As we see it, Demand Generation is a holistic approach to increase sales through programmatic, automated marketing and enhanced cooperation between sales & marketing. That’s a lot to digest, so let’s break it down.
Demand is a qualified, active interest in your company’s offerings that results in increased sales.
Generating demand is the process with which the cooperative efforts of sales and marketing achieve more of those conversions with increased efficiency.
With control of the sales cycle back in the hands of your prospects, sales and marketing need to join together in creating a process that addresses the entirety of the path to purchase. With a majority of B2B demand generation taking place online, marketing automation technology is the platform that helps companies gain the visibility into purchaser behavior that’s lacking from the move away from face-to-face sales interactions.
In a B2B complex sale, the sales cycle is lengthening as more people become involved in the decision and information is made available from a growing array of online resources. During this cycle, marketing efforts must stretch farther into the sales pipeline to cultivate qualified, active interest. This said, the entire process must be fluid from the Leads’ perspective.
To create a holistic approach, marketing and sales need a closed-loop process that addresses the pipeline from initial lead generation through to the sale. Marketing automation software supports the execution of the process by triggering the most relevant response to a Lead’s interactions with your company’s website and email campaigns, scoring behaviors to help prioritize sales follow-up activities. This type of coordination and progression is difficult and time consuming – pretty much impossible – to accomplish with manual efforts.
The secret to demand generation is to motivate momentum. (See how in this archived webinar, Advanced Lead Nurturing Tactics) Demand is created when your content inspires Leads by providing recognizable value about how to solve a high-priority problem. With a solid lead generation and nurturing process driven by relevant content and communications, the technology enables marketers to guide the appropriate execution that meets the needs of Leads with the right information at the right time. By tracking their response, the system provides the insights that marketing and sales need to effectively increase demand to the point of purchase.
With the combination of process and platform, marketing performance improves along with a willingness of sales to collaborate with marketing due to the overwhelming evidence of the production of high quality and actively interested leads that salespeople can sell to in shorter timeframes.