Revenue is the lifeblood of any business. As an organization, it’s imperative for you to take proactive steps to engage with both potential and existing customers on a regular basis. Doing so ensures that you have a healthy pipeline to meet your quarterly sales targets. Demand Generation Software can help your business meet this objective.
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What is Demand Generation?
The first thing to keep in mind is that demand generation and lead generation are different from each other. If you have an inbound sales team, then they are in a position to take action on demand generated sales requests. Outbound sales teams engage with the leads generated from lead generation activities.
The goal of lead generation is to collect qualified connections with prospects. Here, the main purpose is to build relationships with and then nurture those prospects. The end objective is to convert the prospect to a paying customer.
The goal of demand generation, on the other hand, is to drive business with minimum interaction with your prospects. Demand generation builds awareness in your products and services. An organization should use demand generation with a long-term perspective.
The objective is to reach new markets, build consumer buzz, generate PR, promote new product features, and engage with your existing customers. You can do all of this by hosting webinars, answering customer questions on social media channels, and running email marketing campaigns.
According to HubSpot, demand generation is more than an early funnel marketing tactic or a branding concept. Demand generation programs can be thought of as different customer touch points all across the conversion optimization as well as the sales cycles.
Some examples of demand generation are:
– A weekly newsletter
– A webinar sponsored by your company
– A meetup event
Demand generation is not an email blast, a banner ad, or cold calls to a directory of prospects.
What is Demand Generation Software?
Demand generation software helps create consumer excitement about your products and services. They offer useful tools to help you plan and execute effective marketing strategies. Marketing teams can use them to build as well as nurture long term customer relationships and leads.
The key features of a robust demand generation software are:
– Integrated data operations:
Helps to distinguish customers depending upon their behavior, and provide useful data meant to automate marketing decisions.
– ROI-centered culture:
Meant to centralize demand-center operations with the objective of achieving brand awareness and a more efficient sales cycle.
– Holistic content strategy:
You can create content aligned to different customer profiles in a generalized way. As a result, the same content can become usable for multiple audiences.
-Lead monitoring best practices:
Such as lead capture, lead scoring, lead routing, lead nurturing, lead distribution, etc.
– Robust tracking suite:
Prospecting, pipeline building, refined targeting, account data, reporting, categorization, segmentation, engagement scoring, email campaigns, real-time tracking, etc.
The key benefits of a robust demand generation software include:
– Streamlined relationships:
With demand generation software, you can give your prospects personalized attention. You get all the information about your prospects in a single system and can tailor your offering to them accordingly.
– Extra “breathing space” for your prospects and customers:
With demand generation software, you don’t need to go for the “hard sell”. As a result, you’ll look helpful, friendly and non-demanding — exactly what the consumer of today wants when he evaluates a product or a service.
– Deliver value and provide customer satisfaction:
Demand generation software allows you to reach them before they reach out. You can offer detailed descriptions, free trials and live support. As a result, engagement levels increase and prospects are more likely to trust you. A sale is much easier in such a scenario.
Different types of Demand Generation Software:
Demand generation is a key part of Marketing Automation. We did a survey of companies who were in the market for marketing automation software with the purpose of identifying their key needs. The results of the survey are applicable to companies looking for Demand Generation Software as well.
There is a wide variety of demand generation software available. You can choose from free tools that offer basic functionality. Alternatively, more expensive software offer more functionality. Some software just collect leads, whereas others are more robust. They allow the marketing team to score the leads, develop strategies, and do custom branding.
Deployment scenario is another aspect to be aware of. There are primarily three types:
Covered with a single license and deployed on the client’s server. These are generally the most expensive type and may require complex installation and setup.
Hosted on the software vendor’s server and are usually paid on a per-month basis. The vendor is responsible for installation, updates, and maintenance.
The majority of these offer free or low-cost plans and are the most economical ones. The client doesn’t need to worry about updates or maintenance.
What should you look at while selecting demand generation software?
The first step in selection of demand generation software is to have a close look at the marketing expertise of vendors in this space. Do they practice what they are preaching? Are they sharing their knowledge regarding demand generation using a wiki, blog or a help-system?
Be sure to check the growth rate, stability, and the number of years the various vendors have been in business before preparing a shortlist of vendors.
The next step is to assess whether your marketing team can operate the software with minimal involvement of your IT department. You should have a procedure in place for your IT department to collaborate with your marketing team during the software selection and implementation stage. Get your IT department as well as marketing team members to play around with a trial version of the software.
Finally, you need to assess whether the software you are evaluating has the features you are looking for. Ensure that you are in the vendor’s target customer segment. If you have a 1-person marketing team, then there is no point in buying a software meant for a marketing team having 20+ people.
It’s 2017 and a “build it and they’ll buy it” approach is not going to work. Having a proper demand generation strategy for the long term is essential for you to grow as a business. Along with this, you should invest in a robust demand generation software to help you implement the strategy and keep track of relevant metrics.
If you are ready to explore more, have a look at our Leaderboard containing details about the best Marketing Automation Software to help you with Demand Generation.