Imagine for a moment that you’re back in 2006. The first iPhone won’t even come out for another year–so if you’re a marketer, you’re probably rockin’ a Blackberry or flip phone and dreading the internet charges you’ll incur if you check your email outside of work. Newspaper ads, television spots, and faxes are still the go-to marketing channels, and it’s in this marketing landscape that SiriusDecisions debuted the first Demand Waterfall to help B2B marketers define the sales process.  

Needless to say, things were a lot different for marketers in 2006 than they are in 2017. The B2B buyer’s journey has continued to grow and evolve in the last decade to keep up with emerging technologies, so in response SiriusDecisions recently revealed a brand new Demand Unit Waterfall.

What does this mean for sales and marketing teams? The new waterfall features an updated sales funnel with refined stages and, more importantly, it redefines how revenue teams should identify “buyers.” This update actually makes it easier for sales and marketing teams to better track the buyer’s journey, improve their campaign processes, and drive increased revenue in today’s martech landscape.

The Old Vs. The New

With a new waterfall comes new responsibilities for marketers. While previous demand waterfall iterations have always focused on the individual, today’s marketers know that measuring their funnel means taking the full account into consideration–not just the individual.

In fact, BrightFunnel’s own studies show that most B2B buying teams can be made up of 5+ unique influencers. So, if we are living in an account-based world, why have marketers been measuring movement through the funnel in terms of leads? Shouldn’t we be taking into consideration each and every marketing touch point on the account that influences a closed deal?

The new waterfall helps marketers do just that by placing the importance on the entire group of buyers (including influencers) within an account, which they refer to as  “Demand Units.” Just as newspaper ads and sending faxes have taken a back seat, marketers should think of lead-based metrics as being just as antiquated as these outdated marketing tactics from 2006.  

How Can Marketers Measure The New Demand Waterfall?

In order to effectively measure the new Demand Units, you will need to take several steps to ensure a smooth transition from lead-based to account-based measurement.

From an implementation perspective, you’ll first need to create new stages and rules in your CRM and marketing automation platform to look at groups of buyers within an account–think Marketing Qualified Accounts (MQA) vs. Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL). It will also mean tracking new metrics like Contact Generation and Coverage, Account Engagement, and Account Trends and Conversions.

Want to make the switch to account-based measuring and track your Demand Units? Download our new cheat sheet on How to Measure and Implement the New Demand Waterfall for expert tips on what this all means for marketers and tips for getting started.

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