How to generate pipeline the modern way

Learn how modern marketing leaders are approaching pipeline generation through a blend of ABM tactics, content-driven strategies, and a little hand from AI.

Shelly Weaver
Shelly Weaver
March 28, 2024
min read
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B2B marketing teams are grappling with an increasingly challenging problem that’s keeping us all up at night: 

The Pipeline Problem. 

With program budgets slashed and flat headcount (or even decreasing), the pressure to not only meet but exceed pipeline targets is mounting. And when those targets are met, the reward is often a higher target for the next quarter… congrats. 

Significant shifts in buying behavior just make this problem feel even more insurmountable. 

70% of buyer activity now occurs off your website, the size of buying committees has expanded, and your CFO is suddenly extremely interested in the software your team is looking to invest in. 

On top of that–traditional strategies for pipeline generation are losing their effectiveness in this new environment. 

The decline of lead generation, unpredictability of event-generated pipeline, prevalence of ad blockers, phasing out of third-party cookies, and the complexities of attribution have all contributed to a landscape where conventional methods no longer suffice.

And when you’re straining under the weight of your pipe targets who has time to figure out what the dark funnel even is? 

Modern problems call for modern solutions

This new set of challenges also brings with it new opportunities for innovation. 

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) strategies have emerged as highly effective tools for generating pipeline in these trying times, and the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools offers unprecedented ease in automating the repetitive tasks that clutter our mental space. 

If you’re new to ABM or could use some brushing up on your strategies, check out our step-by-step guide to kicking off your ABM strategy here.

AI has also given us the gift of buyer analytics and insights now at our fingertips, enabling a deeper understanding of customer needs. In today's world, buyers demand immediacy. They are not waiting around for a response to a form–by the time you send it, there’s a good chance they’ve already heard from your competitor. 

The focus has shifted towards speed to lead and meeting, emphasizing a customer-centric approach. The rise of AI, rather than diminishing the value of human connection, has actually underscored its importance, especially among younger buyers who place a premium on genuine relationships.

Cross-functional alignment is essential 

For B2B tech companies to thrive in this new era, aligning sales and marketing efforts around shared revenue goals is essential. Implementing pipeline councils and alignment meetings facilitates this alignment, ensuring that all teams are moving in unison towards common objectives. 

Treating pipeline generation as a team sport can significantly enhance the effectiveness of these efforts.

Not sure where to start when it comes to strategic alignment? Hear how the team at Asana stays aligned with a Pipeline Council with CRO, Ed McDonnell.

Content-driven pipeline generation

In the current buyer landscape, self-service has become a critical component of the purchasing process, with buyers conducting 80% of their research independently before making contact. This shift underscores the importance of producing high-value content that not only educates but also provides tangible takeaways for buyers. 

Traditional content strategies are no longer sufficient; content must be standout, shareable, unique, and provocative to capture the attention of savvy buyers. Relying on AI-generated content is a misstep; authenticity and originality are key.

Leveraging technology that provides insights into website visitor behavior can offer a significant advantage. By understanding who is engaging with your site and when, you can tailor your content delivery strategies to avoid gating content unnecessarily and align more closely with buyer preferences. 

Learn more in our book, Ungate. 

Looking for more advice on how to use AI to supercharge your content strategies? Hear from JK Sparks, Head of Marketing at AudiencePlus to learn how to train AI in your brand voice for some help getting started in streamlining your content production. 

Leveraging AI to automate your efforts

AI tools have the potential to revolutionize ABM strategies by automating key processes and enhancing efficiency. However, integrating these tools into existing systems can be challenging due to the novelty of the technology. 

Navigating the landscape of AI tools with cautious optimism is key here–focus your energy on investments that offer genuine value and align with your strategic goal, rather than getting blinded by flashy features and cool branding. 

The landscape of demand generation in B2B tech is undergoing a profound transformation, driven by changes in buyer behavior and technological advancements. By embracing modern solutions such as ABM and AI, aligning sales and marketing efforts, and prioritizing content-driven strategies, companies can navigate these challenges successfully. 

The future of demand generation lies in leveraging these new tools and approaches to build more effective, efficient, and customer-centric pipeline generation strategies.

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