7 lessons we've learned from Demand Gen Visionaries

With Dreamforce just around the corner, we're looking back on the wisdom Salesforce Alumni have passed down on our original podcast, Demand Gen Visionaries.

Shelly Weaver
Shelly Weaver
September 15, 2022
min read
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Apple Podcast LinkGoogle Podcast LinkSpotify Podcast Link

There’s always so much to learn from Dreamforce, and while we don’t have to wait too much longer, we’re prepping with some of Saleforce’s best and brightest alumni and the marketing lessons they’ve shared with us on our original series, Demand Gen Visionaries. 

Your sales team is one of your customers, too

Marketing vs. Sales is an age-old battle–but what if marketing looked at their sales teams as one of their customers, too, instead of just their end users. Marketing teams can be crushing their goals, but if they aren't working hand-in-hand with sales to enable their counterparts and help them close their deals, what's the point? 

"It's very easy as a marketer to focus on the end customer and to not focus on the other very important customer, which is your sales team. At the end of the day, if marketing blows out its numbers and they hit all of their target metrics and sales misses their target metric, how many people at the company are happy? No one is happy.

At a B2B company, pipeline and sales is where the rubber meets the road. As much as possible marketing and sales need to be joined at the hip, and the more that they can share goals, the better.

Adam Blitzer, COO, Datadog

Listen to Predictions for the Future from the Godfather of Marketing Automation here

When it comes to content, authenticity is everything

We're drowning in superficial content these days, and your buyers can sniff out fluff from a mile away. Authentic, meaningful content creates real value, and at the end of the day, the thought really does count.

"Tastemaker is a word I use quite a bit inside Salesforce. We think that what really resonates these days is [content that’s] super unique. It's got to be tighter. It's got to be more thoughtful. It's got to get to the point and be helpful. And people sniff out authenticity very quickly.”

Colin Fleming, EVP Global Brand Marketing, Salesforce

Listen to The Origins of Salesforce+ here

It all boils down to one thing

It's easy to get lost in metrics, goals, and measurements. But the top priority for any marketing leader has to be pipeline gen–everything else is meaningless if you aren't getting more eyes to your website.

The number one job for a marketing leader is pipeline creation. If I’m not hitting my pipeline target for the sales team, nothing else matters.”
Scott Holden, CMO, ThoughtSpot

Listen to How ThoughtSpot Became a $2 Billion Unicorn in 5 Years here

Do the “unsexy” work first, it can make or break your success

We're living through some wild times–if your foundational elements aren't set in stone, your team is going to have trouble keeping up with an ever-shifting landscape.

"What's going to make or break every single demand gen person in the foreseeable future is your ability to be agile and adapt. If you can't move quickly, you're dead in the water. The world is moving too fast... So invest in the backend, invest in the unsexy things that no one sees or understands why you're doing it, because it's those backend, unsexy, tech infrastructure things that make everything else you do faster and easier.”

Lauren Vaccarello, CMO, Salesloft

Listen to The Demand Gen Playbook of One of the Top 50 Women in Revenue here

Conversational marketing is the future of customer engagement

Human-centric selling gets back to the root of good, personalized marketing, with the added help of emerging tech. Keeping things conversational creates more meaningful interactions and buyer engagement.

"Conversational marketing is an uncuttable [budget item] because I think it's the future of how we engage our prospects and customers. It’s less about forms and more about getting them to the right person who can help. It's about improving the quality of conversation, and it's about making sure that you make the connection in real-time.”

Jamie Grenney, CMO, Marketing Minded Entrepreneur

Listen to Scaling Demand Gen to Build the Next Unicorn here

Lead gen is a broken model

Lead gen is out–it isn't specific enough, and doesn't speak to the need to create quality pipeline. Demand gen moves away from the traditional marketing funnel model and gives it more intention, leading to a more symbiotic relationship between marketing and sales.

We used to call it ‘lead gen’, and that very much reflected what it was, which was marketing throwing leads over the wall. Then a few weeks later yelling at sales that they hadn't followed up, and sales yelling at marketing that the leads are no good. Demand gen is really about being smarter about the entire funnel.”

Julie Liegl, CMO, Slack

Listen to 12M Users and Beyond: Designing a Team for Slack’s Parabolic Growth here.

When all else fails, keep it simple

It can be tempting to overcomplicate everything–we're constantly drowning in loud messaging at every turn, but are those messages memorable? What impact do they really have? Getting back to basics and optimizing your messaging to stick is the key to success.

"I've been through messaging frameworks many times over my many years. There's only a handful of messaging that I've seen done well… When people like Marc Benioff review a messaging framework, they know what good looks like, so you learn how to harden messaging frameworks. You learn how to create really simple content that optimizes for simplicity instead of completeness or accuracy…

What you really want to do is think about your user… You'll be lucky if they remember two or three things, so optimize for two or three things. This sounds so simple, but unless you've done it the hard way, it's very easy to keep making those mistakes.” 

Naman Khan, CMO, Blend

Listen to Journey to CMO: What I Learned from the World’s Greatest SaaS Companies here

Want more marketing wisdom from gems like these from marketing wizards? Check out Demand Gen Visionaries, Inside the Ohana, and Rise of RevOps.

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