Today’s post is another guest post from Rob Krekstein, Sr. Director of Lead Generation at Ventyx. Rob is a good friend and my former colleague.
He sends us these Demand Generation tips every few weeks to keep us grounded in one of the main focus areas of B2B Marketing: delivering quantifiable value to the business and leads for sales.
10+ years ago, Demand Generation was a phrase people rarely used, and even rarer were the people who understood it. Today it is a common business phrase used in almost every company. In my 20 years experience, in both Marketing and Sales I have to come to understand the key points to creating and maintaining a successful program.
The Business Model is a critical component to creating a successful Demand Generation Program. Companies have a Marketing Department and of course a Sales Department, but they often struggle with where to put Demand Generation. The key to the DG group is that it is a Bridge between Marketing and Sales. DG works closely with Marketing to understand and optimize their output, and in turn qualify it so that it will be accepted by Sales. Being that centerpiece entails a close alignment with both Marketing and Sales, and thus should be its own group, not a subset of either team, which may sway its focus to be self serving.
The internal processes you create or enhance will determine if your Demand Generation will be successful, or mired in process paralysis. Be certain to create a streamlined funnel, so that all the greatness that Marketing delivers can be quickly qualified and routed to Sales. Velocity is just as important as quality in the very competitive marketplace of today. It is necessary to have your entire DG Team work out of your CRM System, this will create full visibility and allow you to root cause any issues quickly. Continually look to optimize your process as with ever changing Business Models it is key that you adapt accordingly.
This can never be emphasized enough, and is often overlooked or assumed to be adequate. Your training program is critical to the ramp-up time for New Representatives as well as the quality of your Demand Generation. Training should last a week in the beginning, with a defined cadence moving forward. Representatives should be provided with high level information to start, and then move diligently into the specifics. The first “Campaigns” they call on should be simple, and not require detailed information like, white-spacing, or general account calling. Remember that new hires are anxious to begin their job, and impress their manager, so do not stifle that by putting them through weeks of training. Stagger the trainings so they have time to absorb it, and showcase their talents.
Internal Systems and Database
When it comes to Demand Generation it is all about data, data and data. Everything we do starts and stops with the data, so be certain to place focus here and continually cleanse it. Almost as important are the systems and processes. Many times companies force the Demand Generation team to utilize outdated systems, and wonder why the results are not strong, remember the easier it is to get the information you need, the more phone calls the team is able to make. Be sure that you have systems that promote a fluid process that allows for a volume and velocity Program (which is what all Demand Generation Teams strive for). Systems that are easily adaptable are advantageous, as with Demand Generation you must constantly change to the given Market Conditions.
These are some Key Points to help you create and maintain a strong Demand Generation Program. By following these, you are setting your Team for Success today and tomorrow.