Jun 12, 2023

7 Steps to Creating a Successful Pipeline Generation Strategy

In the B2B world, generating a steady stream of high-quality leads is crucial to driving revenue growth. However, many businesses struggle with creating an effective pipeline generation strategy that delivers consistent results.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of steps to help you create a successful pipeline generation strategy. From realigning your sales and marketing technology to continuously optimizing your pipeline, these steps will ensure that your efforts are on track and delivering the desired results. By following these steps, you can build a strong pipeline that drives revenue growth and sets your business up for long-term success.

The benefits are worth the effort, and include shortened sales cycles, an increase in qualified leads and a better marketing qualified lead to sales qualified lead ratio. These steps will also help you improve your close rates.

1. Ensure Martech Stack Realignment

The first step towards achieving a successful pipeline generation strategy is integrating martech, which encompasses various sales and marketing technologies, into your overall marketing efforts. By doing so, businesses can improve their marketing efficiency and generate more revenue.

At Elevation Marketing, we focus on ensuring the ability to prove marketing attribution, return on ad spend (ROAS) and return on investment (ROI). That is why we begin by realigning our clients’ sales and marketing technology to ensure that there is integration between marketing technology (martech), CRM, website, sales, etc., so the martech stack can deliver an accurate track of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and sales qualified leads (SQLs) effectively. When your sales and marketing tools are set up correctly, the benefits are numerous:

  • Cleaner, more accurate customer data
  • Improved data privacy and compliance
  • Automated campaign workflows
  • Lead scoring of customer actions on websites, emails, ads, social channels, etc.
  • Better understanding of the position of each prospect in the buying journey
  • The ability to send targeted ads, emails and content to each prospect
  • Leverage omnichannel marketing for a consistent brand experience
  • Campaign tracking and optimization

Martech stack realignment is crucial to pipeline generation success 32% of CMOs lack a martech management strategy.

Realignment starts with an audit of your martech stack to determine redundancies, functionality issues and inefficiencies. You must also understand your business objectives, budget, data use and required capabilities. So armed, you can then streamline your martech structure and strategy.

(Source: B2B Recession Marketing Playbook: 5 Ways to Gain and Maintain Market Share)

32% of CMOs say they don’t have a strategy for managing their martech stack, with new tools being added on a case-by-case basis. Martech stack realignment is crucial to creating a successful B2B pipeline generation strategy for several reasons:

  1. Efficient Lead Management: The B2B sales process involves multiple touchpoints with potential customers, from lead generation to closing deals. A well-aligned martech stack ensures that all the tools used in the process work seamlessly together, making lead management and tracking much more efficient. This helps sales teams to prioritize leads and respond to them quickly, which can improve conversion rates and increase revenue.
  2. Better Data Integration: Different tools used in B2B pipeline generation create a vast amount of data. However, this data is often scattered across different systems, making it difficult to analyze and act upon. By aligning the martech stack, businesses can integrate data from different tools, enabling better insights into the buyer’s journey and making it easier to optimize the pipeline generation strategy.
  3. Improved Collaboration: Collaboration between different teams, such as marketing and sales, is crucial in the B2B pipeline generation process. A well-aligned martech stack enables teams to work together more effectively, share insights and data, and align strategies to improve overall results. This will also help ensure that sales teams report their data into the CRM for effective ROI and ROAS measurement.
  4. Personalized Customer Experience: The B2B sales process involves understanding the specific needs and challenges of potential customers. With a well-aligned martech stack, businesses can leverage customer data to create personalized experiences for each prospect. This can improve engagement and conversion rates, leading to increased revenue and a more successful pipeline generation strategy.

In summary, martech stack realignment is crucial to creating a successful B2B pipeline generation strategy because it improves lead management, data integration, collaboration, and enables personalized customer experiences.

2. Identify Your Target Audience

To effectively generate leads, it is essential to understand your ideal customers, their needs and pain points. By knowing your target audience, your marketing team can tailor their marketing messages, content and approach to resonate with the target audience, ultimately leading to more successful pipeline generation.

You could begin by leveraging your 1st party data from your CRM, such as closed deals, active customers, etc., which can help to inform and define your target audience. In addition, drafting personas and messaging can be incredibly helpful for creating a successful B2B pipeline generation strategy in a number of ways.

A persona is a fictional representation of a target customer based on data and research. It typically includes information such as job title, industry, goals, pain points and buying behaviors to help businesses better understand and connect with their ideal customers.

key benefits of creating personas

Here are some key benefits of creating personas and messaging:

  1. Persona development helps you understand your target audience: By creating detailed personas that describe the demographics, interests, challenges and goals of your ideal B2B customers, you can gain a deeper understanding of who you’re trying to reach and what motivates them. This can help you tailor your messaging and approach to be more effective and relevant.
  2. Messaging development helps you communicate your value proposition: Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience, you can develop messaging that speaks directly to their needs and interests. This can help you communicate your value proposition in a way that resonates with potential customers and sets you apart from competitors.
  3. Persona and messaging alignment improves lead quality: When your messaging is aligned with your personas, you’re more likely to attract leads that are a good fit for your business. This can improve the quality of your leads and reduce the amount of time and resources you spend on unqualified leads.
  4. Personalized messaging improves engagement: By using personas to personalize your messaging and approach, you can create a more engaging and relevant experience for potential customers. This can help you build trust and credibility, and ultimately increase conversions and sales.

Overall, creating personas and messaging can be a powerful way to optimize your B2B pipeline generation strategy and improve the effectiveness of your marketing and sales efforts.

3. Create a Lead Generation Plan

If you’re a B2B business, lead generation is the key to your success. It’s the process of attracting potential customers and converting them into leads. Creating a lead generation plan is critical because it helps you identify the channels you need to use to generate those leads.

These channels can include website forms, landing pages, social media, content marketing, email marketing and other tactics that can capture the attention of your target audience. A well-crafted lead generation plan will help you focus your efforts on the most effective channels, ultimately leading to more qualified leads and a successful pipeline generation strategy. By developing a plan, you’ll be able to allocate resources more effectively, optimize your campaigns and generate a more predictable flow of leads for your business.

4. Develop a Lead Qualification Process

Lead qualification is a crucial step for B2B companies in generating a successful pipeline strategy. It helps identify potential customers who are genuinely interested in your product or service and more likely to convert into paying clients. By qualifying leads, you can prioritize your sales efforts and invest your time and resources more efficiently. The use of a combination of automated marketing processes and human interaction ensures that the qualification process is both effective and efficient.

A properly aligned martech stack can help with B2B lead qualification in several ways. Here are a few examples:

  1. Improve lead data quality: By using marketing automation and data enrichment tools, you can ensure that the lead data you have is accurate and complete. This allows you to better qualify leads based on their firmographics, behavior and other criteria.
  2. Personalization and targeting: With a marketing automation tool, such as HubSpot, you can personalize your messaging and content to better target and engage your leads. By providing relevant content and messaging, you can better qualify leads based on their level of interest and engagement.
  3. Lead scoring: By using a lead scoring system, you can assign a score to each lead based on their behavior, demographics and other criteria. This helps you prioritize leads based on their likelihood to convert into a customer.
  4. Nurture campaigns: By using marketing automation, you can set up nurture campaigns that deliver targeted content to leads based on their behaviors and interests. This can help move leads through the funnel and identify which ones are most likely to convert.
  5. Sales and marketing alignment: With a properly aligned martech stack, sales and marketing can work together to better qualify leads. By sharing data and insights, both teams can identify which leads are most qualified and ready for sales outreach.

Overall, a properly aligned martech stack can help streamline and optimize the lead qualification process, resulting in more efficient and effective sales and marketing efforts.

5. Implement Lead Nurturing Strategies

Lead nurturing is the process of developing relationships with potential buyers at every stage of the sales funnel. This involves providing them with relevant information, answering their questions and addressing their concerns. The goal is to build trust and establish your company as a credible source of information and solutions.

70% of B2B marketers say a strong lead nurturing strategy generates higher quality SQLs.

Nearly 70% of respondents in a DemandGen survey said that having a strong lead nurturing strategy increased sales opportunities and allowed them to generate warmer, sales-ready leads.

According to McKinsey & Company, there has been a significant increase in the preference for self-service channels for all buying-related interactions, including research, evaluation, ordering and reordering. As a result, B2B sellers need to adapt to this changing landscape and focus on lead nurturing as a key growth strategy.

In the self-driven B2B buying journey, buyers are in control of the process. They conduct research, compare options, and make purchasing decisions on their own. This means that sellers must be present at every step of the journey to provide information and assistance. Failure to do so risks losing potential customers to competitors who are more engaged in the process.

Lead nurturing helps B2B sellers to stay top-of-mind with potential customers throughout the buying journey. By providing relevant information and building trust, sellers can position themselves as valuable partners who can help buyers achieve their goals. This increases the likelihood of closing deals and fosters long-term customer relationships.

Not all leads are ready to purchase immediately, so it’s essential to have a lead nurturing plan in place to engage with prospects and build trust over time. This can include sending targeted emails, offering helpful content and providing personalized support.

6. Measure and Analyze Performance

Measuring success is a crucial aspect of creating a successful B2B pipeline generation strategy. Without measuring your performance, it’s impossible to determine what’s working and what’s not. Analytics tools play a critical role in this process, allowing you to track key metrics and gain valuable insights into your pipeline’s performance.

By monitoring metrics such as conversion rates, time to close and cost per acquisition, you can identify areas that need improvement and make data-driven decisions to optimize your pipeline strategy. Adjusting your strategy based on your analysis can help you streamline your pipeline and increase your chances of success in generating new B2B leads. Ultimately, measuring success is essential to building a strong B2B pipeline and achieving your business goals.

Marketing budgets often prioritize customer acquisition, but for established companies, their current customers may offer more untapped potential than hypothetical new ones. Retaining your existing client base is typically more cost-effective and manageable than constantly seeking new customers. To achieve this, businesses should proactively embrace new communication channels and leverage data to gain a more comprehensive understanding of their customers’ needs and preferences. By staying ahead of the curve and being available to their customers, companies can effectively retain their current customer base.

7. Continuously Optimize Your Pipeline

Optimizing your pipeline is crucial to the success of your B2B pipeline generation strategy. First, by regularly reviewing your pipeline, you can ensure that it is delivering the results that you desire. Second, it allows you to identify areas of your lead generation process that need improvement.

By optimizing your lead generation and qualification processes, you can attract more qualified leads, ultimately increasing your chances of closing deals. Third, it also allows you to examine your nurturing and follow-up efforts to see if they are effective or if they need to be improved.

Continuous optimization of your pipeline is necessary to ensure that you are delivering high-quality leads to your sales team and increasing your chances of closing more deals. Finally, optimizing your pipeline is an ongoing process that requires consistent attention and review.

Work with us! We’re an experienced B2B marketing agency having over 20+ years of successful experience creating successful B2B lead generation pipelines for our clients.

By following these steps, businesses can build a strong pipeline that drives revenue growth and sets them up for long-term success.

Generating high-quality leads is essential for revenue growth in the B2B world, but many businesses struggle to create an effective pipeline generation strategy. If you’re struggling with creating a pipeline generation strategy, contact us today to see how we can help you!

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