How Buying Group Signals Can Accelerate Momentum in Q4

Listen to your prospects to let them lead the conversation.

Episode Summary

Q4 is typically a challenging time for B2B marketers, as they face pressure to help land last-minute revenue and keep the ball rolling toward a solid Q1. Jessie Johnson, a Principal Analyst at Forrester, says now is the time for marketers to stay focused on enabling their prospects and target accounts to make the right purchase decisions and “stop counting leads,” as she puts it.

The best plan for accelerating momentum in Q4, Johnson says, is to listen to the signals Buying Group members are creating on your website and in your digital channels. Put your resources into facilitating the next step in those conversations. That’s the definition of enabling a prospect, which Johnson says is the real goal of ABE – not simply generating clicks that don’t move the decision forward.

One smart way to accomplish this is to identify content that is already connecting with Buying Group champions and then personalizing it for an amplified outreach to influencers, Johnson says.

Episode Insights

  • It’s time to move beyond engagement to enablement. Engagement means you have a prospect’s attention; enablement means you are providing them with the information and tools required to make a purchase decision. Obviously, marketers need to find the hook that will initially engage prospects, but once the conversation begins, the real focus should be on how your content moves them along the purchase journey.
    Johnson stresses that in evaluating the success of tactics, marketers need to focus on programs that advance the conversation, not just extend it. Clicks for the sake of clicks don’t drive revenue. Among those points, having a mindset of writing flexible and modular copy that can speak to many audiences during the Planning Phase of content is easier than speaking to a specific audience first, and then having to change that copy once you decide you want to broaden your reach.

  • The buyer is leading the dance, but you have to give them someplace to go. The key to enabling buyers is to provide them real-time options that are logical, meaningful extensions of the offer that drives the initial click. This gives the buyer a sense of self-direction and will establish you as a knowledgeable peer, even a partner, who can have a true conversation about their goals and concerns.
    It all boils down to context, Johnson says, and understanding the self-guided purchase journeys of other accounts that ended in closed business. Find out what works, and do it again.

  • Optimization begins with content, not delivery. Every piece of content you have should be mapped around audience needs, based on Buying Group role and purchase decision phase. From there, you can personalize the content to match the personas (job title, motivators, etc.) that you’re delivering the content to. This personalization can even extend the delivery method, if you’ve been talking with the prospect for a while.
    Contextualization and personalization exist on a continuum, Johnson stresses. Contextualization focuses on information that enables the Buying Group decision process to move forward; personalization tailors that information with interest triggers to engage individual prospects.

Key Takeaways

What you will learn from Jessie Johnson’s episode?

  • How to maintain focus on your prospects’ goals while amplifying successful tactics to build momentum and kickstart conversations heading into the new year.
  • How the consumerization of the B2B buying experience has raised the expectations of prospects for real-time, self-guided purchase support.
  • Why careful planning of your content will allow you to cost-effectively create personalized tactics that can accelerate momentum in your pipeline.

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