In football, a team takes the ball to the end zone and scores a touchdown. In business, the company acquires a lead and traditionally nurtures it down the funnel until it becomes a sale. Touchdown!

Sometimes leads get stopped in their tracks. It’s important to make sure you follow your leads downfield like a blocker protecting the ball carrier until he scores a touchdown. Let’s imagine the traditional sales funnel is our play. Running the same play over and over seldom leads to success in football. We can assume the same in business. Yet, people seem surprised it’s not working.

Today’s defense in both business and football are faster, stronger and harder to beat. The playbook has to be changed because the B2B funnel has retired. The defense wants to keep you out of the end zone. They want to stop your lead from crossing the goal line and becoming a touchdown.

How do we stop the defense? To beat them you first have to understand who they are.


The first line of defense is the defensive linemen, or in marketing the customers peers. Word of mouth marketing is the strongest influencer. If no one has heard of your company or worse, your brand has a bad reputation, your lead will be sacked in the backfield and never develop. Social Media is a powerful tool in marketing. It helps your brand be known and open up a network of communication to help block some of the big hairy lineman!

Defensive linebackers are the next line of defense in football. In marketing, you have to get past any internal personas within your lead’s company. They are trying to prevent your touchdown for a number of reasons, mostly financial. Does the company need to make this investment? Will there be enough return on that investment? These are questions that key decision makers in the company would be asking. To defend against these sale tacklers, you have to provide strong reasons to believe. Videos highlighting statistics and analytics prove your brand has value to offer.

The end zone is in sight, and one last defensive front to push through. The secondary is hungry for interceptions. They benefit the most from stealing your lead. Those defensemen are your external competitors. This is the strongest defense because there is little you can do to control it yourself.  You have to rely on your team and work together to make sure your roster is playing harder than theirs from the top to the bottom!

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