As far as tools go, funnels are straightforward. Whatever goes in falls through the bottom. When it comes to motor oil, that’s a good thing, but today’s B2B SaaS world needs a better funnel.
There’s a reason it’s called a funnel and not a slide. The B2B SaaS sales cycle is longer than B2C. It takes time to qualify leads that enter through TOFU (Top-of-Funnel) content. When leads slide quickly through SaaS funnels, businesses waste valuable time qualifying under-prepared prospects.
As a result, it’s difficult to determine pipeline coverage and progress toward goals. Demand generation automates significant work, making sales teams more efficient while giving a clear picture of pipeline value.
Demand generation, at its core, acts as a series of tunnels and filters. By nurturing leads and guiding buyers through their journey, it delivers refined, qualified SQLs to your team.
Is Demand Generation for You?
The beauty of demand generation is that it’s effective for both small and large companies. Larger businesses build these processes into their existing sales and marketing team. Those with smaller infrastructures can create and manage them externally.
Consider the following stats from this HubSpot survey:
- Three-quarters of companies not exceeding revenue goals didn’t use metrics for traffic, leads, marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) and opportunities.
- Marketing leads that didn’t convert to sales account for 79 percent of all leads. Insufficient nurturing is a common cause.
- Businesses attracting 10,000 or fewer monthly website visitors account for 80 percent of those not reaching their goal.
With stiff competition in the B2B SaaS market, success often comes to companies that find better leads. Demand generation automates the lead-generation process, saving time and enabling teams to focus on high-quality opportunities and analytics.
How Does Demand Generation Work?
Demand generation works best combined with a sales enablement approach, aligning marketing and sales. Marketing becomes accountable for providing sales operations with a specific number of MQLs. In some cases, marketing even shares in revenue responsibility.
It accomplishes this by generating and nurturing leads. Popular demand generation programs include:
- Account-based marketing (ABM)
- Broad reach inbound content marketing
- Automation of nurturing and lead scoring
- Database segmentation
- Buyer persona development
- Diverse content programs
- Content and prospect mapping
- Multichannel marketing
- Free trials and demos
- Social media and search engine pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns
What Is the Focus of Demand Generation?
Demand generation uses multichannel programs to attract fresh leads. From there, it tracks engagement, determining the best course for nurturing individual prospects.
How Are Goals Determined?
By starting with revenue goals and historical performance data, demand generation calculates the number of leads and MQLs needed to reach your organizations revenue goals.
How Does Demand Generation Target Leads?
By using database segmentation, analytics and customized content marketing strategies, demand generation guides the prospect through a logical process and analyzes each engagement to determine the next step.
What Is Database Segmentation?
Implementing sortable prospect databases that collect data through actual prospect interaction allows you to personalize each lead’s experience. Once segmented, you can target prospects by factors like:
- Geographic location
- Business size
- Personas (executives, influencers, users)
- Product interest
Segments are customized and can be as granular as you’d like. The more granular your segments, the more effective your targeted content.
What Is Targeted Content?
Targeted content provides valuable information designed to elicit engagement and gather data.
In the early stages, use blog posts, videos and webinars to create brand awareness and attract leads. Typically, this material doesn’t require users to provide information.
While engaging leads with early-stage content, make useful resources available such as templates, case studies and white papers. This content should be compelling enough that leads provide information for access. At this point, the nurturing program begins.
Information and content interaction determines which database segment a lead enters. Each segment has a schedule of content that’s likely to be of value. Some interactions trigger a move to another segment.
How Is Demand Generation Impact Tracked?
Like any strong program, analytics play a crucial role in your demand generation progress. Demand generation is a comprehensive process that takes time to ramp up.
Sales and marketing teams should jointly determine key performance indicators. Track early performance metrics first; it takes time before nurtured leads convert to SQLs.
Important demand generation metrics include:
- Cost per program
- New names
- Cost per target
- Call connects
- Number of MQLs
- First-touch ratios
- Multi-touch ratios
- Number of opportunities
With metrics, determining the impact of your program and its components allows you to adjust strategies and improve performance.
Demand generation is a potent way to gain an advantage in the competitive SaaS market. Its inherent nurturing is ideally suited to longer B2B sales cycles, and its automation of time-consuming processes promotes more productive sales teams.
For information about how demand generation can help scale your business, contact flux+flow today.