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I can show you how to almost double your closure rates from marketing leads with just 5 minutes work. I’ll defend that outlandish statement in a minute or two.

If you have listened to some of my recent blogs, you know that in 2005 we published the first of our landmark reports into alignment. What we learned then has shaped much of the debate on the topic of alignment ever since.

In 2014 we published the 2013 refresh of the landmark alignment research. What we learned about training, process, automation, structure, tactics, demand generation, measurement and location is going to get the debate started all over again.

In this blog I am going to focus on just one chapter from that report.

Chapter 5 looks at the sort of performance uplift you should expect if you rename the stages in your CRM – and your marketing automation platform – to reflect buyer behavior and not vendor actions or gates.

I’ll also show you how to get the whole report, for free, at the end of this video.

Let’s get back to that outlandish claim – that I can double your MQL closure rates with just 5 minutes work. Of course that’s a fancy. What I CAN do in 5 minutes though, is to make the changes that OVER TIME will almost double your closure rates. Let me explain.

Those businesses which rename standard CRM vendor stages to reflect their own sales process stages generate MQLs with a 46% higher closure rate. But those who instead adopt the language of the buyer (“gap acknowledged”, “need agreed” etc.) enjoy a further 28% lift in MQL closure rates.

SQLs are 16% more likely to close for those businesses that customise the stages, and another 7% for SQLs for those who map buyer behaviour over those who use their sales stages.

The probability of closing an opportunity once a proposal is on the table seems to be unaffected by stage names. But how can you improve closure rates by simply renaming stages in the CRM?

Renaming these stages forces Marketing to think in terms of stage by stage buyer progression.

The proportion of total business coming from new customers improves, and churn is reduced again, because Marketing focuses on the buyer, not the execution of their tactics.

The first step in embracing buyer behavior is really simple.

In a moment or two I’ll show you how to get a full copy of the alignment report. First I’m going to do two things: I’m going to share the conclusion – what we train for? I’m going to invite you to receive more blogs like this.

Let’s get to the conclusion first – how do we change the CRM and marketing automation platform to embrace buyer behaviour?

So the first step is the simplest: Rename the stages in your CRM, and your MAP (marketing automation platform) to reflect stages in B2B buyer behaviour, not sales gates. Train your marketers to ruthlessly qualify opportunities according to what they buyer has done, not what Marketing has done. Buyers who have shown that they are deeply troubled about the problem you solve best are worth far more than those who meet some vendor sales gate.

Measure each of your campaigns, list sources, and sales team members against each other to see how well they move buyers through each of these stages in the buyer’s journey, and: Train or change tactics as necessary to improve where you find gaps.

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OK, so here’s how to get a copy of the alignment report.


We’ll show you there how you can Access the 2014 report, or a webinar I did with the key conclusions or both.

If you’d like to see if MM’s go-to-market planning workshops known as ‘Funnel Camp’ and ‘Funnel Mastery Workshop’ would help you to lift the performance of your Sales and Marketing systems, why not speak to your Funnel Coach today? Contact details on the web site.

I’ll show you why Marketing and Sales can’t report to the same VP on another day. But for now, may your funnel be full, and always flowing.