6 Things to Consider When Building a High-Performing Demand Generation Function in Your SaaS Business
By Tom Frankham. Tom is a Senior Consultant at Zeren, and is a member of our Marketing hiring vertical in the UK.
A successful Demand Generation function is critical to scaling your SaaS business. If done correctly, it will elevate the awareness of your company and products, nurture new opportunities and create more demand.
A Demand Generation function is multi-faceted, and the most successful teams run integrated campaigns that connect with customers at every stage of the customer journey, from initial prospect interest to up-selling existing customers. Demand Generation can encompass Content Marketing, Paid Search, SEO, Social, Email, Events (Physical and Digital), Account-based Marketing, Webinars, Round-tables, Seminars, and PR, to name but a few!
So, what are the most important things to consider when building your Demand Generation function?
- Strong Leadership. It’s crucial that you have a strong leader in place; a Director/ Head of Demand Generation will be responsible for overseeing the whole Demand Generation function, from hiring, managing, and coaching the team through to setting the strategy and overseeing execution. They will be responsible for setting budgets, overseeing spend and reporting to the C-Suite and key stakeholders on ROI, key initiatives, and performance.
- One Person Can’t Do It All. As outlined above, Demand Generation can cover many channels. We’re often asked to find an all-rounder, who is an expert in all channels. The reality is, attempting Demand Generation on the assumption that any single individual or small team can deliver everything, simply isn’t going to work. As you scale, think about how you leverage Freelance or Agency resource for specific channels or tasks, such as Copywriting or Paid Media.
- Content is King. Demand Generation programs require large volumes of high-quality content and assets that include Blogs, Guides, Whitepapers as well as Copy for Web Ads and Social Posts. According to the 2021 Demand Gen Report, 62% of respondents rely more on content to make B2B purchase decisions, compared to a year prior.
- MarTech. Ensuring you have the right MarTech Stack in place, which is optimised for success, is a crucial component of a Demand Generation strategy. An experienced Demand Generation leader will be able to advise as to what stack will suit your business needs best. MarTech platforms will be enable you to centralise Customer Data, automate elements of Campaigns, and enable you to target your customer base with highly-personalised messages, helping to drive more engagement. Examples of popular Marketing Automation platforms include HubSpot, Marketo and Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
- Effective Teams Know What They’re Measured On. The most successful teams know what metrics they need to hit, whether it be traffic, or engagement for funnel conversion metrics, such a Lead Score and Conversation Rates. When interviewing Demand Generalist specialists, they should be able to talk you through how performance was measured in previous roles and what their key KPIs were. Remember, the focus here should be on quality rather than quantity; Sales teams are only interested in high-quality MQLs that have an increased likelihood of converting.
- Sales and Marketing Alignment. The two functions run hand-in-hand, therefore it’s critical both teams are aligned and working towards the same goal and understand one another’s challenges. When Sales and Marketing align, your company optimises Marketing and Sales cycles, resulting in reduced costs and an increase in growth. Sales and Marketing alignment can lead to 32% increase in YoY revenue growth. Involve your Sales stakeholders in recruitment process and vice-versa!
Demand Generation is a revenue generating function, and we’re seeing more clients apportion revenue targets to Marketing, further driving accountability and alignment. Successful Demand Generation programs are highly data-driven and should be predictable, meaning you’ll be able to forecast how much of your revenue will be driven by your Demand Generation function. Taking time to structure and invest appropriately will mean you will be set-up for success, enabling you to achieve your growth ambitions.
If you would like to discuss any of the points raised above, or would like more information on structuring and hiring for your Demand Generation function, please get in touch at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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