This year, we completely revamped our lead-to-revenue process and we now have a well-oiled machine that does a really good job at MQLing leads and passing them to our crack squad of Business Development Reps who, in turn, pass SQLs over to Sales to close things out. This is an industry-standard process but, here at PathFactory, we always want to see if we can do it one better.
One nagging concept we can’t get out of our heads is that, if B2B buyers binge on content (and trust me, they do!), the timing of our follow-ups is essential: We want to catch engaged prospects in the act of self-educating when they are highly motivated to learn more. This concept is supported by numerous reports that have shown that connect rates are highest when you follow up on hot leads immediately after they interact.
As marketers, our collective concept of the marketing qualified lead (MQL) is an important one, but what if a person is more qualified than their score would indicate because they’ve been self-educating rapidly? What if a prospect is bingeing through your content, but they just haven’t done enough cumulatively to flag them as an MQL? An MQL is someone who met a minimum threshold; some prospects take a few months to get there while others do it in a single day. The traditional lead score driven MQL doesn’t take time into account, but don’t worry, there’s an app for that. : )
This is where the concept of a fast-moving buyer, or FMB, comes in: Someone who has been blowing through content like it’s going out of style, but whose behavior hasn’t necessarily met your MQL threshold. Because we track the actual amount of time people spent reading or watching content, and not simply clicks as proxies for engagement, we can effectively look at our prospects’ sessions and consider how engaged they actually were.
It wasn’t long ago that the term Digital Body Language was coined. By tracking what happens after a buyer clicks on your content offer and how they engage with your content assets on the destination side of the click, we fill in some of the blanks left in a buyer’s digital body language – think of it as the new and improved 2.0 version. When marketers can take a critical look at exactly how long people are spending on content, it can have a profound impact on the funnel; our clients’ data has shown that prospects who binge are 2.4 times more likely to be sales accepted.
At that point, the rep can make a judgment call about whether it makes sense to follow-up with the person, but in the majority of cases, they’ll call. And they are able to connect more frequently than they would have been able to otherwise because they’re catching people in the moment of self-educating.
Identifying fast-moving buyers has proven to be an effective strategy to get an initial discovery call booked and to resurface opportunities that were previously thought lost. 69% of FMBs in our primary nurture campaign this year also agreed to a discovery call and 26% had been named to an opportunity that had been lost in the past but had resurfaced as a result of their content binge. It turns out people are more likely to agree to a call when they’ve been using your content to self-educate.
But we don’t just stop there. Using tools like Eloqua Profiler and Marketo Sales Insight, we can pass the details of users’ sessions over to our CRM so that when a rep is looking at someone, they can see at a glance the person’s recent engagement activity – what they’ve been reading and what they’ve been spending time on – so they can tailor their follow-ups.
Regardless of what technology you use today, and whether or not you choose to invest in a solution like PathFactory, it’s important to pay attention to your prospects’ content consumption behavior to identify who is bingeing and who is not. Because people who binge are more likely to be sales-ready, you want to catch them while they are actively engaging with your content.
Until next time, continue your campaign construction, dashboard daydreams and process perfecting, Marketing Geeks!