Two Things That Destroy Strategy
There are a multitude of things that can destroy a Demand Generation Strategy, but the two biggest culprits are having a short-term vision and lacking alignment with sales. Here’s why you need to avoid them at all costs.
Building a perpetual demand generation program almost always involves quite a bit of change management within an organization, not to mention the building of new content and most likely, some data cleansing and new technology integration. To do these things right, it takes time. Companies who think they can slash content needs or Band-Aid old or inferior technology in order to launch a program faster are dead wrong.
Sure, you can do those things. But you certainly won’t get the results you’re hoping for. Limiting the development of new content is the go-to solution for companies looking to cut timelines down. And it’s easy to understand why, as content development is both time-consuming and costly especially if done on a global scale with translation needs. However, your content strategy should be created to align to each step of the buying process for your targeted buyer personas. Odds are you have more than one buyer persona and each one has unique needs. Thus, you need content that will specifically appeal to each persona. You also need content that will Engage, Nurture and Convert your buyers along the path to purchase. This cannot be accomplished without a significant investment in fresh, compelling content. Always remember that in order to fulfill your strategy, it’s better to do things right than to do them right now.
Lack of Alignment with Sales
Even the best marketing strategy in the world will fail if sales isn’t part of the broader team who develops and executes upon it. Imagine spending months getting your marketing automation platform integrated with your CRM system, new third-party content created, and lead scoring models built. Then, imagine launching your program and generating 100 qualified leads in the first month only to have them sit idle without sales follow-up leading to poor conversion rates. Perhaps the leads sit idle because the sales organization doesn’t know the new process you want them to follow? Or worse, they have traditionally discounted the value of marketing leads and haven’t been educated on the new, improved program that marketing has created. In either case, despite a well-honed strategy, the program would be an epic failure.
Getting sales leadership on board with the strategy from the beginning will ensure quite simply that what marketing is building meets the needs of sales. When building the lead qualification strategy, sales should be the key driver. After all, they know better than anyone else what constitutes a “qualified lead”. Leaving them out of the discussion will always guarantee low conversion rates and ultimately, program failure. Remember, if your new program has a more sophisticated qualification process than the current one, the quantity of qualified leads being passed to sales will actually decrease. Having that conversation with sales early in the process is crucial for the “quality over quantity” message to resonate and begin to sink in.
For all of these items and more, not gaining sales input and approval will most surely prove to be detrimental to marketing’s efforts and leads to failure in strategy in the long run.