Demand Generation Process – Science not Art

There is an ocean of things we can cover in a discussion around demand generation. What I refer to here is the internal process within an organization to manage the flow of inbound marketing leads into an internal database, and the workflow that leads goes through before they makes it into the Sales CRM workflow.

First let’s state the obvious: you don’t run your demand generation process well. The faster you accept that reality, the sooner you will begin to do something about it. 

A robust demand generation process must have the following basic foundations:

  • Segmentation: start the design of your process by defining the one or two segments that you’re focused on. Segments can be customer profile based, industry based, geography based or use case-based. Pick one segment to target at a time. And dive DEEP into it.
  • Persona Development: create highly specific personas within each of your targeted segments. A minimum set of personas would be the Influencer, Buyer, User, and Decision Maker. For each persona, develop a detailed profile, including a made up name, picture, and a detailed assessment of that persona’s work day/week and pain points. Check out Alan Cooper’s The Inmates are Running the Asylum.
  • Message to the Persona: create targeted messaging to each persona, by segment. Targeted messaging goes directly after the persona’s pain points.
  • Segment your lead database: make sure that your lead database is constantly being refreshed to reflect the persona and segment of each contact. This ensures that all your touches to each contact are highly targeted around the persona pain points and messaging.
  • Multi-touch campaigns: create multi-touch workflow of campaigns to the lead database and leverage different messaging as a lead engages with previous campaigns.
  • Score your leads: start with a simple scoring system then use regression analytics to create more complex scoring. The simplest score profile can be created by asking the sales team: “what is the profile of a lead that would get you excited about calling it.” The key to any lead scoring system: Sales MUST understand it, agree to it and buy in on it.
  • Qualify, qualify, qualify: don’t send leads to Sales until they have been properly scored and qualified. Depending on your volume of leads, sales cycle time and deal size, consider implementing a tele-based lead qualification process prior to engaging Sales.
  • Automate the Process: invest in a marketing automation tool. But only AFTER you have designed and validated your process. Which in turn drives the need to provide significant technical and operational support to the process.
  • Leverage expertise: there is an emerging set of service providers that are specializing in demand generation consulting. Check out Bulldog Solutions and Left Brain Marketing.

Much of this needs to go hand in hand with your content marketing strategy. And an inordinate amount of database analytics to continuously refine and improve the conversion rates from inbound marketing to revenue.

Firas Raouf
Firas Raouf
The Chief Executive Officer

Firas was previously a venture capitalist at Openview. He has returned to his operational roots and now works as The Chief Executive Officer of Everteam and is also the Founder of nsquared advisory. Previously, he helped launch a VC fund, start and grow a successful software company and also served time as an obscenely expensive consultant, where he helped multi-billion-dollar companies get their operations back on track.
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