Demand Generation grows up — finally

Dear Reader.
The naive approaches of most B2B sellers of the past are falling by the wayside:

  1. Here’s a phone, dial it — used by a VAR
  2. Quickies — useless one sheet overview of a product (used by a VAR)
  3. Measuring number of calls — used by a business intelligence software firm.

Those short sighted and, in my mind, lazy approaches to lead generation are finally being supplanted by much more strategic and well-thought out strategic plans.

I added two excellent webcasts recently about this very topic.

One was presented by Sirius Decisions and Bulldog Solutions entitled Strategic Marketing Blueprint: Four Steps for Better Lead Generation. The other was by Brian Carroll of Start with a Lead and Marketing Experiments entitled A Five Step Playbook to Optimize Lead Generation. While both were outstanding and I highly recommend them, I believe my readers should get a brief of the former.

Bulldog uses a very systematic approach for optimizing lead generation. Unlike the earlier naive approaches, their strategy helps companies avoid random act of marketing. The goal is to “Win the right battles all of the time.” In their experience, the difference between companies who are very successful in lead generation and those who are not successful is a matter of strategic thinking.

One of the first steps is to understand your prospective customers. Develop personas based on their role in the purchase

Next identify how to deal with them:

  1. What are their pain points? (What keeps them up at night?)
  2. What are their motivators? (What are their personal and business goals?)
  3. What are their validators? (What sources do they use to make a decision?)

In the next step, figure out the conversation formats with each persona.

  • What is the format? — print, phone, email
  • What is the time? — morning, afternoon, day of week, weekend
  • What is the access? — Outlook on desktop, gmail, Blackberry

Goal is to figure out how to cut through the clutter.

Next you get all the decision makers and salespeople in a room and begin brainstorming ideas and topics. When completed, the group votes to place them on a two by two grid which looks at the importance to the customer and the fit with our offerings. Once they are all on the white board, we group them by topic. For instance, hire sales, host webinars and create white papers might all be grouped under Lead Generation.

Once this exercise is complete we can match the items in the top right quadrant to the audience persona’s and begin building and reusing marketing content.

This is a massive topic, so I will hold future discussions for my next post. I hope you find this useful. Good luck and good selling.

For companies looking for best practices in b2b lead generation who wish to improve the way they acquire new customers, Find New Customers is the place to go.  CSO Insights says companies need to improve the way they generate leads and implement processes for business to business lead generation.

Jeff Ogden, the Fearless Competitor, is a demand generation expert and sales leader, as well as the President of Find New Customers, a lead generation company, who helps businesses create lead generation campaigns and continually publishes the best lead generation ideas, so his readers can determine the best lead generation strategy to find new customers.  He can be reached at (516) 284-4930 or

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