Both demand and lead generation play an integral role in inbound sales, and B2B marketers typically use a combination of the two. However, the terms are often confused and used interchangeably. In this article, we are attempting to acknowledge the differences between these sales techniques and how best to use them. The aim is for you to be able to use this knowledge to finetune the efficacy of your sales and marketing strategies. With this in mind, let’s get started.
Demand generation vs. lead generation: Definitions
Demand generation is the process of kindling awareness for your product or service. You create scenarios where your target audience gets to know what your company stands for and what your core offerings are. You interest them enough to visit you, physically or virtually. Marketers use demand generation at the top of the sales funnel.
Lead generation typically follows demand generation. It is the process of cultivating and strengthening a prospect’s interest in your product/service. Your intention is to gently nudge them towards purchasing from you. For prospects to trust your brand, you can customize their journeys. When you do this right, a prospect will eventually choose you to make a purchase, instead of any of the other business entities offering the same or similar products and services. Lead generation comes into play towards the bottom of the sales funnel.
Demand generation vs. lead generation: Commonly-used approaches
When it comes to demand generation, the best way to build and amplify brand awareness is to identify what your target audience is searching for within your industry and to create content accordingly. You can facilitate this through thorough keyword research and SEO-friendly content writing practices.
One of the tactics through which you can generate demand is by guest posting on a popular blog relevant to your industry. Also, collaborating with an industry expert is a great way to leverage the expert’s followers and credibility to strengthen your own. Lastly, one of the simplest ways to generate demand for your product or service is by letting prospects use it for a limited period.
On the other hand, when you’re focusing on lead generation, you are addressing prospects who are deep into the sales funnel. So, you must create content that is more targeted. You can publish detailed, value-driven content such as an eBook, whitepaper, or survey report in a bid to educate and build thought leadership. Additionally, you can hold exclusive live events and send out the recording afterward to maximize reach. Such gestures also go a long way in communicating to prospects just how much they mean to you.
Experts also find that emailing prospects directly is an effective tactic. You can wish them on occasions, send a special offer, or simply update them on your products/services. Here, your goal is to slowly and steadily position your company as the best, most credible solution.
Demand generation vs. lead generation: Content availability
Content is fast becoming the bedrock of sales and marketing. It plays a crucial role in demand and lead generation as well. When you create content, you must ask yourself: What is the purpose—generating awareness or boosting sales? This will not only guide material and tonality, but also help you determine access to the content, or in other words, its availability.
If your goal is demand generation, then you must ensure that your content is freely available. Your target audience should be able to access and share it easily. You will be able to reap the maximum benefits if you do not ask for any personal details in exchange for the content. By taking this step, you are making it clear that your only purpose is to educate. Over time your prospects and peers will trust you and value your opinion. It will bring them to you in case they need any information, and also for business purposes.
On the other hand, if you want to boost sales, make your content gated. By the time you transition from demand generation to lead generation, you have already created enough interest in your brand. You can capitalize on this, and ask prospects to submit contact information in exchange for more details. You can then use this to send them personalized, relevant content that aids in the decision-making process.
In summation, for a perfect sales pitch, implement a combination of both demand and lead generation. Use demand generation to create awareness for your brand and then use lead generation to convert quality leads. At Resolute B2B, we offer both demand generation and lead generation services, providing end-to-end assistance to your business. Contact us today to know how you can benefit when you partner with us.