As businesses grow and teams expand, tunnel vision sets in and creates random acts of execution, driven by organizational demands. One-off technology is purchased, data is hoarded in silos, and processes lack the inclusion of outside groups. A strategic framework provides direction and focus, committing teams and individuals to agreed upon outcomes. These boundaries are good, as they establish expectations, coordination, and timing alignment.
Most organizational processes are defined around their objectives and not the business’ strategic imperatives. Organizational leaders seem to struggle translating requirements into cross-functional alignment. Most of the time, competing organizational objectives are to blame. The demand process suffers when functional marketing teams fail to align. It suffers even more when the marketing organization fails to align processes with the sales organization. The good news is, alignment can be achieved with the right demand process blueprint, which always includes “process” as a focal point.
Technology is one of those things that can get in the way of growth more than support it. Vendors position technology as “the silver bullet” to address a problem that is usually systemic of a flawed process. Technology is acquired at an organizational level, without much concerns on how doing so may add friction to cross-functional processes and even fortify the flaw. Enforcing technology acquisition at a demand process level ensures compatibility across organizations.
Data, in our experience, can be the most difficult element to maintain in a demand generation program. Since data is difficult to manage and maintain, it is often neglected or managed with broad strokes rather than with detailed, pragmatic governance. Data silos are mostly to blame, putting responsibility of maintenance and governance on un/under qualified individuals. Do not underestimate the importance of data in executing demand.
Modern buyers have completely transformed the buying landscape. B2B buyers were once forced into early sales cycles as part of their process to evaluating solutions. The only way for them to create their short lists for consideration was to sacrifice themselves to a telephone call with a salesman. With modern consumerization, B2B buyers now enjoy the luxury of building short lists from low-pressure, online research – only to engage with a sales when moving into an evaluation phase. Content must be readily available to support buyers as they progress toward decision.