Driving to Pipeline: Practical Ideas That Convert 

We recently hosted a webinar, featuring Stephanie Williams, Sr. Campaign Manager at Sysdig, to explore practical ways to drive pipeline. In it we learned many demand gen practitioners are spending 80% of their budget generating top of the funnel and only 20% on the bottom. This may be because if it was possible to get the same volume at the bottom, everyone would do it. When we asked our participants if sales and marketing were happy with the volume of late-stage leads, both agreed no one was happy (check out the survey here). So what is the solution to building a pipeline that converts?

One might suggest ABM is the answer, however research shows while the number of companies deploying ABM has doubled this year, more than 67% of those companies don’t actually know what to do with ABM data. One thing that’s clear is not all leads are created equal. Each step of the funnel requires different tactics. The top of the funnel, where content syndication reigns, offers education to an audience. Often referred to as demand creation, this is attracting the traffic to build your database. These leads are often lower in cost to acquire and higher in volume, yet also lower quality and can result in taking months to convert to an MQL. On average, our customers see content syndication leads not only take a long time to convert, but when they do convert it’s at 1-2% from MQL to closed/won status.

Most companies will take these top of the funnel leads and put them into nurture tracks. This is great for prospects that are not ready to buy but are interested in your opinion. But to build pipeline ready to convert without the lengthy nurturing process, you should spend your time and a larger portion of your budget on bottom of the funnel leads. These would come from things like visits to your own company website, demos, free trials, and review sites. PeerSpot’s buying intelligence platform includes enterprise reviews, communities, and Q&A forums to allow prospects to thoroughly vet solutions with their peers. This type of engagement will offer demand gen pros a faster pipeline build and a conversion rate of 5-7% MQL to closed/won status.

“Content syndication takes a long time to convert and we usually only see about 1-2% conversion, whereas high quality last stage reviews, like Peerspot, are the leads you want to sell to, they are people shopping in market and convert at 5-7%”– Stephanie Williams, Sr. Campaign Manager at Sysdig

But is measuring only MQLs a thing of the past? When we asked participants, the majority said MQLs continue to be incredibly important for their business – and the evolution of looking at MQLs at the account level is growing. Not only can they help show how engaged an account is, they can also help with aligning sales and marketing on how to engage and next steps. For example, Stephanie highlighted they leverage an ABM platform which highlights when multiple contacts from the same company are engaging, triggering them to reach out to more contacts at the same company, pull sales in to do outreach, and maybe even invite those contacts to a customer council to see how other customers are using their products. ABM helps them focus the team, messaging, measuring engagement, and conversion to revenue. This intelligence, along with late stage leads who are ready to convert, can help you meet pipeline and revenue goals.

Learn more about where to find leads that convert and ideas on how to use ABM to drive your pipeline in the webinar replay. You can also view the full results of the survey we conducted in our infographic.