Welcome to week 1 of my top growth measures blog series:

  1. Build an innovative, scalable and low-cost demand generation model – one that is eventually recognized in the industry for delivering 2x performance of its nearest competitor.

In general: to put an integrated growth strategy into place, and to aim for overachieving on given objectives, we need to uncover the status quo first – the weak and the best-run company products/markets – on global and regional level, and across all sales channels (direct, partner, inside, eChannel). We need to look into current KPIs throughout the marketing and sales funnels, and define new key KPIs where needed.

So, a route to success could be:
1. Get insights into the status quo: what is done today and how, what works and what doesn’t?
a. What is the typical customer profile, and how is the pipeline being created?
b. Use very detailed pipeline reports (please find more details below) to identify the high and the low performing products/markets.
c. What events/actions are used to generate demand and business today?
d. Look into current collaterals, like whitepapers and the customer presentation, and check the website (SEM/SEO/SEA) incl. traffic statistics.
e. Where are target/customer communities? (Social and affiliate marketing)
f. Are latest assets and messaging used or old materials?
g. What value prop and design is used?
h. What about returns from self-service/inbound-marketing?
i. Etc.

Replicate, align, and further improve the successful demand generation measures across other regions. Make sure everyone uses the latest, official   messaging and assets, messaging needs to be value driven and compelling instead of feature-heavy lists.
2. Define KPIs and other measures in an open demand generation/go-to-market plan initially once a year, and monitor the execution and success biweekly or monthly, to update the plan when and where required, i.e.:
a. Number of total opportunities per region, incl. detailed insights across direct sales, OEMs, VARs, SIs, eChannel, etc. / what’s the share across different sales channels and where should it be?
b. Ticket sizes segmentation per unit from above for better pipeline guidance:
i. Small, medium, large deals
ii. Industries/segments
iii. Personas/customer target profiles
iv. Partner segmentation

In which segments will we aim for volume, and what are strategic/key segments with special attention and measures?
c. Amount of events/actions per region / later: align on topics globally to avoid all regions create from scratch, which customers to speak?, how many leads to expect?, …
d. Etc.

  1. Understand deal closing rates vs. pipeline to allow quarterly/annual projection of expected revenues and required business development and demand generation needs – ratio of closing from pipeline should be better than 2,5x (= need €250m in pipeline to make €100m revenues)
  2. Identify (new) target regions/market units and nominate local business development/demand generation owners – single points of contact. Assign/cascade KPIs to them to drive success.
  3. Set up a schedule of market communication and define a social media strategy (# of newsletter per quarter, # of twitter messages, # of cold calling-action days, # of onsite and online events, # affiliate activities, etc. incl. required conversion rates).
  4. Check, update and align regularly on global and regional level with biweekly or monthly calls across different stakeholders.
  5. Get input for demand generation activities from several stakeholders, i.e.:
    a. Product owners should define key value statements for the product (like new release, new success story, etc.) per month, which could be used for website, blogging, twittering, events, webinars, press releases, etc.
    b. Global and regional demand gen/business dev teams align on corporate messaging input.
    c. Do regular meetings with analysts and strategic partners to get input and make use of their network for pipeline acceleration.
    d. 1:1 Email templates could be provided on regular basis to all sales teams which they can easily send out to prospects and customers/partners to stay in touch.
    e. Etc.
  6. Involve sales teams and other stakeholders to get new reference customers, testimonial videos, get customers to speak on events, etc.
  7. Drive viral marketing campaigns with engaging content, incl. special offers and promotion; ideal for cloud-based products and the eChannel

10.Reach out to schools/universities and drive (early) awareness initiatives across students for the company’s famous products (provide free-of-charge software and/or knowledge transfer)

11.In general, we need detailed data to allow demand gen and closing rates to be steadily growing (also refer to no. 2 above): we need a detailed regional pipeline report across all regions and all sales channels, with
a. amount of opportunities,
b. average opportunity sizes,
c. amount of opportunities per stage across marketing/sales funnels (5-7 stages from “new” to “booked”)
d. stage and sales cycle duration,
e. win/loss ratios,
f. current revenues,
g. executed events and success (leads, conversion, etc.),
h. top running industries
i. best performing sales reps (drive lessons learned)
j. best performing presales reps (drive lessons learned)
k. etc.

Let us know what you think.


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