- Do not invest in lead generation if there is not an optimized demand management process in place to convert leads to qualified sales opportunities in a timely manner and at a rate that the sales organization can effectively consume.
- Demand Creation, Demand Management and the Sales team have to be focused on the same goal (objectives and compensation) running the same plays, working from the same systems, following THE process, with clear terminology and roles.
Demand Management – The Function
A best-in-class demand management system ensures a healthy and sustained marketing and sales pipeline of qualified sales opportunities. These are opportunities that convert to closed won/deals at a velocity and volume that meets or exceeds sales targets each and every quarter.
The focus for the demand management function should be to convert qualified leads to qualified opportunities that the sales organization can close. Sales resources are among the most expensive resources for any organization so it is critical that the sales team handles high value-added aspects of the sales process such as advancing qualified sales opportunities through the sales pipeline. Other sales related tasks can be offloaded in an intelligent, effective and holistic manner. It is a best practice to engage the sales team with qualified sales opportunities that meet predetermined sales criteria (qualification matrix). That is the goal for the demand management team.
The demand management function is also chartered with lead follow-up. This is when the first live touch occurs between an organization and a prospect. First live touch is a delicate link in the customer acquisition process and is dependent upon a hand-off from demand creation to demand management—usually from a marketing automation system to a sales development rep. And time is off the essence–studies consistently show that leads followed up on in seconds or minutes have exponentially higher conversion rates than leads followed up in days or weeks.
Demand Management – The Challenge
Very few organizations are able to consistently convert leads to qualified opportunities with a high probability to close. A best-in-class demand management function requires an integrated plan that harnesses demand creation, demand management, sales, sales operations, marketing operations, product marketing and sales enablement. Systems, processes, roles, responsibilities and terminology have to be jointly developed, mutually agreed upon and instituted, as they become the regulating mechanisms for flawless execution.
At its core, a best in-class demand management function has to have lead scoring, lead routing, lead nurture, scripts, a clean and continuously updated contact database, account intelligence tools, team training, metrics, dashboards and KPIs. Continuous interaction between the demand creation function and the sales teams is absolutely critical to the function’s success in addition to it to remaining relevant and effective.
Examples of Our Projects Include:
- Providing an assessment of the demand management function
- Standardizing the terminology, roles and responsibilities and processes
- Creating a Target Account Profile
- Creating the Qualification Model
- Establishing the Lead Scoring Model
- Establishing the lead routing and escalation process
- Instituting the 10-Touch Model
- Building Nurture Paths
- Building the demand management timeline
- Documenting the Sales Development Rep prioritization process
- Documenting the meaningful metrics, dashboards and KPIs