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Demand Generation Strategy
Demand generation strategy helps business-to-business (B2B) enterprises build interest and awareness in their target audiences. B2B businesses give demand generation meaning through informed consideration of demand generation best practices. These businesses develop B2B demand generation tactics that build sales of their products and services at every point in the sales funnel.
When demand generation strategy works, sales and marketing stay on the same page with every customer and product. Every demand generation tactic they implement will work toward predetermined goals.
The quality of leads will increase. Wasted marketing expenditures will decrease. Sales and marketing teams will consistently hit their targets.
In this article, we will reveal some tried and trusted demand generation strategies that you can use to reach your company's sales and marketing goals.
Demand Generation Strategy Template
To understand demand generation services and set up a viable demand generation framework, we need to answer a basic question:
What is demand generation, anyway?
Demand generation is the deliberate, structured, and planned practice of building interest in a product or service. Demand generation transforms passive audiences, who may be aware of but disinterested in your company's products or services, into qualified leads who recognize their need for your company.
Demand generation is a complex process that spans the full range of sales and marketing activities. Let's look at how it works.
First, your company reviews its customer base, both active customers and leads, and develops detailed customer personas.
Next, your sales and marketing teams develop messaging to reach those "ideal customers" to build interest and excitement about a particular product, or maybe a product category.
The messages your sales and marketing teams develop for reaching your ideal customer are delivered through a variety of top-of-funnel marketing communications. Your company casts a broad net to reach these ideal customers "where they are" with carefully crafted messages and content. All of these messages and content are designed to turn leads into customers and interest into sales.
But before you reach that point, you should collect customer information, usually through online forms. Information about even the most enthusiastic new customers should be collected into a customer relationship management (CRM) system so your managers and sales teams can score leads for intensive outreach.
Through a mix of sales calls, sales visits, and email campaigns, your sales and marketing teams will encourage the most promising leads to start a demo, take a sales call, schedule a consultation, and take other steps toward a purchase.
Once leads become customers, then the tension between demand generation vs growth marketing kicks in. Demand generation is all about getting new customers. Growth marketing includes both acquiring and keeping old customers. But both activities involve similar processes.
Demand Generation vs Lead Generation
You are probably familiar with the term lead generation. So, how does it differ from demand generation? After all, demand generation sounds like lead generation. Aren't they the same thing?
Demand generation and lead generation aren't exactly the same, but they aren't very different, either. B2B marketers tend to focus on lead generation when they assume (sometimes erroneously) that demand is already there.
Lead generation is the process of somebody giving you their information. They are trading their personal information, for instance, their name, company name, phone number, email address, and maybe title, in exchange for information.
Online, you will have a landing page that serves as a gateway for a desired white paper, study, checklist, eBook, product comparison, or other lead magnets that collect the information you will need for future customer relationship management. Your sales team then sends follow-up emails or makes phone calls to the people who sign up on your landing page to nurture a potential customer relationship.
Demand generation isn't all about getting businesses to visit your landing page to collect their contacts. From the viewpoint of outbound demand generation, your demand gen plan template will probably be to direct those same potential customers to your social media page. Maybe you want them to go to your Facebook page or subscribe to your email newsletter.
In our demand generation plan example, demand is higher up on the funnel, and leads are lower down. All lead generation is demand generation, but all demand generation isn't lead generation. What every company has to understand about its demand generation campaign template is that if you have problems getting leads, you will have problems getting demand. But if you have awesome demand generation, you will be getting leads. Lead generation is a byproduct of having demand for what you do.
Sometimes, demand generation is just getting your prospect to your website. That's it. You want them to visit your homepage and watch a video. That's all you want them to do. You just want them to know that you exist. They will need to go further—into your sales funnel—to become leads.
If you are struggling to get leads, you may need to work on awareness first. You may need to get potential customers to realize that there is a problem for which there is a solution, and your company offers that solution.
Customers need to be problem-aware before they become solution-aware. Then, they need to become product-aware to recognize your products as the solution for their business concern. Customers go through a process of being unaware, problem-aware, solution-aware, and product-aware. Finally, they become company-aware of your company as a potential valued partner in their business success.
The best way to work on demand generation is managing content to become positioned as a thought leader. Reach your customer base as a thought leader without expecting leads. As long as you do SEO and PPC to enable them to see your product as the solution for their problem, they will become leads.
More Details About the Demand Generation Process
So, how do you roll up your sleeves and get real people interested in buying your stuff?
It's not enough to expect people who have never heard of your company to "engage with your brand" and call you to become customers. That is the tension of demand generation vs inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is a great strategy once you have established yourself as the market leader with the best solution for a clearly identified, profit-related issue in your industry.
You won't even need a demand generation plan template at that point. But if you haven't become the undisputed leader in your market niche, you should follow these steps to generate demand.
These steps are a lot like a content marketing strategy, except they are more sharply focused.
Identify your audience: Who has the problem for which you have the solution? If you can't answer that question, any demand generation strategy is doomed to fall flat.
If your sales and marketing teams have already developed customer personas, you are ahead in the game. If not, you can develop a survey, run polls on Twitter or Facebook, or talk with your outbound sales team.
Identifying your audience is a lot more complicated than just these simple steps, but they are a place to start.
Create a message that moves: Does that sound like Marketing 101? Once you have created a strongly motivating sales message, you can spin it from the top to the bottom of your sales funnel. But you must create a simple, memorable statement of your unique value proposition that also describes your brand.
You will need to:
- Understand your key customer personas and their pain points
- Understand how your industry relieves those pain points
- And, articulate and persuade your customers that you relieve those pain points better than anyone else
Flesh out your demand gen. strategy with some productive demand gen. tactics. You don't have to do elaborate analysis to figure out demand generation tactics that work. You just have to answer three easy questions:
- What are you doing right now that works?
- What are you doing right now that is missing your targets?
- What can you do differently in the future that might improve your results?
Don't make sudden, drastic changes to your demand generation tactics when things are going reasonably well. Incremental changes are easier to implement and don't raise unwanted scrutiny by your customers. Changing demand generation tactics drastically or frequently may lead your customers to question the quality of your management.
Implementing Demand Generation Strategy B2B
At some point, your demand generation manager will have a curated collection of demand generation examples that can be presented to each generation of salespeople with a demand generation plan PPT presentation.
Have one great idea, one key message. Deliver your unique value proposition over multiple channels. This increases your odds of getting your message in front of the right people. Develop a metric, a KPI, to measure your success, so you will know how much demand you are generating.
Just remember to keep creating top-of-the-funnel content to fuel constant demand generation. Add gated content to drive lead generation. Automate the process of identifying your best leads (typically with an email campaign). Keep in constant contact with your sales team to stay on course toward reaching your goals.
How can you make sure you stay on track with your demand generation strategy? The answer is UserGems. You can integrate UserGems with your existing tools to identify the leads who are most likely to convert to customers and the customers who are ready to buy your products and services.
Drive a bigger pipeline, reduce churn, and increase your win rate with UserGems.