It used to be that the Sales Team was directly responsible for acquiring new customers, creating a retention strategy for them, and ensuring that adequate opportunities were created to up-sell or cross-sell at these customer sites. It was also the Sales Team that was directly responsible for the generation of Revenue. In the newly evolving competitive scenario, Senior Executives of organizations are mounting more and more pressure on Marketing teams to link their marketing efforts to Revenue directly. It is this newly evolved scenario that has led to the term, “Demand Generation.”
As the term suggests, Demand Generation is a process of generating demand for your products or services through a series of focused targeted marketing programs, which should ultimately lead to new revenue. In the newly evolved scenario, generating demand is a collaborative effort of the Marketing and Sales Team, who work together on leads/pipeline management through the entire sales cycle encompassing everything from the Suspect stage to Customer Retention stage.
Demand Generation is not just about enabling the Marketing team to contribute towards the generation of Revenue. It also allows them to have a hands-on approach to understanding which of their marketing programs are working and which are not meeting the expectations. This allows them to continually moderate, iterate, improve, and change based on market needs.
When this concept first came in vogue, Marketing Teams engaged in accomplishing this task manually by tracking leads from the suspect stage to the revenue generation stage. At that time, technology was not in place to track, filter, and prioritize leads, and hence, the analysis would be done on batches of leads. In managing enormous volumes of leads in bulk rather than individually, much time and energy are wasted on unqualified leads. Hence, the need arose to automate the process with some business intelligence built into it to manage leads effectively and help them convert into customers by personalizing the whole customer experience. This led to the birth of Demand Generation Software.
What is Demand Generation Software?
Demand Generation Software is the new-age marketing process that aids marketing professionals in promoting new products, creating awareness and demand for products and solutions on offer, and expanding to new markets. This is a multi-faceted tool that helps in engaging and in the follow-up process with a lead, right from when the lead may be classified as a ‘prospect’ until she is converted into a Customer.
Demand Generation Software helps amalgamate the Marketing Process and the Sales Process seamlessly from the lead generation stage through to customer retention processes using the following broad steps.
- Campaign management is done to attract customers
Interaction with leads begins as part of customer engagement management
- Proper communication management ensures that communication and content most relevant to the customer are sent and/or published
- Tracking and monitoring the results of this communication in terms of customer response leads to opportunity identification
- The Sales Team steps in for opportunity closure and conversion to sale
Loyalty management processes kick in to help in retaining the customer
In the B2B space, Demand Generation Software identifies organizations that visit a company website without the need to ask them to fill any forms. They can screen out individuals and bots to arrive at organizing relevant leads. They can provide a complete trail of how an organization spent time on a website, details of the organization when they last visited the website, how much time they spent, which relevant sections were accessed, and what was the path they took to reach the website. Once the process of lead capture is done, marketers nurture these leads with relevant information to create opportunities, and it is at this stage that the qualified leads are handed over to the sales team for closure.
All lead generation is demand generation. You can not generate a lead without demand.
Social Media is the modern-day Billboard, which plays a key role in brand building. Surveys suggest that 69% of adults and 88% of companies are on social media, which makes a strong case to search for leads on social media. Surveys show that - “71% of commercial buyers begin their research with Google search. 95% of consumers read online business reviews, and 85% trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation”. Social Media Management plays a key role in the Demand Generation. It provides insight into customer behavior patterns based on their preference of social network, content access, pain areas, purchase behavior, and feedback mechanism. Social media analytics helps run robust campaign management based on customer interest patterns. The advantage of social media management is that all the information related to the customer is available almost on a real-time basis – right from the path by which the customer(s) reached and accessed the information, the amount of time spent, through to the next logical move. Insight into this behavioral pattern can lead to the creation of appropriate advertisements and content management in such a manner that only relevant information is fed to keep the interest alive. The important part of social media strategy is to build trustworthy relationships with your audience where they don’t just look at you as a seller but also as an advisor to resolve their pain points.