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What are some of the best ways to begin becoming a more influential Demand Generation Manager?

Jessica Gilmartin
Jessica Gilmartin
Calendly Chief Marketing OfficerAugust 18

The most important thing around influence is clearly identifying and communicating how your work is contributing to sales success and ultimately having a positive impact on the business. Early on in my career, I learned that the most effective marketers are deeply committed to designing their goals around metrics sales teams actually care about. This essential insight is what inspired me to shift away from measuring leads to measuring marketing-generated pipeline. 

Changing metrics may be daunting at first but it’s ok to be uncomfortable. In my experience, it’s the best way to move away from a dynamic where marketing and sales blame other teams for standing in the way of their success. If you see this dynamic bubble up, consider it an invitation to reframe your work in the context of finding shared metrics that ladder up to a larger company goal. By measuring your success with metrics both stakeholders actually care about, you’re laying the foundation for a trusted partnership that has the potential to drive tremendous growth for your business.

When you have that trusted partnership, the sales team should feel really excited about your roadmap and be asking how they can get more support because they find your work so valuable to them. This is a great opportunity for you to jointly present for additional resources - having sales and marketing both make the same budget or headcount request is much more powerful than marketing doing it alone.

3347 Views
Tamara Niesen
Tamara Niesen
WooCommerce CMODecember 5

The [long] answer to this is part art, part science. Whether you are in a product led growth role, or creating demand for a sales led go to market organization, knowing your customer (KYC), developing compelling narratives and messaging, and leading with data are essential. But HOW you lead with these is equally important. It’s easier to do the KYC and data piece, the HOW is an art that takes time and credibility.

General rule of thumb is to build trust through genuine curiosity and understanding your first teams, multifectas, or stakeholder’s world. To share an example, let’s say you are responsible for campaigns and you work with sales:

  • You should develop a solid understanding of the sales team’s territory, segment of customers, buying groups/decision makers, verticals, where they win, lose and how demand gen can help.
  • You can listen to sales recorded calls, talk to prospects, share insights and demonstrate that you are invested in their business and goals.
  • When proposing new ideas, like a campaign, seek feedback from them, give the team an opportunity to influence and have a stake in your work.
  • When you launch a new campaign, enable the sales with the assets/tools, create excitement and where possible, bring in advocates to voice their support.
  • During the campaign, provide progress updates and encourage feedback.
  • Once the campaign is complete, host a retro and be transparent in wins, fails, key learnings, and next steps.

KYC is key to influencing internal and external stakeholders- whether it's a proposal for budget, headcount, programming, experiments, etc. In this context. knowing your customer can include:

  • Target audience, ideal customer profile, buyer group personas, pain points, industry/vertical, customer buying journey, respective total addressable markets (TAM) and total Sellable Addressable Market (SAM), user pain points, user profiles, product personas.
  • Compelling value props: product and platform positioning and what messaging should be in the context of the market you are targeting (ie. is it a buying group, or a user?).
  • Where does your target audience consume content or conduct research?
  • Existing funnel and understanding of where there are opportunities to increase volume, conversion rates, velocity, efficiency.
  • Having a solid understanding of why you win, why you lose, what is resonating with prospects in the sales cycle.

When you present your ideas, or you are problem solving with your stakeholders, or perhaps you are new to an organization and are establishing trust with sales and or product teams, lead with data:

  • What trends are you seeing in the market, with prospects, customers, product.
  • What is the opportunity size.
  • What investments are required.
  • How will you measure success, what are you benchmarking targets or goals against.
  • How will you track performance.
  • What channels will perform based on your target audience and where they are at in the customer journey, what historical data can you share to validate.
  • If running an experiment, what are the control variables.
  • What insights can you share to validate your idea or proposal.
710 Views
Kathy O'Donnell
Kathy O'Donnell
Gong EMEA Marketing DirectorDecember 20

Honing your craft and being able to share insights and recommendations (based on data) is a great start. Managers often don't have time to get into the weeds, but if they get insights they don't know or recommendations on how to do something differently, this is a good first step in becoming influential. Being concise in your delivery is also important. If you're putting together a written proposal, it's always recommended to start with a brief summary of the expected outcomes/key findings at the start.

More generally, the more you understand the business, the better. For example, if you're aiming to be more influential with sales, understanding their challenges, having shared KPIs, talking their language and really knowing the customer will help you gain respect and become more influential. 

Finally, being a good person to work with naturally drives this. Being a good listener, giving others a voice, taking ownership, avoiding blame, and keeping everyone focussed on what matters.

1441 Views
Erika Barbosa
Erika Barbosa
Counterpart Marketing LeadJanuary 9

Some of the best ways to become a more influential demand generation manager consists of what is often referred to as “soft and hard skills”. I’m doing an AMA on this topic, but I’ve compiled a list of the key areas I believe you should focus on.

  • Data-informed. Have a deep understanding of the metrics that matter. Be sure to tie your campaigns back to the desired outcomes.
  • Subject matter expertise. There is breadth and depth to demand gen. Develop a solid foundation for where you either specialize or have breadth across the areas you focus on.
  • Validation. As humans we want to be heard. This applies to either managing a team or working with a colleague. Be sure to offer acknowledgement with your peers.
  • Storytelling. As a marketer, you have to be able to tell the story. Hone this skill and you’ll find you are much more influential.
  • Elevate others. The byproduct of elevating others and operating from a place of empathy is that you may become more influential as a demand generation manager.
  • Empathy. It’s important to be a good human. Come from a place of empathy and be someone that others want on their team.
284 Views
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