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B2B Demand Generation
You can never have too many people interested in your products or services. Even if you have plenty of leads and customers in your funnel, you need to create a constant flow of new prospects. You need a visible presence in the B2B marketplace so that potential customers know who you are and what you have to offer.
Demand generation, or “demand gen,” is the process of making the world know you and your service. It’s not the same as lead generation, or “lead gen.” The difference in demand generation vs lead generation is that lead gen is focused on identifying and making contact with specific leads. B2B lead generation tools ideally get you to the point where you have contact information in hand for an individual at a business who is responsible for making a purchasing decision.
Demand gen works at a higher level. It focuses on getting as many potential customers as possible to the top of a funnel. It tries to get people to your website, to a trade show where you can show what you have or to follow you on social media.
None of these activities, by themselves, is broad enough to reach the entire target audience you want for your offerings. Successful B2B demand generation requires a broad full-scale effort across multiple marketing channels. Oftentimes, a SaaS demand gen agency can help you organize an integrated demand gen campaign that will keep a fresh supply of new prospects aware of and interested in your products or services.
Even if your sales are healthy today, you need a plan to make sure they remain healthy. The right demand gen strategy fuels inbound demand gen, which draws eyeballs to your website and visitors to your show, and outbound demand gen, which pushes information about you into the B2B marketplace. A combination of both ensures that your sales will remain healthy into the future.
Demand Generation Framework
Demand generation isn’t just something that happens on its own or with a few one-off demand gen practices. You need an overall strategy that views demand generation as an encompassing and ongoing activity. An effective demand generation strategy template will start with alignment at the corporate level. How can a demand gen program be best structured to support corporate revenue goals?
Before you start making changes to your website or developing outbound demand generation materials, it behooves you to fully understand your target audience. What question are they asking that might be answered by stating your product’s benefits? What shows and symposiums are they likely to attend? What materials can you provide that will reach the right level of an organization and resonate with a potential customer?
Once you know whom you’re trying to reach and have a general idea of how to reach them, it’s time to start developing demand generation services. These might include SEO-oriented improvements to your web content or targeted advertising.
A demand management framework takes into account how general marketplace demand will be converted into leads, and how leads can be transformed into actual sales. Your demand gen strategy should organically flow into lead generation. Eventually, this must culminate in specific B2B lead generation examples such as soliciting contract information at your website or mining your CRM data for information about who is in a purchase-decision position in their organization.
The last key elements of a demand generation framework are measurement and recalibration. When the target audience knows you, and awareness transforms into leads, you’ll need to know which tactics were effective. You’ll understand what must continue for you to reach into the B2B marketplace and garner potential buyers’ names and contact information.
B2B Demand Generation Tactics
What is B2B demand generation? One answer is that it identifies your target customers and makes them aware of your products or services. A starting point is to identify a persona that represents your ideal customer and ask yourself questions about them. What are their pain points? What are they asking themselves? How can you demonstrate that you have a solution?
Once you understand who you’re going after, you can craft a demand creation strategy that pairs your services with your prospects. Your demand generation process should ultimately tell you specifically which businesses might become your best clients. From there, B2B lead generation services should bring you to the point where you identify the individuals you need to contact with your marketing and sales approach.
Effective B2B demand generation tactics might include improving your online content or developing targeted marketing events. It might entail beefing up your outbound demand gen materials such as targeted emails, niche advertising, and targeted LinkedIn messages.
All along the process, your B2B demand gen tactics have to support the goal of identifying your targets, at first broadly but more specifically as you move forward. Ultimately, it must lead to the office of the person who has the authority to say “yes” to what you have to sell.
B2B Demand Generation Companies
You don’t have to do demand generation planning on your own. You can engage a B2B marketing agency to help you build a demand creation model that will bring demand to your business and leads to your sales staff.
A cornerstone of any demand gen program is a customer relationship management (CRM) system. Once that’s in place, you can explore B2B demand generation meaning as it applies to your organization. The right kind of B2B demand generation software will leverage your CRM to recognize target accounts and identify the best leads working at those accounts.
As an example, UserGems works with your CRM to tell you whom to contact to market your products and services. If a key contact has moved to a new company, UserGems will alert you to that fact. If there’s been a promotion and job change at a target company, and a new individual is now a decision-maker in your arena, you’ll know about it. UserGems works with your existing systems and workflows to pull out the accurate and timely information you need to identify leads and turn prospects into clients.
B2B Demand Generation Agency
You can engage a B2B demand gen agency that will manage your demand generation strategy and process all the way through the sales funnel. Often, the broad sales and marketing agencies specialize in specific fields and specific industries. It’s possible to outsource your entire demand gen and lead gen process to a third party in this way. However, demand generation best practices don’t require that you do so, and this sort of sweeping approach may not be right for your company.
The more all-encompassing the coverage, the more expensive a B2B demand generation agency is likely to be. This is especially true if a single vendor brings in all the data stores, all the software and all the processes to make demand management essentially an outsourced activity. Most companies find they can do better with their internal teams and with the right mix of data and software.
The goal of any B2B lead generation agency is to connect you, the company with something to sell, with another company that has the need to buy it. The fact is that you’re already making these connections. The goal of your demand gen and lead gen strategy is to do this more effectively than you already are.
To accomplish this goal, you need the right data and software to leverage that data. You need to establish and populate your CRM and extract the right information from that CRM at the right time. It’s up to you to determine how best to make that happen.
Your CRM is already full of lead information, and you may not require a broad marketing and sales agency to extract that information in the way that’s most valuable for your marketing team. You may be better served by a tool such as UserGems, which provides timely alerts about who’s moved, who’s now in charge and where you target companies are in their purchasing cycle.
Demand Generation Activities Examples
All demand generation tactics and lead generation tactics are ultimately aimed at identifying and qualifying leads so that you know which are most likely to sign on the line and give you their business. Whether you do it yourself or engage a demand generation company, there are a number of activities along the way. Examples are:
- Understand the persona of your target buyer.
- Develop inbound and outbound demand gen materials targeted to that persona.
- Bring new prospects to the top of the sales funnel.
- Enrich the quality of your CRM data as you move these prospects through the demand and lead process.
- Provide sales-enabling assets to your marketing team by identifying when and how to approach representatives within the companies you’ve targeted.
A B2B lead generation company such as UserGems arms your sales team with the most fruitful contact information. This includes not only new prospects but also ones who have bought from you before. New leads are great, but some of the best leads are the people who are already familiar with your products and services. UserGems identifies these individuals and informs you when they’re in the right corporate position to buy from you and when it’s the best time in their company’s purchasing cycle.