The sales representative’s job has never been tougher than it is today, especially in the B2B world. Target customers are busier than ever … and when they’re not, they have caller ID, spam filters, ad blockers, and others standing guard against promotional messages of any kind. If only we had a tool that could help us break through the walls, and get through to the right people, with the right message, at the right time…
Ah, but we do, and it’s called demand generation, (also known as lead generation). A solid demand gen strategy can keep your funnel filled with quality leads, who are already in the right mindset for you to engage in conversation. The result? A more efficient sales process, better alignment between marketing and sales … and a happier team.
It’s All About the Intel
One of the biggest challenges in the sales process is finding out what you don’t know about the target — what their challenges are, where they are in the decision process, and whether they fit your profile of an ideal prospect. Demand generation enables your sales team to work with warm leads instead of cold ones, filling in the blanks with insights to help you determine whom to call and when.
Automate for Better Quality
By adding marketing automation to your lead-generation activities, you will nurture new leads automatically, creating a steady stream of communications which keeps your brand at the forefront of their minds, and provides numerous opportunities to interact with you. For example, you may attract a lead through a landing page offering a download of your latest white paper, then feed him or her into an autoresponder series that offers supplemental information on the same subject. Their responses to these communications leave important clues that help your sales team identify the top leads for engagement.
Marketing automation — especially when it’s coupled with intent monitoring — offers numerous benefits in helping take your sales process to the next level, including the ability to:
● Track and measure your targets’ activities;
● Identify when leads meet specific buying conditions; and,
● Filter out leads that are not genuinely interested in your solution.
Remember, when we’re talking about leads, we’re not just talking about quantity. Many brands can brag about the huge volume of leads their last campaign generated, but have very little to show for them when the rest of the KPIs roll in. Demand generation and marketing automation enable you to focus on the quality of leads — each lead’s likelihood to make a purchase or become a client — and use that quality measure to determine which leads are worth following up on.
5 Ways Demand Gen and Marketing Automation Benefit the Sales Process
Lead generation and marketing automation are helping brands break through the walls and spend their time and effort on the leads who are most likely to become qualified prospects. Here are just a few of the benefits that keep sales and marketing teams coming back to the demand gen/marketing automation combination:
The 3 Pillars of Demand Gen
Remember, demand generation is a complex process that requires the coordination of several moving parts, but it’s an investment that pays off — the gift (to yourself) that keeps on giving. As you plan your demand generation program, make sure that you cover the three key bases:
Demand Gen + Marketing Automation = BFFs
To paraphrase a famous commercial, demand generation and marketing automation are two great tools that work great together. Your sales team can forget about cold calling and cold emailing as they embrace the benefits of these two complementary strategies: better-quality leads, better target intelligence, and ultimately, a more efficient sales process. And your sales and marketing teams can collaborate seamlessly in attracting new leads, converting them, evaluating them, and feeding them into your sales engagement funnel. On many different levels, this truly is a match made in heaven.