B2B marketing used to be relatively simple:
- Attend events and trade shows.
- Conduct a bit of outbound telemarketing.
- Create advertising campaigns that build brand awareness and, ideally, these activities would generate leads for sales.
- Converting leads into opportunities was the responsibility of the sales team.
Traditional lead-generation initiatives generate new contacts and opportunities, but what happens to the leads, contacts, and opportunities that are already in the CRM?
Influence Marketing is a set of marketing initiatives that influence existing leads, contacts, and opportunities that already reside in the CRM. Unlike lead-generation, influence marketing impacts leads, contacts, and opportunities that we already know about. Meaning that the main goal is not generation but accelerating conversion to won opportunities and new customers.
To that end, modern B2B marketers now measure the percentage of Marketing Generated Opportunities (MGO) and Marketing Influenced Opportunities (MIO) that end-up in the sales pipeline. However, you can only measure MGO and MIO if your CRM and marketing automation tools are in sync, and your sales and marketing operations functions are in sync as well.
Four Reasons Why You Should Get To Know Marketing Influenced Opportunities
(What’s So Special About Marketing Influenced Opportunities MIOs)
- MIO helps warm up future conversations and accelerate existing opportunities.
- MIO more accurately measures the impact of marketing’s contribution
- MIO makes it far easier for the marketing team to make a case for budget increases
- MIO strengthens marketing engagements with sales teams
1. Warm-up future conversations and accelerate existing opportunities
MIO recognizes that marketing to existing CRM leads and contacts is not about “them raising their hand to say I want to speak with a salesperson.” If they are an existing lead or contact, they should have already talked to a salesperson at some point. MIO helps warm up future conversations and accelerate existing opportunities.
2. More accurate measure of contribution from marketing
MIO more accurately measures the impact of marketing’s contribution to the sales effort. For example, marketing might share valuable content over many months or years to help educate contacts about solutions that can address their business problems. Perhaps they are in regular contact with the salesperson, and they mention the solution to the salesperson. Or, the salesperson might leverage the content that has been sent as a reason to reach out to the contact.
3. Make a better case for budget increases
MIO makes it far easier for the marketing team to make a case for budget increases when they have better data to support which initiatives drive contributions to the sales pipeline.
4. Strengthened Engagement
Engagement with the sales teams is strengthened as they understand that marketing is doing much more than generating leads to help them achieve their annual sales goals. Expanding the conversation to include Marketing Generated and Marketing Influenced Opportunities enables the sales organization to engage existing leads and contacts in concert with marketing initiatives more actively.
The topic of Marketing Influenced Opportunities (MIOs) is not new, but many B2B marketers have yet to go all-in on the measurement of MIO. The primary reason is that it requires quite a bit of sustained work to get it off the ground.
With 2021 possibly shaping up to be as challenging as 2020, B2B marketers should accelerate expanding the marketing ROI discussion with Marketing Influenced Opportunities (MIOs). It’s about taking credit where it’s due and recognizing that marketing’s role is more than a source for leads.