Demand gen, lead gen and lead nurturing…how do these 3 work together to provide my sales team with enough leads to hit our number? This post will provide clarity to each term, and a vision for how your organization should be leveraging these marketing disciplines to win more now.
Key- A Formal Demand Generation Program
The purpose of demand generation marketing is to drive awareness and interest and get people excited about your products and services.
The demand generation function in most businesses resides as part of the marketing organization and is primarily a top of the funnel (TOFU) strategic marketing tactic. Sophisticated marketers will use demand generation tactics throughout the sales and customer life cycle to nurture key prospects and customers and maintain relationships.
Demand generation programs tend to be designed for prospects that are aware of a need or problem, and are attempting to solve it. The goal is to make sure the prospects find you when searching for a solution.
Marketers utilize a wide variety of tactics to generate awareness and interest such as webinars, demonstrations, books/ebooks, blogs, podcasts, newsletters or free trials. These content driven marketing assets, allow prospective buyers to discover and understand a company’s solutions.
Demand generation programs can also help companies reach new markets, promote new product features, build buzz, generate PR, and re-engage existing customers and establish your company as a thought leader and source of key information in your industry. Effective demand generation programs keep the top of your sales funnel full.
Key- A Formal Lead Generation Program
The process of creating individual contacts that might lead to a sale. Businesses constantly strive to generate “quality” leads with a high probability of being converted. Research has found that inbound leads are 5-6x more likely to become customers than outbound leads.
The inbound leads may come from a variety of sources such as a company website, referral network, telephone calls or a list purchase. To efficiently handle a large volume of leads, lead generation is often paired with the practice of lead management.
Key- A Formal Lead Nurturing Program
Lead nurturing programs are about maintaining an ongoing conversation with your prospects. It is recommended that while nurturing your leads, you make them experts in solving their own problems. This is where you really wow them with your helpfulness and expertise. We are often asked where social media best fits in the B2B marketing process. Social media (LinkedIn, Twitter etc.) can be a powerful communication channel for maintaining awareness, interest and nurturing leads. In the B2B world, LinkedIn and Twitter can produce the largest share of referrals to your corporate website.
At some point, a lead is qualified and hot enough to pass to the sales team. Effective marketers provide a lead management processes to provide scoring, ranking and routing elements to improve the odds of conversion.
- Lead scoring – Lead scoring helps determine which leads should be passed to sales. It usually involves scoring how qualified and how interested the lead is in becoming a buyer.
- Lead ranking – Based on the scoring results, leads can be ranked on predetermined values and business rules.
- Lead routing –A lead routing process determines which lead should be connected with which salesperson, based on any number of factors such as rep tenure, territory or industry expertise. Often the routing process includes management notification and the tracking of time to follow up.
Summary of terms:
Demand Generation – The function of a marketing department that creates awareness and interest for your product or service. Content Marketing is used a great deal in demand generation. It is the creation and sharing of content for the purpose of promoting a product or service. A piece of marketing content might be a whitepaper, image, blog article, newsletter, ebook etc.
Lead Generation- The process of making/identifying individual contacts that may lead to a sale.
Lead Nurturing – The process of building relationships with qualified prospects with the goal of earning their business when they are ready. Lead Management is the creation and use of an ordered structure for managing volumes of leads.
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