On Oct. 17, the Arizona Technology Council hosted the 2018 Marketing Technology Summit in Scottsdale, Ariz. The emphasis of this annual event is B2B marketing, with many local tech and engineering industry professionals in attendance.

This year’s opening speaker was Sangram Vajre, a chief evangelist and co-founder of Terminus, an account-based marketing firm. Vajre also produces a podcast called “Flip My Funnel” in which he provides a fresh approach to the traditional B2B sales funnel.

During his presentation, Vajre spoke about his concept coined the authenticity curve. The curve has three phases, all of which focus on achieving and driving “authentic” relationships with consumers at any point in the sales funnel.

Vajre drove home the fact that sales are the primary value of B2B marketing; at the end of the day, B2B marketers rely on sales. The challenge behind this idea is that sales are driven by someone else’s action, which makes having an “authentic” relationship with customers and potential leads even more important.

Phase One:

In the first phase of the authenticity curve, Vajre expressed that it’s important to capture leads, and to do so via authentic marketing content. The best way to capture valuable leads in the “transaction” phase is through consumable content, as “time is the proxy to measure success,” said Vajre. It’s important to have potential customers spend time with the content on their own free will because it shows their interest in the topic. Acting as a content hub versus providing a transactional form fill makes the interaction more valuable and personable, resulting in a more authentic moment with the consumer.

Buying leads lists isn’t an authentic form of gaining potential customers, as there is no guarantee that these people are necessarily interested in the product, and the yield from targeting these individuals isn’t worth the ROI.

Phase Two:

Next, Vajre emphasized the need for personalization moving into the “all bound” phase versus the in-bound phase. Before moving into this second step, it’s important to do your research on the leads generated from the transaction phase. Taking the time to understand the potential consumer is necessary to understanding the consumer’s needs and the potential for sales success.

Once nurtured through research, the “all bound” phase focuses on personalization. Some of the key ways to better reach the lead is through one-to-one personalized ads. Whether this means account-based IP targeting, personal LinkedIn InMail or direct mail – the one-to-one conversation impacts favorability and consideration. Personalization is important because a personal message is more likely to capture people’s attention. Vajre used an example from his own sales team in which one of his representatives created personalized videos for each of her leads. Since implementing personalized videos, she has seen her ROI increase dramatically.

Vajre emphasized that people are drawn to genuine communication, and that trust is a priority for many people. It’s important to communicate the strengths and weaknesses of your company in order to establish a clear line of trust with consumers.

Phase Three:

The final phase for Vajre was called “one team,” which focuses on activating consumers and building relationships. Some of his tips in this phase include following up with people who unsubscribe from newsletters and email updates, as it’s important to understand why your service is no longer valuable to them and to find a new way to engage them.

Vajre also stressed the importance of knowing your addressable market. By knowing the scope of the market and how many leads your business can realistically service, it’s easier to set realistic lead goals for B2B companies, and then focus on that level of realistic opportunity.

If you’re interested in learning more about the authenticity curve and other B2B topics, check out Vajre’s “Flip My Funnel” podcast here.