B2B Demand Generation is Evolving – Are You?

Marketing, Sales | 4 minutes to read

04th Sep, 2019

In this dynamic era, you would definitely not expect the rock-star sales strategies, amazing result-reaping demand gen tactics, a high-velocity lead gen funnel which were acting as your cash cows two years back, to keep on delivering the same way even now.

Nearly 50% of U.K. & Ireland marketers do not believe their organisation’s marketing strategy is effective, compared to just 29% in the U.S.

Why You May Be Failing?
If you’re reading this, chances are that you are looking to stay away from that 50% mark.

Despite your handsome budget allocation, a great team (in-house or outsourced) and deep market experience, your lead generation figures may not be meeting your expectation.

The B2B audience has evolved. The get-go generation of buyer has perished and a more self-navigating, social-media savvy, tech-backed league of buyers has emerged. This generation doesn’t want to place their dollar bill on somebody else’s word, but on their own conclusions.

While 61% of global marketers say generating traffic and leads is their top challenge, the same echoes with 64% U.K. & Ireland marketers also along with 40% stating that proving marketing’s ROI is the 2nd most important task.

Let’s look at couple of these developments:

  • Digital body language has become as much critical (or even more, at times) as used to be the conduct in face-to-face meetings.
  • Automation and ease of availability of technology tools have an immense role to play in this transformation.
  • Tools like buyer-persona mind map or inbound marketing ROI calculator etc. are readily available, at times, even free of cost.
  • Let’s also not ignore the shift brought in by GDPR.

Mix-and-match mistake!
Treating demand generation same as lead generation has costed more business to companies than mismanagement of sales-qualified leads. Lead generation may fall under the larger ambit of demand generation, but both these are not the same things.

It’s like the chicken and egg theory. Demand needs to exist for leads to emerge and any existing demand will eventually die-down if it does not generate lead. Hence, it’s an inter-dependent sustainability equation for both.

The tools they use for their individual purposes, i.e. getting the prospects interested in your products/ services (thus, generating demand) and getting their contact information with the help of targeted campaigns (thus, creating leads), are quite similar. This may be the reason why so many industry veterans also often use these two terms interchangeably.

However, the cost of treating demand generation same as lead generation is disturbingly high. You lose many relevant leads and at times, end up paying so much more than you should, for the leads.

35% percent of the average EMEA marketing budget is allocated to demand generation programs

Luckily, There’s Still Time

70% sales leaders in EMEA intend to keep the rate-increase of deal closure as their top-most priority while 47% says that they’ll focus on improving the efficiency of sales funnel.

Realising the problem is half of the solution.

Firstly, treating demand generation as demand generation and not letting its synonymity with lead generation impact your strategies, is going to be the foundation of a fail-proof way to get more high-propensity potential leads.

Secondly, instead of siloed approach, a fluid and multi-channel methodology is what is going to work. Closing high-ticket deals start with closing high-ticket influencer which takes a highly sophisticated, personalised and segmented approach.

As per Gartner, B2B companies that used personalization in digital commerce realized up to 15% increase in revenues last year. Another research reported that marketing led by persona-driven content can increase the volume of Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) by 45%.

The A.R.T that Rules the Science of Demand Gen Now
Automation – Not falling for the hype but getting the right solutions based on your exact current positioning and your precise requirement

Relevancy – Message segmentation based on context and intent data.

Timing – Completing the circle of creating genuine interests by timing the messaging right in-line with the context, propagation channel and buyer profile.

91% of the most successful B2B marketers rate their Marketing Automation Platform as “very important” to the overall success of their initiatives.

Bottom Line
A recent survey revealed that 50% of the leads in any sales funnel are nowhere near being ready to buy!

Being a sitting duck on the current situation and getting stuck to the erstwhile strategies is riskier than anything else out there now. In the blink of an eye, the buyer-behaviour, communication tactics, influencer propaganda and funnel-anatomy will move further by light years.

With digital transformation and cloud steering the reigns, B2B Demand gen scene is more competitive than ever. It is no more just about an ‘attempt’ to generate demand, rather, the scope has now increased exponentially.

Beginning with kick starting the sales funnel with the apt database to building a robust sales pipeline and finally sealing the deal with closure-specialists – that’s the complete picture of demand generation today.

Stay tuned for our next blog in this series where we talk about dealing with this common issue of getting a large volume of poor-quality leads (and how to turn the table).

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