Heinz Marketing's Predictable Pipeline approach for repeatable and scalable demand - Part 1

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MariaG
MariaG Posts: 2 ✭✭

Here at Heinz Marketing we specialize in Predictable Pipeline. Our approach enables clients to build immersive customer experiences, accelerate revenue, and create a predictable, profitable pipeline to grow and scale their business. Here are some insights and tips on how you can start assessing your predictable pipeline to make this month, this quarter, or this year your best yet.

What is a Predictable Pipeline?

The Predictable Pipeline is an integrated strategy to find, reach, and convert prospects into customers that aligns sales and marketing efforts. The outcome is to define business objectives and measurable goals for marketing, integrate and align sales and marketing teams, detail sales enablement into each stage of the sales cycle and maximize B2B marketing for lifetime value, loyalty, and referrals. 

The Predictable Pipeline Pillars

There are 5 key pillars that contribute to a predictable pipeline. The Predictable Pipeline Approach leverages these components to help inform data-driven business decisions, making them the foundation to any demand generation or Go-To-Market program.

Target Market

In today’s marketplace, it’s not only about identifying who you want to sell to. It’s about using deep, customer-centric insights to enable buyers, drive engagement, and affirm decision-making through the funnel. Develop detailed target market definitions, ideal customer profiles, and buying committee maps for a deeper understanding of how your customers buy, and greater accuracy in how you market, sell to, and engage them.

Ideal Customer (Account) Profile

When looking at your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) what does it look like? What types of organizations are a better fit for your product or service? Here is targeting criteria you should include:

  • Company Firmographics
    • Company size
    • Annual Revenue
    • Geographic locations
    • Key Industries
  • Audience Demographics
    • Key titles
    • Roles
    • Personas
  • Buying Signals
    • Explicit intent – behaviors, clicks, downloads, engagements, and interactions on your own properties
    • Implicit intent – organizational changes, key events, technologies being used, and expiring contracts of prospects

Buying Committee Map

When you have determined your ICP and the industries you want to target, the next step is to map out the buying committee. These are your key decision making personas that have the power to say Yes or No, or the power to Influence. When mapping out the buying committee consider these questions. What does the buying committee look like? Who makes the decisions? Who are the influencers or champions to those decision makers? A buying committee maps out how people work together to make a purchasing decision.

  • Decision Makers – the end all decision makers for the purchase.
    • Business Decision Makers – focus primarily on how the purchase impacts business RIO and revenue.
    • Technical Decision Makers – focus primarily on how the purchase impacts business technologies, processes and operations.
  • Champions – those who drive the purchase decision forward internally, acting as the primary spokesperson for your company amongst their team and executive leadership.
  • Purchase Influencers – the people who may not have a direct role in the purchase decision, but they have influence over the outcome.
    • Business Influencers – focus primarily on how the purchase impacts business ROI and revenue.
    • Technical Influencers – focus primarily on how the purchase impacts business processes and operations.
  • User Influencers – the people in the organization who will use the product in their day-to-day jobs. They are directly impacted by the purchase and are focused on how the solution will help them be more efficient, effective, and productive.

Target Personas

After the Buying Committee is defined, take a look at the individual personas that make up the committee. When you think about target personas, focus on these 4 primary questions.

  • Who are they?
    • What are their titles
    • Their role in the buying decision
    • Their audience demographics
    • Attitude towards new solutions
    • Reputation in the company
  • How do they make decisions?
    • Internal influences
    • What sources do they turn to for validation and research
    • Their preferred content
  • What do they care about?
    • Role responsibilities
    • Business goals
    • Pain points
  • Why Us?
    • Use cases and objections

Positioning & Messaging

Positioning Framework

Brand positioning creates clarity around who you serve. It explains to your target audience why you are the best company for them and what sets your products or services apart from competitors. When putting your positioning framework together consider, how you stand out as a company, what are primary and supporting benefit messages? Here are some categories to look over when developing your positioning framework.

  • Buyer Personas
  • Competitive messaging audit
  • Client and prospect interviews
  • Current messages and value frameworks

Messaging Framework

When your positioning framework is laid out, you will want to expand on it with messaging. Consider, what are the primary challenges? What are the benefits of our solutions? When you think about messaging, focus on these 3 key areas.

  • Primary Message – the main takeaway you want your audience to have when they think, read, or hear about your company.
  • Benefit Messages – the key benefits of purchasing from your company that address the challenges faced by your audience. These should be the answers to the purchaser’s questions, “What’s in it for me?”
  • Solution Messages – the key product features that enable the outcomes expressed in the Benefit Messages. These should be product-specific, communicating what your company can do.

Content Audit

Next, you’ll want to review what your company library of content currently offers. What is the strategy behind the content offerings?Does it align with your position and messaging? Does it give insights into your product or services and does it position your business as a thought leader or expert in the industry? It’s important to have a variety of content that serves a purpose to one of the following funnel stages, top, middle, or bottom.

Top Funnel content – Top-funnel messaging and content is written to generate awareness of a need or opportunity that a prospect may not know exists.

  • Examples: tip sheets, whitepapers, eBooks, checklists, educational webinars, blog posts, industry reports, infographics.
  • Topics typically focus on pain points and industry trends without bringing direct attention to your company and it’s product or solutions.

Middle Funnel content – Middle-funnel messaging and content is written to drive the consideration of your solution for the prospect’s challenge.

  • Examples: Case studies, customer stories/references, trial offers, personalized demos, product literature, company presentations, analyst reviews/reports.

Bottom Funnel content – Bottom-funnel messaging and content is written to validate and push your solution about the others in consideration.

  • Examples: Case studies, customer stories/references, trial offers, personalized demos, product literature, company presentations, analyst reviews/reports.

Content Strategy

Based on your findings and the content gaps identified in the content audit, your next step is to develop a content strategy. This strategy will help you layout a course of action and timeframe to develop content that fills in the holes of your content library. This is also a great opportunity to plan out necessary content needed for upcoming campaign work. When putting your strategy together consider:

  • Topic themes – what topics are lacking your current library new content could focus on? 
  • Content formats – what formats are lacking currently? Do you need more short or long form content? What formats have customers been receptive to, do you have enough?
  • Funnel stages – what stages do you need more content for?

This article was originally published on the Heinz Marketing blog: https://www.heinzmarketing.com/blog/assessing-your-predictable-pipeline-for-a-strong-2023-year/

Comments

  • mattheinz
    mattheinz Posts: 6 ✭✭✭
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    Friends, if this overview speaks to you we have an 85-page Predictable Pipeline Playbook that's full of examples, templates, worksheets and more to help you activate the focus areas above. Let @MariaG or I know if you'd like a copy, or comment here and we'll send it to you!

  • Brandon McBride
    Brandon McBride Posts: 195 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    @mattheinz Yes, please! And thank you!