Embracing Buying Groups with Forrester's Opportunity-Centric Approach

b2b buying groups forrester tech Jul 14, 2023
Embracing Buying Groups with Forrester's Opportunity-Centric Approach

Are you noticing your B2B revenue processes are falling short? Traditional Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) methods aren’t generating the results you're hoping for. But why is this? Forrester reveals that over 80% of buying decisions are not made by one person, but by buying groups of more than three people. Now it's time for you to adapt to this shift and revamp your strategies.


The Drawbacks of Traditional B2B Revenue Processes


Here's why traditional strategies aren’t working. In the B2B landscape, decisions are rarely the product of a single individual's interest or action. Instead, a collective group, called a buying group, within an organization often dictates the decision-making process. From our own experience, we've seen many promising opportunities where one lead expressed strong interest but surprisingly went cold, showing the collective influence in decision-making.

Traditional MQLs and Marketing Qualified Accounts (MQAs) are generally incapable of capturing this collective influence, focusing instead on isolated leads or treating an account as a single entity. In the MQL process, an individual who exhibits sales-ready behaviors like downloading a whitepaper or attending a webinar is designated as a lead. The MQA process, on the other hand, typically treats all individuals associated with a particular account as a single entity, regardless of their specific interests or influence.

This old-school approach, as reported by Forrester, leaves you with a disappointing statistic: a typical lead-centric process leveraging MQLs results in a conversion rate from inquiry to close-won of less than 1%. So, for every 100 individuals who express interest, you might close less than one successful deal.


Introducing a Paradigm Shift: The Opportunity-Centric Approach


It’s high time to rethink your strategies. Forrester presents a groundbreaking shift to this traditional approach: The Opportunity-Centric Approach. This innovative method directs focus away from single leads or accounts, shifting it towards opportunities represented by groups of people within these accounts – buying groups.

In an opportunity-centric approach, your entire revenue process, including marketing and Revenue Development Representatives (RDRs), zeroes in on two key metrics: the number of potential opportunities and the buying group members associated with these opportunities. 

Here, an "opportunity" represents the potential for a deal within an organization, and these can be created even before a lead reaches out to express interest, providing more proactive lead generation.


How the Opportunity-Centric Approach Works


An opportunity-centric approach brings context into play. It carefully examines every interaction signal with potential buyers to provide valuable insights into potential opportunities. This way, you understand both "who" someone is (at the account and role level) and "what" they're interested in.

Instead of visualizing a single MQA with multiple connected people, the opportunity-centric approach recognizes the diverse interests within an account. For example, if you had one MQA with 10 people, two separate opportunities might emerge. Five individuals might be interested in your product's capacity for improving workflow efficiency, while the remaining five might show interest in its data analysis capabilities. This level of detail gives you a richer, more actionable insight for both marketing and sales in the revenue process.


The Game-Changing Power of the Opportunity-Centric Approach


This fresh perspective drastically transforms how marketing and sales teams align and execute the revenue process. It presents a comprehensive set of touchpoints to understand influence and revenue lift, and it offers a full view of how the opportunity progresses.

Furthermore, it encourages marketing, RDRs, and sales to work together to identify, engage, qualify, and win opportunities. The emphasis now moves away from individual interactions and towards the health and coverage of opportunities represented by buying groups.

Forrester's opportunity-centric approach based on buying groups is a wakeup call for all of us in the B2B space. It's time to ditch the old ways and adopt a revolutionary approach that aligns with the realities of buying decisions.

This is your chance to gain a significant competitive advantage. By understanding the influence of buying groups and adopting an opportunity-centric approach, you can unlock new potentials and elevate your B2B strategy.

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