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The Relationship Between Demand Generation and Today's B2B Sales Team

The following is an interview with Carlos Hidalgo, CEO of ANNUITAS

1.Tell us a bit about yourself and how ANNUITAS helps their clients?

Our core focus with our clients is helping them transform their demand generation.  When we see according to our survey that less than 20% of B2B marketers in enterprise clients say they are effective with demand generation, this is a clear call that things need to change. We work with our clients to develop strategic demand generation programs that align people, process, content, technology and data to that of their buyers and they way they purchase.

2. With the change in the way B2B buyers buy today, what impact has this had on demand generation approaches?

When you compare this to what organizations were doing 10-15 years ago it has a fundamental impact on what both marketing and sales teams are doing or should be doing. With information at our fingertips, buyers are consuming more content and taking longer to makes purchases.  This means that marketers must know their buyers at a granular level and collect the insights needed to develop relevant content. 

It is not longer sending messages about what vendors want to say, but about creating dialogue and in so doing give the buyer what they want and need to hear.  This puts more burden on the marketing organization to Engage, Nurture and Convert the buyer according to the buyers purchase path and also fundamentally changes the role of sales as they are no longer the key player in the discussion with the buyer(s).

3. What happens when demand generation is disconnected from what salespeople are actually saying in customer conversations?

To be frank when it is disconnected, it does not work.  Demand generation is a marketing and sales activity.  To this end, both groups must come together to generate the right insights into their buyers, make sure they understand the various roles on the buying committee, understand their pain points and challenges, what content they want to consume, etc. 

Demand generation works when marketing and sales know their buyer and tailor the conversation to meet their buyer’s needs.
 

4. How important is it for sales teams to be involved in the demand generation approach for their organizations?

Per the previous answer, it is not just important it is necessary if demand generation is going to be successful.  Sales has a unique perspective on the buyer and this information should be shared.  Marketing teams that try to develop demand generation strategies without sales will find little success.  At the same time, you have to go beyond just sales input and learn from your buyers.  You have to ask them about their buying process, what event(s) pushed them into a purchase process, what problems and challenges were they looking to solve, who was involved in the purchase process and what roles did they play?  All of these are key to getting a full perspective in addition to conducting research into the buyers space to understand industry trends and any other outside factors that could impact a purchase.

5. What does it look like when marketing strategy, demand generation, and sales conversations are fully aligned?

It looks like a great buying experience for the buyer. Executing demand generation the right way allows for sales to continue the dialogue and gives them all of the information they need about the buyer and their journey so they pick-up the dialogue and continue it aligning it to the buyers needs.

It looks like higher close rates for sales teams as they are so informed about the buyer that the conversation is fluid.  It looks like marketing being able to demonstrate contribution to pipeline and revenue and maximizing customer lifetime value.

Carlos Hidalgo, CEO of ANNUITAS

 

Rachel web2017By Rachel Bodayle
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