Talking Shop Tuesday with Kevin Bobowski: mid-funnel marketing

Posted January 9, 2018

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By Chelsey Feldman

Product Marketing at Outreach

Welcome to Talking Shop Tuesday, where we sit down with sales and marketing leaders to learn their tips for achieving #peakexcellence.

Today, we're chatting with Kevin Bobowski, former CMO of ActOn Software and former VP of Exact Target, about how mid-funnel account-based sales and marketing is taking over the world.

Should Mid-Market Customers Start Broad or Go Straight into Account-Based?

At this level, most people will be focusing on top-of-the-funnel. While they still have to focus on their go-to-market responsibilities, they have to start with top-of-the-funnel. When customers start trending toward $30K, it's time to start thinking about outbound, and whether they can scale that. As a demand gen expert, Bobowski advocates diversifying the portfolio, rather than being dependent on one single lead source for all bookings. If something happens, this leaves you in a bad position.

When you build out your portfolio resources, though, some perform better than others and you always have the security that comes with knowing there's something in the pipeline. The economics are different for every company, though, so it's important to understand what will work best for your brand.

In the mid-market, there's a solid balance between deal velocity and value. From there, you can bifurcate according to what's moving you in the best direction.

Another part to consider is the product. If you have a self-serve product where people can sign up and access a free trial and automatically convert, that's more of an inbound model.

If you don't have a free trial and you can't use your product as marketing, inbound can work, but you'll have to figure out when your threshold happens and how you can leverage your marketing budget to make it work. If a product doesn't fall off the shelf, it's smart to hire salespeople.

Is it True That Marketing now Needs to Go Deeper into the Funnel?

That's the trend. In the inbound marketing world, marketers measure their value according to the number of leads they generated. If you're measuring your value on leads, though, you risk forgetting some other essential metrics. Today, you're seeing more and more marketers focus on pipeline-generated or business-generated leads. That's important for marketing to stay relevant.

It's also important for sales to have faith in the marketing department, so they know that they're aligned with what they're doing together. In the last 3-4 years, there's been a major shift in the way marketing is done. This is all because of the way companies are buying. Brands are leveraging social and there's this whole evolution of sales happening.

Today, the best salespeople are marketers and the best marketers are salespeople.

The metaphorical funnel of selling is actually an hourglass -- marketing gets involved and hands a lead over to sales in a deeper point of the funnel than ever before.

What's your Advice to Marketers who Have Never Done Demand-Gen Before?

My advice for marketers is to make sure you know who your target market is. From there, make sure your story solves problems that they have. Make sure that story is consistent across the board. After, it's time to focus on your allocation of resources. In the traditional marketing model, you had people doing inbound and outbound.

Today, it's essential to focus on product marketing. When you spend more time on this, you build your brand, make sure the product ties into the problem, and make it easy to invest more resources into the bottom level of the funnel. Field marketing can be a major asset when you're implementing an account-based marketing program. At the end of the day, both sales and marketing need to be on the field.

It's a team sport, and everyone needs to participate.


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