Demand generation may not directly role up into your sales organization, yet it’s a key part of the overall sales strategy responsible for driving marketing qualified leads. As a sales leader responsible for overall revenue generation, it’s important for me to know what effort, targeting, and consistency is planned and being executed. Here are five questions you should ask to make sure you’re getting the most out of your demand generation team.
1) How do you know the right message is going to the right audience?
I ask my teams to be consultative and a value-add to our clients and prospects in every interaction. I expect them to share and review a persona or role messaging document with me on a periodic basis as well. This is important because I want to make sure our demand generation messages have the same level of targeting and relevancy as our sales conversations. I wouldn’t want my sales reps to blindly blast prospects with messages that may not be relevant and I expect marketing would follow the same guidelines.
2) Where did the names in your database originate?
It’s important to understand how you build your database and what percentage is opt-in. This helps set expectations around first calls and gives reps the background to make the most relevant calls. Understanding how a suspect first interacted with your company will allow for better deal qualification. It’s always good to avoid awkward situations where a rep asks how they heard about your company, when the suspect was purchased from a list and just responded to a cold email.
3) Are you running campaigns focused on existing opportunities and customers?
You should ask, how is marketing trying to help sales? It’s possible that demand gen is just focused on filling the top of the funnel with net-new opportunities. But, are they the right prospects? With account based marketing you could be helping sales push opportunities over the finish line or even target current customers for upsell or churn mitigation. If you’re doing more than just filling the funnel, you should be sharing those insights and making sure the teams are organized to promptly follow up on the marketing programs.
4) How often are you updating my inside sales and sales development teams on your programs?
If you have a regular set of events and on-going demand gen programs, it’s critical that the follow up teams have regular updates on the calendar. The VP Sales may have them on target accounts, call blitzes, regional meetings, and customer meetings. Demand gen teams can help balance the call volume by giving clear updates on when campaigns will be hitting and what messages & assets can be best used in following up.
5) Which questions should you care about most?
Not all Sales VPs are as well versed in demand generation as they should be. If you can help them understand your success through the KPI’s or metrics you track, it will give them insights into how you manage your piece of the business. Since most VPs are overly focused on the end of the funnel or revenue, you need to provide specific metrics that show conversion of MQL to pipeline (sourced) or pipeline “touches”. Keeping your marketing message, differentiation, and intellectual property front and center with your prospects and customers is key to closing and keeping customers. If you’re able to have a discussion about what’s converting to pipeline and touching accounts, it will be far easier to talk with the VP sales about which marketing programs are driving the most revenue.