Crafting a successful B2B demand generation strategy is key to building a sustainable and scalable revenue model. In this guide, we’ll explore the steps that are essential to creating and implementing your demand generation strategy. From collaborative goal-setting with sales to refining lead scoring models, each strategic step will help you build a demand generation engine that can succeed in a dynamic digital landscape.
Setting Demand Generation Goals with Your Sales Team
Collaborative goal-setting fosters a culture of shared success. By involving both marketing and sales in goal-setting from the beginning, you cultivate a sense of ownership and a collective commitment to achieving milestones.
Aligning with Sales on Targeting Criteria
Before you can begin generating demand, you need to know who to target. Sales and marketing must agree on targeting criteria and your ideal customer profile. If you have a service-level agreement between your teams, include the need for alignment on targeting. If your teams are more siloed, take this opportunity to work together to agree on the specifics of your targeting criteria. This sets you up for success by pre-qualifying the demographics and firmographics of marketing leads you send to your inside sales team.
Aligning with Sales on Revenue Goals
Despite any perceived rivalry between the two teams, sales and marketing are both working toward a common revenue goal for the business. It’s important for sales and marketing to co-own that goal and understand how they will each contribute. Both teams must be prepared to devote the appropriate resources to make the demand generation strategy successful.
Working Backwards from Your Demand Generation Goals to Determine Success Factors
Key success factors aren’t one-size-fits-all. Identifying your KPIs requires a nuanced understanding of your specific industry, target audience, and business objectives. By tailoring these factors to your unique circumstances, your demand generation strategy can focus on the metrics that truly matter.
When it comes to generating leads, focus your KPIs on both the total ROI of your programs and on your metrics throughout the funnel. A lot of marketers are primarily concerned with lead volume because that’s their assigned KPI, not because it’s the most effective way to measure the success of their campaigns. Of course you need enough leads to generate revenue further down the funnel, but what happens as leads progress through the funnel should be more closely scrutinized.
Comparing your full-funnel metrics across campaigns and over time can help you identify focused areas for improvement.
- If your top-of-funnel to MQL conversion rate is low then it might be an indicator that you need to source higher quality leads or that your marketing nurture process needs to be optimized.
- Your MQL to SQL conversion rate tells you how well your inside sales team is able to engage with your leads. A low MQL to SQL rate could mean that your leads are not yet qualified for inside sales follow up, or that your inside sales team is not equipped with the right insights to work those leads.
- Your SQL to opportunity rate determines how many marketing leads make it into the buying cycle. From there you can measure the total ROI of your campaigns by tracking how many leads convert into closed-won revenue.
Working backwards from your revenue goals through the funnel will help you gain an understanding of the lead volume that’s required to meet your goals and where your funnel can be optimized for efficiency. By selecting and defining measurable KPIs throughout the funnel, marketers can steer their strategies toward success and continually refine their approaches based on data-driven insights.
Prioritizing Speed to Lead
A large part of optimizing your marketing and sales funnel is getting the timing right. Being the first to address a prospect’s needs establishes your brand as proactive and customer-centric, laying the groundwork for a lasting relationship. Your demand generation strategy needs to incorporate predictive intent data to be first in line when your prospects start researching. Elevating interested accounts early allows you to get in front of prospects before they get too far along in the buying process and narrow down vendors under consideration.
After you’ve captured those accounts showing intent, it’s important to move them through your funnel as fast as possible while still allowing for a seamless buyer experience. Striking this balance allows the prospect to gain trust in your brand and equips your sales team with the insights they need to quickly start the conversation.
Keeping Your Lead Scoring Model Up to Speed
A well-calibrated lead scoring model enables you to prioritize your efforts on leads most likely to convert. Your lead scoring model should evolve with changes in buyer behavior, market trends, the channels you’re using to generate demand, and evaluation of your programs. This creates a positive feedback loop based on the success of the KPIs you set for lead conversions throughout the funnel.
It’s also important to consult with your sales team when you’re creating and adjusting your lead scoring model. Lead scoring ultimately determines which leads are sent to the inside sales team so it’s important they understand what qualifications those leads have and why they are worthy of follow up efforts.
Training Sales in Effective Lead Handling
When you’re investing time, effort, and budget into your demand generation strategy, you shouldn’t let that investment go to waste in the home stretch. Perfect leads with high levels of intent and even higher lead scores can disappear from your funnel if your inside sales team is not trained on how to handle them.
Marketers must devote time to ensuring relevant insights are delivered with leads and that their inside sales team is trained on how to use those insights to start conversations. Equipping your inside sales representatives with details about how a lead was generated and key pieces of information they can leverage will allow them to be more effective in converting leads to opportunities. This also reduces friction around lead qualification and fosters mutual buy-in of shared goals.
Taking Steps to Build Your Demand Generation Strategy
Building a successful B2B demand generation strategy requires collaboration between sales and marketing, data-driven insights throughout the funnel, and a commitment to continuous improvement. Use the checklist below to ensure you’re preparing your demand generation strategy for success:
By incorporating these elements, your demand generation strategy will be well-positioned to drive sustainable growth for your business.