Revenue ManagementDid you know that up to 90% of the buying process is complete before a prospect engages with a sales rep? Marketing has a golden opportunity to take ownership of this critical part of the buying process.

That’s why an understanding of “TOFU, MOFU and BOFU” is becoming increasingly crucial for today’s business-to-business marketer, as explained in a recent presentation by Jon Miller, Founder and Vice President of Marketing at Marketo.

TOFU = Top-Of-the-FUnnel
TOFU represents more than 90% of Marketo’s marketing database. This early-stage audience is not yet ready to buy and wants to consume relevant, helpful content before engaging with the company. Targets are basically names in the database who are exposed to Marketo via content, brand or word-of-mouth. Content is largely educational or entertainment, such as research, funny videos, curated lists, infographics, thought leadership and definitive guides. This content can be downloaded anonymously.

MOFU = Middle-Of-the-FUnnel
Individuals who have moved from TOFU to MOFU have validated the TOFU act of faith with un-gated content. by filling out a form that qualifies their interest in looking at solutions. This mid-stage audience is a legitimate prospect who is interested in buyer’s guides, RFP templates, ROI calculators, white papers and analyst reports.

BOFU = Bottom-Of-the-FUnnel
These are late-stage prospects that are seeking company-specific information to help evaluate and re-affirm their selection decisions. They are most interested in pricing, demos, services information, third-party review, customer case studies and other content that helps them with their due diligence.

Marketo has built a business mastering revenue cycle management and implementing it into its ongoing marketing practices, with a triple-digit pipeline ROI from its e-mail nurturing programs, while the next best performers — webinars and tradeshows — come in at 21.5% and 11.2% ROI, respectively.

Top 7 Lessons Learned for Mastering the Revenue Cycle

  1. Short Forms Outperform Long Ones: Conversion increased almost 3.5% and cost per lead decreased from $42 to $31 dollars when the number of required form fields was decreased from 9 to 5.
  2. Visual Content Stands Out: An interactive infographic produces 8x more views that a word-intensive e-book; short content is also most effective.
  3. Measurement is Hard: 7 touches are needed to convert a cold lead to a sale; the typical buying committee at a customer account is 5-21 people; money invested today = uncertain impact at an uncertain point in the future.
  4. Lead Nurturing Plugs Sales Leakage: 98% of new targets do not qualify as a sales opportunity; it takes 123 days on average to convert a target to an opportunity; automation puts the company in a position to win the business when the qualified prospect is ready to buy. Two Keys to nurturing are understanding buying cycles and buying profiles.
  5. Lead Scoring Separates Leaders from the Rest: Scoring leads based on both fit and interest produces 20% more revenue growth than peers and requires 15% less sales time.
  6. Buying Intent versus Engagement: Active behaviors signal buying intent, e.g. visiting a pricing page, watching a demo, downloading mid- or late-stage content, or searches for “company name”; latent behaviors indicate engagement, e.g. downloading early-stage content, attending webinars, or visiting a web page or blog.
  7. Hand-offs Between Functions Have Greatest Potential to Impact Business Performance: A role that is responsible to pass the baton from marketing to sales is invaluable. Sales Development Reps can deliver faster, more consistent, and higher quality follow-up on leads.

Customer Buying ProcessA word of advice in your quest to master revenue cycle management: avoid marketing manipulation madness! Throughout all phases of lead nurturing, make sure you’re inviting purchases when, where, and how buyers prefer — rather than invading buyers with your company’s urgency and needs.

Marketing Operations LeadersJoin our Marketing Operations Leaders online talk show on March 27, 2013 — or listen to the recorded talk show — for live Q&A on this topic with VP-Integrated Marketing & Business Operations at Demandbase (former Senior Director of Global Marketing Operations at Polycom), Jennifer Pockell-Wilson.

by Gary Katz, CEO of Marketing Operations Partners.