It’s no longer enough to cold call prospective clients and expect them to buy on the spot. In today’s sales environment, you may need to use different technologies across the sales stack and tactically go after targeted accounts. Doesn’t that…
The Demand Gen Dead-End
Demand Creation • June 27, 2012
For my inaugural post, I thought it was fitting to write about something near and dear to my heart (and career)–demand generation.
I still remember the first time I was asked if I could handle demand generation within a field marketing group. Like any good marketer who had no idea what this really entailed, I said “Sure!” and started asking everyone around me (including Google) what this really meant. As you can imagine, my first attempts to actually ‘generate demand’ were well-intentioned but not very successful. In fact, I was finding myself at a demand gen dead-end. I thought I had great multi-touch campaigns and offers (landing pages! content marketing offers! telephone follow-up!), but was finding MarketingSherpa’s estimation that 70-90% of marketing-generated leads are never followed-up by sales ringing woefully true.
About this time I got a new manager who was (and is) an incredible mentor and she distilled it for me thusly: “Demand gen is about keeping Sales happy. They need to buy in to everything we do or it isn’t worth our time.”
Bingo. This is what I was missing. Instead of starting with the Sales team and asking them what they considered a lead, what they needed in order to actually spend time following-up, what they were hearing most frequently from customers and prospects, I was starting with myself. So I backtracked. I had a kick-off meeting with Sales to pitch my campaigns and get their feedback. I sent out revised campaign language and prospect personas afterwards and then had weekly meetings to talk through the leads that were hitting the system to hear what was and wasn’t a fit so that I could keep tailoring appropriately. Finally, I was getting somewhere. My leads actually got worked and, perhaps even better, I got real feedback about how to make my efforts more successful.
I won’t pretend it was all sunshine and rainbows from this point forward–what fun would it be if there wasn’t a little sales and marketing tension?–but it definitely helped both teams bring a little more smarketing love to our field group and helped me learn the all-important lesson that sales and marketing have to be in sync if you actually want your demand gen efforts to not end up in a dead-end.
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