With the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic giving rise to increased virtual markets, digital businesses are striving to take over the industry, throw down the competition and struggle to become the next best thing in their field. And even though virtual businesses are increasing in number, you are not sure if you are knocking on the right door.
Moreover, you are doubtful that the company execs from the other side need what you are selling and will give you their cash right away after you pitch your proposal. There’s no shortcut to getting leads, converting them into customers, and gaining loyalty. You and I both know that.
But we are not here to give you a rundown of the current situation because, as a B2B enterprise, you’ve already had your share of ups, downs, and a multitude of challenges. This is about knowing where your accounts are coming from or how your target audience will find your brand.
Many sales funnel and marketing efforts come from campaigns and lead gen, but less focus on the business’s demand generation strategy.
We are here to pose questions for your existing demand generation strategy (if you have any): Are you doing it the right way? Is there a need to review and reassess this side of the frontier to upscale your teams? Or do you need to gain more results from your existing campaigns?
Let’s dig into the basics first.
What is Demand Generation?
Demand generation aims at creating demand by guiding the client through the whole buyer’s journey. It is a marketing strategy that focuses on the entire life cycle from brand awareness to lead generation tactics and, finally, lead nurturing.
Demand generation strategies may include marketing automation solutions, usually through an integrated tech stack, and alignment of sales and marketing teams to focus on giving high-quality leads a solid demand generation program.
Demand generation gives your organization visibility and increased brand awareness, lead generation advancement, and before you know it, your conversions are already growing your revenue.
Demand Generation vs. Inbound Marketing
Often, we mistake inbound marketing with demand generation and vice-versa. Demand gen is a task that helps create growth, while inbound marketing is a way to fulfill the task. A successful demand generation strategy uses inbound marketing to direct the high-quality leads towards the sales funnel.
Well-planned inbound marketing tactics require demand generation efforts in areas including content marketing, lead scoring, and sales and marketing strategy. Methods like paid advertising, SEO, and improving your website performance are only some of the inbound marketing examples that can determine who your clients are and how to keep them buying from you.
Is Your Demand Generation Strategy Up-To-Date?
In 2013, popular sales models still emphasized customer linguistics and studying their top sales workforce for setting an example. This was the phase where sales reps faced qualified leads, understood their buyers’ psychology, and expanded their field as specialists and their area of territory.
Some businesses today are still living in 2013. They are stuck with the traditional process of automatically passing on their qualified lead to the sales team, and this is where they start to fall and break.
The sales team calls for big-budget expenses and effort on a process method only to find out you’ve lost target accounts during the closing sales calls.
A lack of synchrony
Marketing teams are also doing their part with producing marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and converting them with their own demand generation marketing strategy to convert into sales qualified leads (SQLs) for the sales team.
In an attempt to create demand, sales and marketing act independently, resulting in low performance, misdirected competition, and even goal confusion.
A need for change
You can increase your lead generation tactics by updating your demand gen strategy and hitting two birds with one stone to optimize your team and your company’s growth effectively.
Focusing on the sales cycle and identifying the pain points allows you to get quality leads with a unified goal in mind – one of the best demand generation strategies today strongly emphasizes creating and enhancing revenue.
The tech stack and campaigns are not the only ones that call for balance. Looking into your organization framework will also help you gauge what’s lacking or wrong with the overall sales workflow and team management.
Fusion of Marketing and Sales Team
Marketing and sales alignment is one of the pain points and challenges of a B2B enterprise that still takes on traditional demand generation models. But this is an excellent opportunity to increase the company’s growth and unify the revenue process.
What aligned marketing and sales teams look like
Sales and marketing still work independently, but their goals are intertwined and focused on revenue-producing strategies. This way, they hold each other responsible in one collective effort to turn leads into sales and new clients to loyal customers.
Together, the teams take on comprehensive demand generation strategies that help close more deals. As a result, the marketing team is included in the sales cycle, and at the same time, sales support and sales conversions are integrated.
Marketing alignment goes hand in hand with sales conversations, and marketing efforts are evaluated within the sales pipelines. The two teams cooperating with the other can reach target buyers and high-quality accounts through all available channels. And establishing visible client testimonials and case studies is proof of the quality products and services they have received can also increase your organization’s marketing and sales scope.
Sales and marketing teams jointly create personalized engagements, analyze results to close the gap, and work towards better sales enablement. Implement a process that assures improvement after extensive goal-setting and demand gen report evaluation.
B2B Demand Generation Programs: Create Awareness
For clients to buy your products and services, they must first know you exist. For them to be interested, they must first know who you are.
Demand generation is more than just advertisements and commenting on other social media pages to make clients visit your account. It’s a two-way street as purchasers need to see something in your product or services, and they need to know they can get something from you. They will ask themselves: Is the product or service I’m getting reliable? Do other enterprises also recommend them?
Brand credibility builds brand awareness, which leads to discoverability and reputation, which is much more powerful than paid ads.
First, you must know who your target account is and what kind of buyer personas you need to tap.
Details like location, interests, and marketing behavior might help you analyze if you’re on the right track and if your demand strategy is working. This will help you identify the accounts you are trying to reach, create a broader presence, and establish relationships.
Thought leadership or expressing ideas showing your expertise is also essential in demand generation marketing. After making your target clients know who you are, establishing knowledge and demonstrating your specialized skills in the industry will help them understand not only what you do but that you are BEST at what you do.
Now that they already know you, it’s time to keep them engaged.
B2B Demand Generation Programs: Content Marketing
So, how can you get the general people to remember you when they think about your industry? A solid and relevant content marketing strategy keeps you on top of search engines. It is one of the purest, dynamic ways you can communicate with your users, create rapport in the community and associate your products and services with the problem you are trying to solve.
Social media strategy, together with demand generation marketing methods like blogging, chatbots, website, and search engine optimization, you are more likely to be more discoverable. You can also help you speak directly to existing and potential clients.
Be visible where your target customers spend their time.
Social media marketing strategy is also about engaging in a more personalized approach. Creative content like special offers for loyal accounts, discounts for first-time purchasers, and on-site promos for frequent goers ending with a call-to-action strategy encourage sales and ensure you remain on top of the game.
Websites that are UX-enhanced and visitor-centric also contribute to demand generation.
In addition, consumer support and conversational marketing make the buyer’s journey more accessible and convenient.
B2B Demand Generation Programs: Invest in Lead Generation Strategies and Lead Scoring
Along with delivering great content is looking at current lead gen or lead generation. The sales and marketing teams may be taking over the leads, but you should keep improving and nurturing prospects.
When it comes to knowing when and where to step in and offer your products and services, lead quality is critical. Lead quality increases conversion rates of qualified leads. High-quality leads should convert to potential customers through gated content and chatbot market automation information.
By knowing their online behavior, company information, social and email engagement, you can establish a scoring system that lets the sales team know when potential clients are ready to make their purchase and when the marketing team comes in for lead nurturing.
But the sales cycle does not end there. You need to retain your clients as well.
B2B Demand Generation Programs: Account Retention
While getting new leads may seem ideal, having loyal accounts that have already purchased your product and service is also key to preserved growth. Regular clients may seem easy to have, but it takes a lot of demand generation marketing strategies to obtain new ones.
Make it personal
One of the components of taking care of your existing demand is knowing and understanding your customer pain points.
By listening to your customers, you can provide tailor-fit answers and let them know they are getting excellent quality customer service from their first website visit to their subsequent purchases and even aftersales support.
Another way to improve demand generation through customer retention is by keeping clients informed of new projects, product launch dates, and even a database. A database is an excellent way to retain customer buying information. Customers can then access the database for tips on how to complete their buying experience. Building a marketing automation database that you can monitor and work with could also help you optimize your demand gen.
For example, opt for a labeling system of all your customer inquiries that you can sort and manage, a support setup that reaches out to customers for renewals and additional purchases, and a consumer satisfaction rating system that can generate observations and evaluations and encourage your clients to contribute constructive feedback.
Keep track of the numbers
Even though all the analytics and metrics are one mathematical blur, reviewing and reassessing the demand gen report also lets you know how much revenue you have grown. It also highlights the demand generation processes and demand gen strategies that are not working for you and how to improve your workflow.
Product-Led and Community-Led Growth
Creating and maintaining a good reputation in relevant communities as the focal point of demand generation is one of the leading strategies of CLG companies. Demand generation activities integrated with the right software will help support buyers’ online marketing psychology.
With applications that assist in converting prospects and making them finalize their buying decision, online communities like Slack, Discord, and WhatsApp are now taking the lead in users’ and non-users’ exchange of ideas with thousand of messages and topics discussed daily.
The emergence of different integrations in leading social media sites is now more accessible and free to join online communities. Hashtags, categorical groups, influencer societies, and other communities have become the source of free information distributed across the globe.
Companies may use free tools to generate leads and test-run suitable marketing automation to create unique value to users. This will aid in choosing the best-suited software in maintaining a presence at multiple channels during the awareness stage and ultimately drive website traffic for the target audience and potential customers.
A personalized approach is always the key to community-led growth businesses. The marketing teams value consumer relationships, build rapport and extend their reach in capturing demand, whether through direct mail or direct outreach through in-person events depending on the different buyer personas of target user accounts.
Essentially, utilizing unified data religiously helps successfully analyze engagements in a social group’s presence. Users leaving reviews and five-star feedback on a company’s website can advocate for the organization. These are the customers that the company must look after, develop a relationship with, and ensure relevance to get access to their circle.
Building demand generation campaigns in collaboration with the marketing and sales teams can help keep these accounts and expand their network while producing revenue and growth
The Role of ABM in Demand Gen
The use of account-based management does not only rely solely on technology. It identifies target accounts for tailor-fit marketing solutions, takes care of leads, and assesses their position in relevant communities. It is more than just a go-to strategy with personalized methods.
ABM also helps demand generation by timely reaching out to accounts ready to make the deals, close them, and retain clients by supporting the entire customer journey. With sales and marketing team alignment through establishing contacts and closing deals, a reliable tech stack, and an empowered team, account management is a quality strategy for increasing revenue through demand generation.