The Critical Ingredients Of Effective Demand Generation

Michael Brenner on Apr 21, 2014 in Demand Generation

Demand Generation is one of the most critical components of B2B Marketing. And yet, demand generation skills are rare in B2B Marketers.

Marketing must be more than trade shows, logo colors and full-page ads. Marketing must drive sales for the business.

This post is the latest from my former colleague and demand generation partner Rob Krekstein. Rob is the Senior Director of Global Lead Generation at enterprise technology company Ventyx.  Rob knows how to turn marketing investment into marketing ROI.

The Critical Ingredients Of Effective Demand Generation

The critical ingredient to growing your business is to ensure consistency and growth in your sales pipeline.  Consistency and growth is derived through innovative lead generation programs and processes. 

This article reviews some of those best practices which provide a recipe for you to create a repeatable and predictable revenue generator.

Specialize Your Teams, To Enhance Focus and Productivity

I believe in dividing up lead generation roles into four basic functions or themes:

  1. “Inbound” Lead Qualification: They qualify marketing leads coming inbound through the website or Contact Me Phone #. The sources of these leads are marketing programs, search engine marketing, or organic word-of-mouth.
  2. “Outbound” Prospecting:   This function prospects into lists of target accounts to develop new sales opportunities. The Accounts can be a mixture of Prospect or Customer (for a new product).  This is a team dedicated to creating and qualifying new sales opportunities that are passed to Account Executives to close.
  3. “Account Executives” are quota-carrying reps who close deals. This Team is best split by Inside Sales (lower revenue deals, Volume Velocity Markets) and Field Sales (High Revenue Deals, On Site visits).  This Team is comprised of High Powered “Closers” that Manage pipeline and accelerate to Close.
  4. “Account Managers”: Client deployment and success, ongoing client management, and renewals.  This is key for you to Protect your current Revenue streams as well as provide additional Customer References.  A well taken Care of Customer is a happy customer

Emails Work, But Only If Created Correctly

In over 20 Years of Lead Generation, I have found that if you follow these hints Emails Do Work (9+% Conversion)

  • No Sales Pitch: This is the most common mistake today, “Do you have these Challenges?….”, “Let us help you solve this problem…”, “ Our Product can do this for you…” These Emails are boring, they sound like the other 15 he received that day and will not generate you a response, especially from the C Suite.  This is like meeting someone for a first date and leaning in for the kiss before you say “Hello”.  Be patient !
  • Be Specific:   Keep the Email Short and Sweet.  You have roughly 5-8 Seconds to grab someone’s attention and Paragraphs clearly have the opposite effect.  Use strong simple statements.
  • Referrals are the Key:  Especially if you target the C-Suite You should be asking for one thing, A “Referral” to the correct person within the Company.  The most difficult thing in Prospecting is finding the correct person to speak to, so let your Email do it for you.  The trick here is to be specific enough about who you need to speak to but not selling your product or service

Be Certain Your Sales Process is Pulling Your Prospects Not Pushing

Sales People need to be Patient, move at the Prospects pace not yours:

Sales Stages: Critical to have a fully developed Sales Process with Milestones.  Analyze your Data to understand the typical Sales cycle and Benchmarks, Discussion, Demo, On Site, Contracts etc..

Be Flexible:   Remember no two deals are alike so you have to be able to move as the Prospect wants.  Some like to move slower than others so you need to be adaptable to that.  Never tell the Prospect the Next Step, ask Him or Her, what they would like next.  Prospects prefer to feel like they are in control.

Conclusion

You MUST specialize your Teams.  If you can’t specialize today, make a plan on how and when you can. You don’t need to be a huge company to be specialized.

Emails can be powerful and VERY Cost Effective. This is a low cost high yield Marketing Tactic, utilize it.  Be sure that your emails are Succinct and Follow Best Practices.  Put yourself in the recipient’s shoes, would you answer it ?

Pull your Prospects along.  Train your closers to be patient.  They should be working several Opportunities simultaneously so there is no need to panic.  Let the Prospect feel in control.

Let me know what you think in the comments below. And please follow along on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook  and Google+ or  Subscribe to the B2B Marketing Insider Blog for regular updates.

Michael Brenner
Michael Brenner
Michael Brenner is a globally-recognized keynote speaker, author of The Content Formula and the CEO of Marketing Insider Group. He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael shares his passion on leadership and marketing strategies that deliver customer value and business impact. He is recognized by the Huffington Post as a Top Business Keynote Speaker and a top CMO influencer by Forbes. Please follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook and Subscribe here for regular updates.
Comments
  • Peter Johnston

    Is there a bit of this piece missing? It starts off about the importance of Demand Generation then goes straight into Lead Qualification and Sales Prospecting.

    According to Forrester 70% of sales go to companies identified as top three when a buying process begins.

    Where is the work to get on that shortlist, totally outside of any identified “sales cycle” and to unidentified suspects (no emails)?

    If you take this 70% and the fact that buying processes are 70% done before vendors become aware, that only leaves 9% of sales open to you to fight for once you have identified a potential customer.

    Yet managing that lead is where 90% of sales and marketing effort goes. Madness.