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Embracing the New Growth B2B Playbook: From Funnels to Flywheels

The Shift in B2B Marketing Strategy

It is now clear beyond doubt that the traditional B2B growth playbook is no longer relevant. Our latest discussion delves into the transition from linear funnels to dynamic flywheels, offering a new perspective on go-to-market (GTM) strategies that capture and retain the attention of target audiences more effectively.

Understanding the Components of B2B GTM

GTM strategies can be broadly categorized into inbound and outbound activities. Inbound tactics encompass search engine optimization, partner referrals, and social media engagement. These are vital touchpoints where potential customers discover and engage with your brand. On the other hand, outbound efforts focus on direct outreach like emails or social media, often leveraging partnerships to recommend solutions or vendors.

Analyzing the Interplay Between Sellers and Buyers

Both sellers and buyers emit valuable data and signals. Sellers provide content and messaging, while buyers offer intent signals and feedback. Distinctly understanding these can help differentiate between mere interest and deep intent, which is crucial for tailoring content and engagement strategies.

The Significance of Timely Engagement

Our analysis suggests that only a small percentage of your target market is ready to buy at any given time. Hence, focusing solely on this group is less effective than engaging a broader audience through continuous nurturing and awareness activities. This approach ensures your brand is top-of-mind when the buyer is ready to purchase

Navigating the Information Overload

The overwhelming volume of available information means that capturing and holding buyer attention is more challenging than ever. This situation is exacerbated by advanced AI technologies and lower content creation costs, making it essential for companies to stand out by consistently producing high-quality, engaging content.

Building on ABM and Content Strategies

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) should be seen not just as a targeting strategy but as a fundamental component of a sophisticated GTM motion. Coupled with a strong content strategy, ABM helps prioritize and engage with the right accounts more effectively.

The Evolving Role of Sales Development Representatives (SDRs)

SDRs need to align closely with marketing efforts, using insights from content engagement and account behavior to tailor their outreach. This alignment ensures that interactions are timely, relevant, and highly personalized, increasing the chances of progressing leads through the sales funnel.

Flywheel Framework for B2B Marketing

  1. Capturing Attention: The initial flywheel involves creating and leveraging content that attracts target companies. The success of this stage can be measured by the engagement metrics like website visits, event signups, or newsletter subscriptions, which indicate how well you are capturing and retaining attention.
  2. Converting Engagement to Consideration: Once you have captured attention, the next step is converting that interest into serious consideration of your products. This stage requires clear messaging and positioning to effectively communicate the value proposition of your solutions through case studies, detailed playbooks, and direct product information.
  3. From Consideration to Intent: The final stage involves tuning into signals that suggest a shift from consideration to purchase intent. High-intent indicators might include visits to product or pricing pages. Understanding these signals helps refine your engagement strategies and tailor content to guide potential buyers towards making a purchase decision.

Implementing the New B2B Playbook: A Real-Life Example

Company Background

Let’s consider a hypothetical B2B technology company, CyberCorp, which specializes in AI-driven analytics solutions targeting mid-market to enterprise-level clients. CyberCorp has recently refined its product to better match market demand and is now looking to optimize its go-to-market strategy.

Application of the New B2B Playbook

  1. Foundation Setting
    • Clear ICP Identification: CyberCorp identifies its Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) which includes industries like finance, healthcare, and retail that heavily rely on data analytics.
    • Content Strategy: CyberCorp develops a robust content strategy that includes whitepapers, webinars, and blog posts focused on the importance of data analytics in digital transformation.
    • Messaging Clarity: The company ensures its messaging clearly articulates the benefits of its AI-driven solutions, emphasizing improved decision-making and operational efficiency.
  2. Flywheel 1: Capturing Attention
    • Inbound and Outbound Tactics: CyberCorp uses SEO to rank for high-value keywords and runs targeted ads to drive traffic. Simultaneously, it leverages social media and partnerships for wider reach.
    • Metrics: CyberCorp monitors account-level metrics. At this stage, the main KPI is AQA – Aware qualified accounts, which means any target accounts which visited the website during the past 90 days. 
  3. Flywheel 2: Converting Awareness to Engagement
    • Content Utilization: CyberCorp creates detailed studies, surveys and thought leadership content that showcase their expertise in the field.
    • Metrics:  At this stage, the main KPI is EQA – Engaged qualified accounts, which means any target accounts which visited the website during the past 90 days and at least one visitor read 3 pages or more on the website. 
    • Sales Alignment: SDRs are briefed on hot topics from interactions and content engagement to tailor their conversations.
  4. Flywheel 3: From Consideration to Intent
    • Intent Signals: CyberCorp sets up a system to track high-intent signals like visits to pricing pages, use of ROI calculators, or engagement with technical documentation.
    • Conversion Tactics: The company uses targeted follow-ups, personalized email campaigns, and invites to exclusive roundtable discussions to convert consideration into intent.

Evaluating Success and Iteration

  • Continuous Monitoring: CyberCorp uses analytics to continuously monitor the effectiveness of each stage of the flywheel, from initial engagement to sales conversion.
  • Optimization: Insights gathered from the data are used to refine content, targeting, and engagement strategies. This could involve adjusting the content to better address pain points or re-targeting ads to better-performing segments.
  • Sales Feedback: Regular feedback sessions with the sales team help identify gaps in the content and strategy, ensuring alignment across all stages of the buyer’s journey.

By following this playbook, CyberCorp is positioned to not only attract and engage more effectively with its target audience but also to convert this engagement into tangible business opportunities. The continuous loop of the flywheel ensures that marketing efforts are not static but evolve based on real-time data and feedback, making the GTM strategy dynamic and responsive to market changes. This systematic approach helps CyberCorp achieve a scalable, repeatable, and effective marketing strategy that drives growth and enhances ROI.


By adopting this new B2B playbook, marketers can build a sustainable and effective GTM strategy that not only captures but also maintains buyer engagement throughout the sales cycle. This approach promises a higher ROI by focusing on long-term engagement rather than short-term conversions, setting the stage for a more robust and responsive marketing framework in the B2B sector.