How AI and Automation will Evolve Demand Generation

Generating demand and leads for your product or service is a constant battle. Even if you are converting well, you're always considering ways to make your process even better.

The methods for demand generation have grown and evolved over the years. Everyone has a different idea for what works best.

But in general, sales and marketing professionals seem to have developed certain best practices that a majority of them will apply in their demand generation strategies.

The development of these commonplace best practices for demand generation is quite intriguing. Over time, it seems that these strategies seem to be a bit of double-edged sword. Initially, many of these outreach campaigns seemed to work well due to their novelty.

Sales teams began to see more success with certain types of email templates, subject lines, images, etc.

However, as more and more organisations utilise these processes, the uniqueness of the demand generation strategy begins to wear off on potential clients.

The Commoditisation of Demand Generation

If you've ever worked in sales, I'm sure you've heard somebody tell you that the 'personalisation of your messaging' is essential.

This has never been more true.

However, once your sales manager says this, they will then begin to tell you when outreach works best, which message structure seems to be most successful, and how to frame your product or service.

This coaching can be helpful but the key is to empower your SDR's to be more intelligent and creative, not by telling them exactly what to do.

Automation of Personalisation is Not Working

When you try to put personalisation into a formula, it will typically come across as highly impersonalised. The more a sales teams tries to apply a one-size-fits-all approach to their demand generation process, the more it comes across as generic and planned.

So that begs the question, "What's next?".

Artificial Intelligence, Chatbots, and Data Driven Demand Generation

Business processes are already becoming highly data driven but with the sales process, there are still a lot of missing pieces. Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots seem to be an obvious next step in the demand generation process.

You will be able to intelligently converse with and learn from your business's different market segments. AI chatbots will have the ability to learn from past interactions and, at high speeds, create successful sales outreach that is highly personalised.

This type of artificial intelligence chatbot technology is already being utilised in other parts of business operations such as human resources and customer support. With this technology, systems will also be created to help SDR's better understand how consumers are behaving and feeling at different points of the sales cycle.

As time goes on, more empowered SDR's combined with AI chatbot technology will take the sales outreach process back to a more manual, personalised approach that will nurture customer relationships. If you look at new technology in the recruiting space like - you'll see the starting point of what AI to human interaction could look like within the demand generation process.

It's clear from all the great content on the web, case studies, templates, processes, tools and real-time data that first 10-20% of sales outreach is / will be done by chatbots. It means the evolution of an SDR needs to be similar to any industry - an upskilling is necessary as the whole sales and marketing funnel is continually being flipped on it's head.

Don't Put Demand Generation into a Formula - Empower Your SDR's

All in all, you have to take your customers on a journey. Your SDR's should be working to guide your customers. Customers need to be taught and empowered – not just sold to. The manual approach helps you to target behaviours and feelings.

You can't just hire a number of SDR's to blindly follow your process and use your tools or templates.

No sales formula will work as well as an empowered sales team.

Train your SDR's to think outside of the box and take risks. Empower them to try new ideas and keep looking ahead to innovate their process. What new platform, strategy, or method can an SDR utilise to be successful, what's the competitive edge they can get in every recurring 6 months?

Your SDR's will become more confident and knowledgeable this way. This will also help the SDR's to become better at engaging with customers and tapping into the human element of the sales process. You will be building communities with your customers rather than just selling them a product or service.

Focus on your customers, adding value, up-skilling and being different - being the guide to help them get what they want.

Made on