What is it?
The Pipeline Engineering Lab (PEL) is an interactive work session run by VisionEdge Marketing. Its purpose is to help companies engineer a systematic pipeline model based on the target market’s buying process. This model can†function as the single most important performance dashboard and facilitate alignment between†marketing and sales.
Why is it necessary?
Long sales cycles, lack of qualified leads, and stagnate pipelines are common issues facing today’s companies.
In many organizations marketing is charged with “generating leads and/or opportunities” and sales is charged with “closing deals”. What should be a highly collaborative effort often becomes a lightning rod for inter-department friction. The cause of this friction is most often traced to several factors:
- Lack of understanding about the target market’s buying process,
- The lack of a systematic approach for managing the lead flow,
- Inconsistent or vague definitions for the various stages of the sales cycle,
- Lack of understanding of what stages exist between an initial contact and a closed sales order,
- Inability to accurately forecast the necessary quantity of leads to be generated,
- Inability to accurately forecast the number of closed sales for any given month.
This lab is designed to facilitate collaboration and alignment between the organization’s two revenue generating functions.
Who from my organization participates?
We have found that the lab serves as a terrific vehicle for aligning company strategies and tactics as well as aligning sales and marketing teams. The most productive labs are those that include senior management responsible for strategy and revenue goals and members of the sales and marketing organizations responsible for achieving the product/service revenue targets.
PEL sessions flow more smoothly with 4-10 participants.
What is the process?
The PEL process is based on the proprietary Accomplish™ methodology perfected by VisionEdge Marketing over many years in scores of consulting engagements. Participants tell us the labs are challenging, enlightening, fun, and rewarding. But the labs are also hard work. Participants should come to the PEL expecting to be fully engaged in the process.
The process involves discovery, prioritization, analysis, decision-making, and creativity. Through fast-paced discussions, exercises and role-playing the critical elements for a model and action plan are assembled. The following ground is covered: market strategy, target market, current pipeline process, behavioral commitment development, conversion ratios, and pipeline tactics.
Using the Customer Buying Journey to Map the Opportunity Pipeline
What preparation by my organization is required?
Prior to the lab, a pre-meeting will be held with the your companyís internal champion to discuss the labís outcomes and any key issues related to your company to ensure the lab meets your companyís specific needs. At this time we will want to clarify what product will be used for the lab and its target market. It will be helpful if the company identified their current lead conversion ratios for this product.
What are the deliverables?
Within 48 hours of the PEL you will receive a Word document containing notes from the lab.
What are the outcomes?
As a result of the PEL, you will have a pipeline model suitable for use with each of your products. For the specific product on which the lab focused you will have:
- Identified the market strategy for product,
- Determined the target market for each pipeline,
- Defined the incremental behavioral†commitments for each pipeline stage,
- Established reasonable conversion ratios and elapsed time between the stages,
- Established how many contacts, leads, etc. are required for every closed order, and the amount of time required to move a target through the buying pipeline to close,
- Linked tactics to each stage.
At the end of the lab you will also have a rough draft for an action plan to support a buying pipeline based on behavioral commitments of your target audience.
Why VisionEdge Marketing?
VEM provides a very hard-nosed, experienced, and strategic viewpoint. The facilitator and assistant bring over 50 years of combined B2B marketing experience into the room with your team. This deep experience building brands and fighting for market share has honed their insights and instincts to a sharp edge.
The PEL methodology has proven time and again to achieve the customerís goals. The PEL is a highly efficient and effective use of marketing resources.
What other companies have used the lab?
Many companies ranging from early-stage companies to billion-dollar corporations have achieved higher levels of pipeline efficiency, collaboration, and manageability as a result of the guidance and tools revealed in the PEL. References can be provided upon request.
Who facilitates the lab?
The president of VisionEdge Marketing, Laura Patterson, leads the PEL. A senior member of the VEM team assists her.
How long does the lab last?
Typically, a PEL will last five hours.
How much does the PEL cost?
Compensation amount depends on the number of pipelines to be developed. Facilities and materials are additional. The labs are priced to be affordable by companies of all sizes.
Where is the location of the lab?
VEM recommends that the PEL be conducted in a neutral location away from your office. The facility arrangements are your responsibility, however VEM can recommend a number of suitable meeting locations.
Is the lab tailored to the needs of my organization?
Absolutely. VEM invests time prior to your PEL to become familiar with the subject company and tailor the lab exercises.
Are there any optional services to augment the lab?
Yes. The PEL is often combined with other services from our SmartStart Services Suite™.
The most common addition to a PEL is the MarketSmart Serviceô that profiles, sizes and segments markets for more effective target marketing. Another popular addition is the PowerStart Service™ that develops a comprehensive marketing plan in support of business goals.