CEO of UserGems, Christian Kletzl, against a purple background, beside a diagram of a marketing funnel with icons for communication, sales, and connectivity, indicating digital marketing strategies.
CEO of UserGems, Christian Kletzl, against a purple background, beside a diagram of a marketing funnel with icons for communication, sales, and connectivity, indicating digital marketing strategies.

Not much is predictable in the world of B2B revenue, but I can confidently predict this: 2024 will put the final nail in the coffin of spray-and-pray prospecting.

What’s next? We will see a rise in more relevant, intentional, personalized outbound triggered by buying signals plus end-to-end workflows. 

The result will be smarter outbound via Signal-based GTM.


Before: the reign of spray-and-pray outbound

In the last decade or so, B2B revenue has been a numbers game. Spray-and-pray prospecting – the strategy of trying to reach everyone, everywhere, all at once – was the gold standard.

If reps contact 1000 people, they will eventually complete their goal of booking 10 meetings. If marketing generates thousands of MQLs, there will be at least a few leads that turn into sales qualified pipeline.

This philosophy started to backfire on revenue teams in 2023.

→ Inboxes are flooded with AI-powered outbound, giving prospects inbox fatigue.

→ Google and Yahoo cracked down on spamming practices, throwing the future of outbound practices into question.

→ It used to take 200-400 activities to create 1 opportunity, but now it takes 1300+ because it’s harder to cut through the noise.

All of these factors culminated in a majority of companies (and reps) missing their targets last year despite having more data than ever available at their fingertips.

The paradigm shift: Signals emerge as a game-changer 

The answer to “I don't have enough pipeline” used to mean adding more steps and more emails and more calls to outbound motions.

Now we’re seeing this mentality hit a critical mass. GTM can't scale what we did before.

Previously outbound was hyper-focused on the “who” – who are you reaching out to? This led to teams over-indexing on lead quantity over lead quality.

Now outbound must shift to the “why” and the “when” – why are we reaching out to this particular person and this particular time?

A big question we must ask now is: What touchpoints actually lead to a higher rate of opportunity?

The answer: Signals that can be actioned at scale, because signals are the catalysts that indicate relevance, timeliness, and a compelling reason to reach out.

It all started with the Champion Tracking signal

In 2019, we introduced the Champion Tracking signal as a way for companies to identify their former customers. We predicted that this signal would help companies surface their warmest buyers and win more.

The reasoning was simple:

  • Past customers are already familiar with the problem a vendor solves and understand how a solution works.
  • Previous customers already have an established relationship and foundation of trust with your team and are 3x more likely to buy again. 
  • 72% of buyers refer to their prior experiences when evaluating a vendor, and most have a fear of messing up – they are looking for programs they can rely on. 

So the Champion Tracking signal established a new approach for pipeline generation by enabling companies to get surgical with outbound. Customer job changes make it easy to identify and engage with prospects who are most likely to buy. 

However, from speaking with hundreds of customers, we quickly realized that identifying relevant buying signals is a good foundation for better outbound, but it is not enough to guarantee success if those signals are not actioned. 

There was a disconnect between signals and outcomes – and the solution required a paradigm shift. 

Signals without action are just noise

What we've learned over the past 4 years is that when a signal seems too vague or hard to translate into an outcome, it simply becomes more noise for teams, as much as possible, we focus not on an account level

If you just tell me that someone Googled for information “ABM,” landed on a UserGems blog post, and read through several webpages, is this now correlated with this company buying an ABM solution? And can a rep reasonably act with this information?

So as much as possible, we focus not on an account level, but on a contact level. The benefit here is also that you can make it measurable and easily actionable. 

True Signal-based GTM requires:

1) a measurable outcome, and 

2) a clear action attached to every signal.

Anything less just creates more noise for your GTM team.

Meet the blueprint for Signals-based workflows

We approach buying signals using a revenue-focused blueprint. We created a blueprint because, while simple in theory, it’s much harder for teams to execute without the right support in place. 

The goal: every signal justifies its existence in a revenue stack.

  1. Select high-value signals that can move the needle the most toward your goals
  2. Use those signals to identify your most likely buyers 
  3. Engage those prospects with a pre-determined cadence or playbook
  4. Notify all relevant teams
  5. Measure results, report, and iterate

What UserGems always focuses on is what are the most relevant signals and what are the next actions that should be taken based on the signal, and automating those actions so teams can win more.

Our philosophy for signals is relevant signal + action = smarter outbound.

The future of revenue: Signals-based GTM

It’s an exciting and challenging time to be in B2B revenue. The tides for outbound are changing, and the only solution is to find ways to outbound smarter, not harder. 

We believe this can best be achieved with a Signals-based GTM where:

  • Every signal can justify its existence with a return on pipeline and revenue
  • Signal-based workflows are set up with end-to-end execution in mind 
  • Each new signal is viewed as a pipeline channel or program that can be stacked for sustainable growth 

How are you adapting to this new era of GTM? Book a demo to learn more about our approach.

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