It has always been Sales that is responsible for the revenue, measuring how leads move from one stage to the other, with the ‘Funnel’ as the foundation. We start with the traditional Sales Funnel, which is basic and is focussed on showing the transformation of leads to customers. Today, a website plays a significant role in the overall marketing plan; in fact, for many companies, it is also a transaction platform. The Website Sales Funnels are different from the other funnels in this list, because they measure the activities performed by the visitor on the site before they are even considered a Lead.
In all of this, I would like to highlight, one factor that stands out, it is the absence of marketing influence. Here is where Marketing Automation players are coming in and positioning their product as either a funnel builder or as a means of becoming a part of business revenue as opposed to the business cost. At the very beginning of the funnel, marketing plays a vital role in Lead generation, by creating awareness for a product or service and bringing a Lead to the site. Most of these leads, though live, are not active and sale ready and hence they need to be nurtured. Why the marketing funnel is important is that it clearly defines marketing’s role in the revenue generation process, it shows how involved marketing is in the sales process and how integral it is to the process of converting Leads to customers.
Marketing until now has always been considered as a cost center, however the entry of Marketing Automation platforms has ensured, companies are able to measure the ROI for their marketing activities and marketing stakes a claim as part of the revenue. IN THIS BLOGWe share our collective wisdom - based on many years of experience and insight - about marketing automation, sales processes, and lead management.
You’ll then need conduct market research online to uncover how to move your audience from their current state into the top funnel.Leverage Your AudienceOnce you have a handle on how to create an “engaged audience,” the next step is to leverage that audience, transforming them from listeners to co-promoters of your brand.
There is a myriad of tools available today, many of them are free, that help marketers produce content, communicate, engage and measure. The collection and use of these tools and now social networks form what we call a platform that the marketer uses in order to design, manage, execute, monitor and measure. START SIMPLESome companies have developed marketing dashboards with some 150 metrics and dials feeding into it. This ‘Funnel Diagram’ over time, has been recreated and modified in different forms to enable a better understanding of the conversion process.
It is a measure of investment versus return, but it also defines the stages and processes involved in this journey of effort converting to results. This funnel is focused on the customer and his progression from someone interested in a product to someone who uses and promotes the product.  It highlights the different stages of a Lead’s journey and how a company can provide the right information and motivation to the potential customers to move onto the next stage of the purchase cycle.

This funnel focuses on how prospects behave in the different stages of the buying cycle and how you can create demand for a product during these stages.
It is no surprise that we have a Website Funnel that shows how online visits transform to customers and the different stages of this process. Source of the visitors, their level of engagement with the content on the site, their reaction to different calls to action on the site and their interaction with the company – via form fill or request form before the sale is made, are all qualifiers which decide if a Lead is worthy of entering the Sales Funnel.
But, that is changing with advent of marketing automation; increasingly marketers are looking at the funnel and either thinking of ‘How I can actively participate in it, or how I can have my own funnel’. Once on the site, the Marketing Automation platforms capture the Lead info and help with the prospect list building process. This is where marketing initiated drip campaigns ensure that the lead stays engaged.  Marketing collaterals like Whitepapers, Research Papers, Case Studies etc. For (very) large marketing departments (often also in the B2C arena) this may be a necessary solution. The Sales Funnel signifies how the funnel entry, where large volumes of leads enter the system, becomes narrower with the passage of time.
Since the funnel also looks at after sale behavior, it helps companies to plan in advance their strategies for retaining customers and converting them into advocates. The number of people who are aware of the product is significantly high, while the final number that actually makes a purchasing decision is insignificantly small. The platform is used to manage, execute, monitor and measure the success of these programs.What do you think of this framework?
Those Leads which show an interest in buying from the company are sent proposals and quotes and if the offerings meet their needs, the prospects, who have so far traversed the funnel, become the new customers for the company.
Successful examples of marketing campaigns of this nature include Lincoln Financial Group’s “Chief Life Officer” campaign, Progressive insurance’s “Name Your Price,” campaign, Obama’s “Yes We Can” election campaign.These are the types of campaigns which are successful for B2C but which naturally translate exceptionally well into the B2B marketplace.
This is my first post which introduces our B2B marketing integration (MI) framework.Before reading any further you may want to check out an earlier post entitled “What Is Marketing“. However from speaking with fellow B2B Marketers, many are looking to improve their marketing accountability in a practical way without getting bogged down into complex dashboards with more dials than they can shake a stick at. In this post I propose that marketing should be a strategic and tactical discipline in every B2B company.Marketing should be viewed as a key function that is to be performed by each and every individual in the company.
Other benefits include:The increased transparency caused by a sharper measurement of what marketing really contributes to the business may be slightly uncomfortable at first.

The most common reason for this is that B2B corporations usually are filling a void in the market and providing a service which is valuable to other business professionals who may feel overwhelmed or unhappy with their current service.
However if you feel you do want to take -even a small- step in advancing your B2B Marketing Accountability, now may be the best time to do it.Why Now?Now, or any time outside the annual planning season of your company may be the best time to review and sharpen your marketing accountability. Once you have a few planning cycles under your belt it will also greatly help to predict what you resources you need to achieve your next set of challenging objectives.
During this time I’ve developed a B2B marketing framework which is at the core of the Mi6 offering. They were the primary conduit that customers relied upon for industry updates, new product introductions and updates on how to benefit more from the sales persons company’s products.
Now buyers rely on their peers, Google and social networks to gather information. Business Development, from a B2B marketing perspective, is all about creating word of mouth, getting found through search and participating in conversations in Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook. The end result is a prospective customer expressing interest in what you have to offer or asking if you can help them solve a problem.Relationships have always mattered but until recently “numbers” mattered more. Too much effort has been put on “lead generation” and interruption based marketing and sales prospecting. Communications and Community is about sharing information that benefits your customers in order to create stronger connections with them. Over time, your brand and the thought leadership you demonstrate can make those connections stronger and deeper. This is what relationship building is all about and the next step is to facilitate connections with others and build your own community.
The key to building relationships is to provide incremental ways to show value to your customers.We are faced with many decisions to make as B2B marketing and business development professionals. Is social media the right thing for us? A principle is a basic generalization that is accepted as true and that can be used as a basis for reasoning or conduct. You can use it to design a marketing program or as a litmus test on a potential marketing activity you are considering investing in.

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