4 Tips For Successful Demand Generation

I have been writing about Demand Generaton and Demand Management since I started blogging a few years ago. Successful and effective marketing creates value for the business.

And so, occasionally, my colleague Rob Krekstein, who is a Senior Director of Global Inside Sales here at SAP, provides his amazing perspective on how to create successful demand generation programs that produce real business results. The following article is a guest post from Rob…

Demand Generation is critical to every company bottom line, and is often managed through various groups within your company.  Here are 4 tips to help you create and manage a “Best In Class” Demand Generation program…

  1. Understand online behavior, or “Digital Body Language” of the Prospects. You must focus on the needs of the buyer and facilitate their buying process, rather than pushing messages at them. With an understanding of the buyer’s behavior, we can determine through advanced analytic models, which of those buyers are at a stage in their buying process where they are ready to engage with sales.
  2. Data quality and data management are necessary: As companies are interacting with buyers over a longer period of time, they need to ensure that they keep their data on those prospective buyers clean and up to date.  Analytics can aid in prescribing the “right” companies to target, inclusive of the “right” contacts to call, but require clean and up to date data to provide.  This data will allow for a more “laser focused” and targeted campaign, which will yield a higher ROI.
  3. Campaigns must be focused, relevant and multi-touch:  Too often companies implement “generic” campaigns, which do not provide needed ROI.  Utilizing the various tips above you can focus and personalize your campaigns on relevant topics for prospects and engage them at the right time in their sales cycle.  This will alleviate wasted calling and allow sales people to “sell”.  With a “multi-touch” approach (creative email blast / call / email blast / nurture) you can prioritize calling as well as increase your results in the short and long term.
  4. Campaign analysis is critical:. In any buying process there may be multiple campaigns, multiple buyers, and many months involved. By analyzing the results of each campaign you can begin to understand how each of those campaigns influenced buyer behavior, and how the revenue achieved can be attributed across the many campaigns involved. This new approach provides a much clearer view into campaign effectiveness and allows for specific direction to your future campaigns and spend.

Demand Generation is a discipline that is necessary in today’s environment, in which buyers are in control of their own buying process and have access to all the information they require to make a buying decision. Utilizing these tips, you will not only create a sustainable Demand Generation Program, but increase your marketing ROI.

12 thoughts on “4 Tips For Successful Demand Generation

  1. Hi Rob,

    Some great points here!

    Demand generation is a fairly new term to me, but it makes sense that businesses focus on the buyers of their products/services.

    Knowing your prospects and their wants/needs/desires ensures that the rest of your campaign moves in the right direction, without that, well it’s just a shot in the dark.

    Thanks for sharing!

    ~Christine

  2. American Express should take the “data quality/data management” tip from this post. I have lived in my house for 7+ years. Yesterday, I received a direct mail piece from them addressed to the previous homeowner. Really—AE doesn’t have the resources to maintain their database these days.

  3. Great article. Each of the 4 points reinforces that in sales, or for that matter in building any relationship, it’s first and foremost about “them”, not “you”.

    By keeping the other person’s needs and interests as the focal point, you can better understand their priorities and develop a communication style that will develop trust and understanding to determine how you can seek a business relationship.

    As Kenny pointed out, the buying process is seldom linear or aligns with the sellers goals for closing a deal.

    Mike

  4. Hi Michael/Rob

    Great post. Given the resources at the disposal of SAP and without obviously giving away your secret source,

    1. Understand online behavior – What would be the tipping point in terms of SAP where the prospect is handed over to Sales? And what are these signals? Assume you would be using perhaps a bespoke solution (rather than Radian6 or similar) to bring engagements from multiple platforms, and then run an algorithm to determine whether prospect has reached the tipping point?

    2. Data quality and data management are necessary – key decision makers and influencers change jobs all the time. Products like Nimble can advise you automatically when someone change a job based on updates to Linkedin profiles. But these information need to be consolidated to stay on top of your own CRM. Given that SAP’s sales are high value, you may only have manageable number of leads to follow at any given time. However with SAP By Design, this may be quite different. Do you use anything sophisticated that could advise changes at prospect?

    3. Campaigns must be focused, relevant and multi-touch: cannot agree more. Hence repositioning our service http://www.edocr.com to be the channel that take care of documents (brochures, white papers, case studies, press releases, data sheets, user manuals, etc)

    4. Campaign analysis is critical: How do you manage changes in buyer behaviour, e.g. one month, the possibility of sales closure could be 90%, but the next month this could be dropped to 60% due to prospects’ priorities. Assume you have to constantly move leads back and forth between sales and marketing, or would sales handle it even though the probability has dropped?

    One of the interesting points of documents is that we could generate leads out of a user manual which is meant for customer service, as well as turn a customer service agent into a marketer.

    The big question from our end is – could we help turn every employee to a marketer? The future certainly looks exciting as more and more organisations begin to understand that its vital for marketing and sales to function as one body united in revenue growth..

    Best regards
    Manoj
    CEO – http://www.edocr.com

  5. Thanks for posting these tips! Another tip to add would be knowing who your ideal buyer is. For our demand gen programs at Marketo, we measure how well our programs perform by looking at the cost per potential buyer (with our marketing automation platform). After measuring the success of our monthly programs, we re-evaluate and choose to continue our efforts or use our money elsewhere.

    – Carol Tang at Marketo

    1. Thanks Carol,

      Buyer journey research, persona development, keyword research – these are all important to make sure you have a clear picture of your buyers’ needs and the channels where they hang out.

  6. I totally agree with the first point that Understand online behavior is very important in Demand Generation as if you don’t know about your customers / buyer need, then just forget that you are having sales. Its very important for company to know whats his customer need and how we will convince them for buying our product.

    Great post buddy. 🙂

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