Demand Generation 101

Outbound demand generation is dead… at least according to the majority of companies who sell inbound marketing technologies and “Sales 2.0” thought leaders.

This post explores an alternative perspective, that demand generation is THE critical component of your 12-month sales strategy (one which may also include an inbound marketing strategy).

While inbound marketing works towards building a strong online and social media presence, it will not provide sufficient leads to drive your growth strategy. This is the fundamental fallacy of the “Sales 2.0” movement. You may generate warm leads from search engine optimization (SEO), LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter but you will never generate enough for material sustainable, predictable growth.

We have worked with approximately 25 different companies to help turn around their sales organizations and develop their go to market plans. Only one of these 25 companies were dependent on inbound marketing for the majority of their lead generation needs.

Demand generation allows your company to identify qualified leads quickly. If you sell an established product or service, it is likely that your clients are “going to market” for that product or services at least once every five years. That means 1 in 5 cold qualified prospects may have an appetite to learn how your company can solve a problem for them

Most sales people today are “Account Managers” not sales people. It should be no surprise if they have never done active regular cold calling (nor do they want to). Your best bet will be to hire new entry level roles into the firm who exclusively focus on demand generation (they can then pass over warm leads to your closers).

Workshop and document your Value Proposition:

  • What is your core business capability? Clearly articulate what you do. 
  • How does your capability enable to the desired business outcome of your customer? Do you help them: Grow revenue? Reduce cost/expense? Reduce risk? 
  • What is unique and different about your company given their other options in the market?

Structure your Demand Generation call…do NOT Script it

Key components of a demand generation structure: 

  • Introduction/context 
  • What business problem do you solve for THEM?
  • What is unique and different about your solution?
  • What is the intent of this call (your desired outcome/call to action)? Gather information and qualify? Initiate a face-to-face meeting? Invite to a to a webinar? (Formally) introduce your company to theirs which will build familiarity

Do’s of Outbound Demand Generation: 

  • Do block off dedicated time in your day for cold calling. Have a full and complete list of 10-20 calls (so you don’t need to research in between dials)
  • Do set a target for daily dial rates and live conversations each day
  • Do utilize a powerful introduction. i.e. “The reason I am calling is because we want to introduce our company to yours”.
  • Do start with relevant data point(s) about the prospect’s company/industry
  • Do believe you have real value to add to the person on the other end of the phone. If your company does not have a real value to add – find another company to work for.
  • Do smile while calling and standing on your end of the phone. Positive energy and enthusiasm matter and come across over the phone.


Don’ts of Outbound Demand Generation: 

  • Don’t take rejection personally: Some companies will need your service. Some companies won’t. So what? Make the next call.
  • Don’t talk at your Prospect 
  • Don’t multitask while making the call

Key Takeaway: 

If you want to maximize growth, you must initiate a well planned, intentional outbound demand generation program. You cannot rely on inbound marketing.