As the clock ticks towards the New Year, countless holiday and year-end demand generation campaigns wind down. Maybe last year went well and you converted lots of prospects to clients. Or maybe it didn’t go that well and management is asking you where their marketing dollars are going.
Either way, effective demand generation is critical, not only for marketing, but for sales and the general health of the organization.
So why not make a few new year’s resolutions about it? If you keep even a few of these resolutions for the coming year, you should see a major difference.
Resolve to Remember Demand Gen and Lead Gen Are Different
Demand generation is focused around making a long-term relationship with potential buyers. You are creating demand for your brand and product using tactics like personalized emails and valuable ebooks.
Lead generation is less involved, basically trying to push a lead towards the sale as quickly as possible. While it might take longer, those who are sent through the funnel on the demand generation track are much more sales ready by the time they reach the end due to the nurture they get throughout.
Lead generation is often just collecting anyone who fits that company’s definition of lead and pushing them through the pipeline. This often can lead to unqualified leads reaching sales teams simply because they are “leads.” Don’t make that mistake.
Resolve to Use Lead Scoring
Lead scoring is basically assigning a score to a lead’s attributes and behaviors, helping marketers to determine the stage of the funnel where each lead falls.
Actions like opening an email or downloading a white paper would add points to a lead’s score. When they get enough points, or complete a specific action (like attending a webinar), they move to a later stage of the funnel.
This lets you tailor your content to your leads, making it so they don’t get top-of-funnel content at the end of the funnel.
Resolve to Agree on the Definition of “Sales Ready”
Sales and marketing need to sit down together and define “sales ready.” Literally, sit down and have a meeting about it.
It is critical that this definition is the same for both departments to avoid misunderstandings as leads are passed over. Maybe this definition consists of a series of actions – like clicking through on five emails, downloading two white papers, and attending a webinar. Figure out what actions your previous customers took while buying and use that to determine if they’re warm enough for Sales.
Resolve to Be Open With Sales
On that same note, resolve to be open with your sales team. Communicate with them constantly. In addition to deciding when leads are sales-ready, develop mechanisms for your sales team to throw leads back.
No matter how hot a lead might seem by their behaviors, there will always be a few that turn cold when the sales team engages them. They may just end up not having a need that your product can solve, or don’t have the budget/authority to make the purchase.
Good communication between marketing and sales will ensure that these leads do not get lost and instead are put back in nurture.
Resolve to Utilize Marketing Automation
If you haven’t yet integrated some sort of marketing automation into your demand generation process, it’s time to start.
Things like lead scoring are taken care of and you can even set it up so that when a lead reaches a certain level, sales will get an alert that the lead is sales-ready. This takes any guesswork from your lead generation process.
These demand generation resolutions will make your efforts much more successful, if only you stick with them. Don’t treat these like “go to the gym” New Year’s resolutions. Take action and make each of these happen. Only then will they make a difference in your marketing efforts.
- What marketing resolutions are you making this year?
- Will you use any of the above resolutions?
- How will these resolutions effect your Marketing and Sales departments?
Let us know in the comments section.