sales opportunities to meet revenue forecast. The bad news is that it can’t be automated. That doesn’t mean that our investments are all for not, actually they are quite useful to the process as tools that help synchronize and harmonize the discipline and diligence of outreaching to targeted accounts to nurture their purchasing needs.

To fully appreciate the concept and benefits of Account Based Nurturing, let me reference the old scriptural proverb that says, “nothing is new under the sun unto man.” The world changes slowly and in the B2B world they haven’t changed at all. Today’s sales and marketing challenges were yesterday’s challenges, and they will be tomorrow’s challenges. Simply stated, “How do I create a consistent flow of sales opportunities to generate a predictable flow of revenue?” To unlock that answer we must first come to understand that every B2B purchasing transaction hinges on three things 1.) the right relationships, 2.) the right message and 3.) the right timing.

Right Relationships

Purchase orders come from companies (accounts), but purchase decisions are made by individuals. Decisions are made by people with authority. Authority is given to people who are accountable for specific responsibilities. People with authority and responsibilities, that are held accountable, are called “Decision Makers.” If you want to have far more than 30% visibility into the actionable sales opportunities in your market, then you’ll want to identify, target and engaged 100% of your decision makers. Decision Makers will always have needs, meaning they are always accountable for fixing or improving their areas of responsibility. They are never at rest, and there is always something to be fixed or improved and they are usually looking for help. So, if we seek a path to a consistent and predictable flow of actionable sales opportunities, then we must first become disciplined and diligent in our outreach to engage and nurture these decision makers into a meaningful relationship.

Right Message 

Companies are in business to do one thing … to generate a sustained profit. That is actually a very good thing. Companies who can sustain profit over long periods of time have the opportunity to do “great good” in both our economy and society. It’s also a good thing for those of us in the B2B sales and marketing profession. To generate sales and profits for our own companies, we simply need to demonstrate and message how our offerings and services will help Decision Makers generate and sustain their company’s profits in relation to their areas of responsibility. To help Decision Makers generate a sustained profit for their company, our offerings must demonstrate how it will help their company increase revenues, protect existing revenues and/or reduce operating expenses. As noted above, Decision Makers always have needs and those needs are always, in some form, related to the company’s purpose in generating a sustained profit. The key to Account Based Nurturing, and its path to actionable sales opportunities, will always lie in a disciplined and diligent outreach to Decision Makers with the right message that nurtures their need to contribute to their company’s profits in areas where they are accountable.

Right Timing

The biggest challenge to any sales forecast is getting the timing right as to when a Decision Maker does what she/he is paid to do … make decisions that positively affect sustained profits. The reality is that “timing” can be reduced to three simple factors… 1.) available capital (budget), 2.) return on investment (ROI) and 3.) decision maker pain. These factors ultimately drive the spending priorities of every organization and are at play in every sales transaction. Available capital or budget is needed to execute the transaction. A meaningful ROI (objective or subjective) is needed to justify the transaction. And lastly, the appropriate level of pain (or opportunity) must be felt by the decision maker to prioritize the transaction over other transactions competing for the available capital. The discipline and diligence of an Account Based Nurturing strategy can positively affect the flow and timing of transactions. By targeting and nurturing the right relationships, through diligent outreach and engagement, a greater visibility into the available number of sales opportunities can be identified. Nurtured relationships provide a more transparent window into the pain, challenges and priorities of a Decision Maker. Solutions that are presented with a meaningful ROI and properly align with those priorities will always capture available capital and budget spending.

Deployment of an Account Based Nurturing strategy requires a commitment to identifying and engaging 100% of the Decision Makers in your target market. It will require disciplined and diligent outreach to nurture those relationships into sales opportunities. But ultimately, this strategy provides the best path to gaining greater market visibility and a consistent flow of sales opportunities.

As we will learn next week, in Part #2 of “The Benefits of Account Based Nurturing,” there are five components to an Account Based Nurturing strategy that has the potential to solve most revenue problems. But be warned, discipline and diligence are never quick … but the rewards will be well worth it.


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