Demand Management Planning

What is Demand Management Planning?

Demand Management is responsible for converting qualified leads into qualified opportunities for the sales force.  There is no reason to have a demand creation function if there is not a coordinated, holistic approach to building demand sufficient to achieve the goals of creating a pipeline multiple that the sales organization demands—that is step one.  Step two, demand management planning, is even more valuable to the organization as those qualified leads that are in the sweet spot and are ready, willing and able to buy in the specified time period are filtered out for the sales organization to concentrate their efforts.

Why Do You Need Demand Management Planning?

The sales organization is an expensive resource and best practice is to allocate the right organization resource to the right task at the right time.  With that said, the sales organization should not be handed a bucket of leads or even qualified leads.  Ideally, qualified opportunities should be handed off to the sales team that are in the forecast with a weight of approximately 20% or better to maximize the value a sales rep has to offer.

How Do You Do Demand Management Planning Well?

Demand Creation and Demand Management must be joined at the hip to be most efficient and effective.  The goal for the organization to is generate revenue.  Granted, qualified opportunities and qualified leads are precursors to revenue but they are of little to no value if there is not tight conversion in the funnel.  Sales and Marketing have to have tight synchronization around sales process, terminology, roles and responsibilities with metrics and regulating mechanisms built into for proactive monitoring and management.

What Can Go Wrong With Demand Management Planning?

The worst thing that happens in organizations is when an organization if not making the number, does not have the required pipeline and finger pointing between Sales and Marketing exists.  Time, effort and dollars will be wasted, morale will hit an all time low, and us vs. them attitude will surface and the sales team will go off and do their own thing.  A solid plan needs to be created and an agile execution process needs to be continuously managed with executive level support from both Sales and Marketing.

What is the Value of Demand Management Planning?

The value of a well executed Demand Management plan is that the organization consistently makes its number, resources are allocated appropriately across tasks, a high level of expertise is focused on each task in the sales funnel and there is a managed, repeatable process that is predictable.

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