Since its launch, over 10 years ago, the demand waterfall became synonymous with Sirius Decisions’ and you wouldn’t know one without the other. It became the gold standard methodology for defining key process stages and handoff points in the lead management process and has been used to help align sales and marketing.

Despite a waterfall being ever flowing the Sirius Decisions model has barely changed over the years, until now, the biggest amend was in 2012. The reason for the update was to stay in line with the market evolution with the rise and importance of inbound marketing and tele sales and recognition that sales generated leads too - the model took this into account.

The recognised model was devised:


In the last five years, the marketing landscape has undergone some significant shifts. New process and technologies have come into play, there’s been a rise of go-to-market strategies based on buyer needs, predictive analytics and intent monitoring. Perhaps the biggest change has been the increased emphasis on account-centric marketing.

Sirius Decisions research in 2016, stated 27% of survey respondents said they were devoting between 11% and 30% of their total marketing budget to ABM. This metric was up from 19% in the previous year.

All of this led Sirius Decisions to acknowledge the limitations in the old model:

  • A static funnel that was not configurable
  • Focused on selling to ‘net new’ and not existing business
  • Had an emphasis on individual leads

Not to blow our own trumpet, but we spotted this some time ago. We have been reporting on Marketing Qualified Accounts and Sales Qualified Accounts rather than leads ever since. And we recognise that there are on average 5.4 people in a decision-making unit, each with their own needs and will travel through the funnel at their own pace. So enough talking around it, here is the new ‘Demand Unit Waterfall’.


So, there you have it – what do you think?

Underwhelmed? So were we.

Essentially, the model has moved from looking at leads as individuals > then individuals with recognition that sales and telesales generated leads to > dropping leads and focusing on accounts and DMUs. The new model is a lot simpler and easier to digest and will help to encourage sales and marketing to come out of their own bubbles and talk the same language (no MQL, SQL, SAL, TGL etc. acronyms in sight!).

But, is this model new and revolutionary? After all, DMU and account based-marketing are old marketing principles that have been around for years. Either way, we would encourage all marketers to take this opportunity to review their business funnel. If you’re not talking the same language as sales and aren’t reporting the value of marketing, it may be time to adopt the new Sirius Demand Unit Waterfall.

To understand how CleverTouch can support you implement this new way of thinking, get in touch today.