Recently, I published two articles related to 5 ways buyer behaviors are affecting B2B sales, and 5 ways they are affecting B2B marketing. Without question, changing buyer behaviors are also impacting how we think about Demand Generation or as it has been conventionally called – lead generation. Contrary to hyped notions of sales going away to wither in the desert – lead generation and the new label of demand generation are more important today than ever.
What needs to change you might ask? An easy answer is to say plenty. The complicated answer is to say that the mindset towards demand generation needs to change. The kernel of truth regarding this dichotomy lies somewhere in between the new labeling of demand generation and the more conventional labeling of lead generation. And labels can be a dangerous thing. It is easy to go on doing the same thing and call it something new. It is much harder to call something new and transform as well as adapt.
The promises of demand generation as well as content marketing are to overcome the hype and truly enable businesses to transform and adapt. A critical way to do this – and admittedly easier said than done – is to become buyer-centered as oppose to product-centered. Still, a very hard proposition when corporate infrastructures remain wedded strongly to being organized by product and individual profit and loss performance.
How Can CSO’s and CMO’s Respond?
One way senior executives in marketing and sales can respond is to look beyond traditional lead generation and think in new terms that a new label such as demand generation can offer. Here are 7 key principles CSO’s and CMO’s can begin to think about in terms of demand generation:
Buyer centered: putting the buyer at the center of demand generation process as opposed to a strict product-centered approach serves as a marker for transformational shift
Buyer network: we are moving fast and furious to a networked business society – referring to this term both technologically and socially where independent purchase decisions are a thing of the past
Buyer behavior: to make demand generation effective, efforts need to be aligned with sound understanding of buyer behavior relevant to different segments
Buyer experience: as I have written often about, demand generation must have experiential elements for the buyer and advocate thinking in terms of demand fulfillment
Descriptive buyer segmentation: moving beyond the traditional methods of segmentation to further granular buyer views that are descriptive of actions, goals, perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors
Enabling Marketing and Sales with Target Ready Buyer Models
Boosting sales revenues through demand generation involves going beyond enabling marketing with target market data and sales with contact information. Yes they are the staples of a starting point – like household bread and milk. However, it sufficed when buyers were totally dependent upon sales to get their information. In today’s hyper-competitive marketplaces, businesses will not be able to survive for a long time just on basic bread and milk data alone.
Enabling marketing and sales has a lot to do with readiness. I advocate that organizations today can begin to transform demand generation with descriptive target buyer modeling by making use of insights-based Business Buyergraphics and creating Target Buyer Models. Giving marketing and sales the insight they need on critical buying moments and the language of the buyer. Target buyer models extend far beyond the creation of buyer personas which still hold value; buyer personas are nevertheless proving to be less and less adequate on their own to address the new rules of competitiveness in the B2B landscape.
Target buyer models incorporate the principles mentioned above and allow for teams to be at the ready for different buying scenarios. In addition, at the ready to understand more deeply buyer challenges which are serving as the catalyst to begin searching for a solution. Further, strategists can begin to predict how buyer purchasing behavior may change based upon different demand generation strategies and tactics put into place. Better anticipation and prediction abilities translate into lower risks and wasted dollars – the traditional plagues of lead management.
B2B businesses today can reinvent and give their demand generation efforts a big boost by becoming more buyer-centered and making use of both predictive buyer modeling and descriptive buyer segmentation. Using descriptive target buyer models to give marketing and sales teams the clearest picture yet of exactly who their buyers truly are.Follow @tonyzambito
- Predictive Buyer Modeling Is Changing the Future of B2B (buyerology.com)
- Buyerology: The New Science of Understanding Buyer Behavior (buyerology.com)
- 5 Ways New Buyer Behaviors Are Impacting B2B Sales (buyerology.com)
- Predictive Buyer Modeling Is Changing the Future of B2B (customerthink.com)
- Influence of Buyer Perceived Value (BPV) on Buyer Behavior and Decisions (buyerology.com)