It's been a few years since Forrester Research came out with the eye-popping statistic that "buyers might be anywhere from two-thirds to 90 percent of the way through their purchase journey before they reach out to the vendor."
What's more, for many product categories, "buyers put off talking with salespeople until they are ready for price quotes."
But it wasn't until the last year or so that the customer relationship management (CRM) industry really took note of this trend and started making changes to its product sets and functionality. There were some exceptions, of course – and it's in this group that Demandbase chief product officer Avanish Sahai includes himself and his company.
"The question we are continually asking ourselves is how to raise the marketing funnel, " he tells CMSWire. "How can we better engage with the prospect in that part of the cycle, when buyers are so aggressively seeking out information but bypassing sales."
Products Matched to Buyer Behavior
Over the years the company has introduced tools and features with this end goal in mind.
They include its B2B Retargeting product -- a rare offering in the B2B space that allows vendors to retarget prospects that signaled interest in a product one way or another but haven't reached out to the vendor.
It's also introduced filters that let users target and personalize display ads based on the technology they use and by specific company IP address.
Most fundamentally of all, DemandBase is designed to give users real time insight into who – or rather which company user – is looking at a web site at that very moment. For a sense of Demandbase in action, check out its own home page where a live feed shows who is looking at its page — right now.
All of this is to pave the way for the company's latest offering: Demandbase Sales Accelerator on the Salesforce AppExchange.
Sahai, not-so-coincidentally, joined Demandbase from Salesforce.com and understands the deep inroads the AppExchange has made among Demandbase's users.
The Sales Accelerator tool pushes insights about client accounts and actions based on website and advertising traffic into the Salesforce1 Platform for better management and analysis.
And the point of that, Sahai explains, is to allow the sales and marketing departments to align their efforts around accounts that show buying signals.
“Our account-based marketing program focuses on developing insights to empower our salespeople to engage prospects in relevant conversations," says Andy Wright, VP of marketing at Skytap. "Sales Accelerator attaches target account web activity and behavior right into Salesforce, enabling our reps to reach out at the right time with a relevant message."
The Tech Underpinnings
Like other features in its product set, Sales Accelerator is based on Demandbase's proprietary technology that tracks users by their IP address allowing the sales teams to critical information early, and across both known and anonymous traffic.
The product also sends alerts to mobile devices when activity from key accounts spike and provides a dashboard that illustrates who visitors from individual companies are interacting with the website and advertising.
It also shows users how frequently the account has engaged with the website compared to previous periods, which specific pages have been visited, what engagement trends look like over time, and whether or not an account has been targeted with advertising.
The bottom line is this, says Sahai: "The user can now see engagement and behavior at the account level even if a prospect hasn’t reached out and identified himself. You can see if a prospect is in research mode while on your website and act accordingly."