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How to Evaluate Your Next B2B Demand Generation Agency

By Eric Dudley

With more than half of B2B marketing leaders viewing demand generation as their biggest challenge, it is critical they select the right agency partner. Selecting a B2B demand generation agency that understands your buyer’s journey, growth goals, and unique industry challenges is essential.

Key Considerations When Evaluating B2B Demand Generation Agency Partners

Does the Agency Advocate for Sales & Marketing Alignment?

One reason OEM manufacturers are challenged with generating leads is due to a fundamental misalignment between marketing and sales teams.

Sales and marketing misalignment costs businesses $1 trillion each year in decreased sales productivity and wasted marketing efforts.

The stakes are high for sales and marketing departments to align on initiatives and goals to reach and engage qualified customers. However, a trusted agency partner is often needed to help facilitate a mutually-beneficial vision and complementary sales and marketing strategy. This is where a B2B demand generation agency partner can shape a sales enablement program that integrates with your lead generation and marketing goals to address your company’s unique opportunities

Successful B2B demand generation agencies recognize and advocate for sales and marketing alignment when addressing your demand generation challenges. Keep an eye out for the potential agency's attention to detail in uncovering the customer experience and touchpoints along the buyer journey. These are key indicators that the agency is focused on the critical facets of building a successful, long-term program that supports the overall growth goals of your organization.

Does the Agency Embrace the Customer Journey from Awareness to Revenue?

B2B businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects through the buyer journey have a 451% increase in qualified leads. These leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads.

Manufacturing marketing and sales leaders evaluating a B2B demand generation agency need to seek a partner with experience in customer journey mapping for B2B and persona development. In order to create personalized touchpoints throughout all phases of the buyer journey, manufacturers need a B2B demand generation agency partner that understands the unique buying behaviors of decision-makers and end-users and the various personas involved in the buyer's journey. For example, the influencer persona may be active in the awareness phase but disappear in the consideration and purchase phase of the buyer journey. Added stakeholders such as distributors and other members of the supply chain need to be considered when establishing buyers' journeys in this dynamic industry.

With generating and nurturing leads, not all strategies are aligned with the buyer journey. B2B demand generation agencies take different approaches, utilize different tools, and can construct wildly different strategies.

Perhaps the most important consideration when evaluating a B2B demand generation agency is their approach to shaping a holistic marketing and sales strategy aligned with organizational growth foals and respecting the methods of obtaining these objectives. In other words, they should have a big picture view of partnering with your entire organization to increase revenue and market share.

Five Questions to Ask When Evaluating Your B2B Demand Generation Agency Partner

These five questions will enable B2B manufacturing marketing professionals to confidently assess a partnership with their next B2B demand generation agency:

  1. How would you align sales and marketing to achieve your clients’ goals?
  2. Do you specialize in B2B and have industry-specific experience in which you’ve achieved quantifiable goals? (If yes, please share.)
  3. How would you develop a closed-loop model that enables us to measure marketing return on investment?
  4. How do you map personas and a customer journey to a lead nurturing program?
  5. How would you develop a program that embraces our brand promise and Customer Experience (CX) strategy?

Selecting a trusted B2B demand generation agency partner to achieve your professional and organizational goals is critical. Learn how Crafted's niche industry expertise and brand-centric approach to demand generates a partnership that achieves your growth goals.

Already have a B2B Demand Generation Agency of Record? Here are a few tips on how to evaluate if they're the right partner for your company:


How to Evaluate if Your Current B2B Demand Generation Agency is the Partner You Need

With more than half of B2B marketers viewing quality lead generation as their biggest challenge, it is critical for marketing leaders to consider what kind of demand generation agency they need.

The first step in learning how to evaluate a marketing campaign or strategy properly calls for a bit of research. Identifying a company that shapes its strategy around your challenges and with data-driven decisions is the key to success.

Ask Yourself If Your Marketing Strategy Facilitates Sales Enablement?

A large reason some B2B companies have such trouble with customer acquisition is due to a fundamental barrier between marketing and sales teams. Without an ability for these teams to openly collaborate on a regular basis (or at all in some cases), businesses lose a built-in potential for an increase in online conversions.

The solution to this problem is sales enablement. There are several steps someone in a marketing leadership position can take to execute a sales enablement strategy, but finding a demand generation agency that focuses on sales will facilitate a more comprehensive program.

Demand generation agencies that rely on data to help them create sales enablement strategies offer the highest ROI. It’s not just about finding someone who recognizes your lead generation issues; it’s about finding a demand generation team that knows how to rectify the issue with marketing maturity assessments, market research, custom-built acquisition strategies, and robust platforms that deliver a healthy, long-term resolution to both your sales and marketing departments, holistically.

Does Your Strategy Include Strong Lead Nurturing Capabilities?

All lead nurturing solutions are not created equally. Different demand generation agencies use different tools and strategies to decide what is best for the client. However, B2B companies wondering how to evaluate a marketing campaign or their overall strategy should ask demand generation agencies how they approach both lead generation and lead nurturing.

While lead generation is a critical initial step for all B2B enterprises, marketing leaders must realize the vast importance of personalized, time lead nurturing tactics. Ignoring demand generation agencies offering lead nurturing planning and platforms equates to allowing tomatoes to die on the vine.

That’s why considering lead nurturing strengths is another important step when evaluating marketing strategies. Why allow hopeful, interested prospects to slip through the cracks when they can be nurtured and retained?

Evaluate your Marketing Strategy Holistically

The most important thing to remember when evaluating a marketing campaign or overall strategy is the big picture. Top of mind questions to always ask your potential demand generation agency:

  1. Do you specialize in B2C or B2B lead generation and nurturing?
  2. Does your team offer holistic sales enablement capabilities?
  3. Do you help B2B businesses better align sales and marketing teams through internal research and marketing maturity assessments?
  4. What kind of sales and marketing platforms are available to my business if our companies worked together?
  5. Does your agency focus on closing the loop with data-driven reporting?

References:

Hubspot, 2015

Annuitas Group, 2016

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