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B2B Lead Management: Changes Driven by Account-Based Marketing

Olin Hyde

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Welcome back to the B2B Marketing Jukebox Podcast everybody. Today’s conversation is the first part of a discussion we had with my good friend, David Lewis, CEO and founder of DemandGen and the author of Manufacturing Demand. David’s team has helped over 400 clients with lead management, including companies like SAP, Dell and Apple.  He talks about the digital marketing journey, which for him started at Microsoft. He also unpacks some of the principles from his book, commenting on their relevance, today, five years later and what’s changed.

Key Points from This Episode:

  • David’s early work experiences at Microsoft.
  • The guiding principles from David’s book Manufacturing Demand.
  • Changes in B2B over the last five years
  • David’s advice to any marketers looking to implement some of these changes.
  • Where to get a free copy of David’s book.


“Digital marketing is a journey, and it’s a journey that never ends. You never get to the end of the destination, but there is a road map that you need to start on.” — @demandgendave [0:09:01.2]

“I think that’s the starting point, to paint a vision of the art of the possible, what it could look like with us as a company if we were to embark on this journey, because the journey’s not inexpensive.” — @demandgendave [0:10:44.5]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

David Lewis on Linkedin — https://www.linkedin.com/in/demandgendave

David Lewis on Twitter — https://twitter.com/demandgendave

Manufacturing Demand – http://manufacturingdemand.com/

DemandGen — https://www.demandgen.com/

DemandGen Radio — https://demandgenradio.com/

Dell — https://www.dell.com/

Apple — https://www.apple.com

SAP — https://www.sap.com/

Martec — http://www.martec.com/

Scott Brinker — https://chiefmartec.com/about/

Microsoft — https://www.microsoft.com/

The New York Times — https://www.nytimes.com/



[0:00:07.2] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to the B2B Marketing Jukebox by LeadCrunch. Help us start a movement to make B2B marketers the maestros of shareholder value.

On our website, leadcrunch.com, you can find timestamped transcripts of these podcasts and info about the guests. Subscribe to these podcasts on all major platforms, like iTunes. Send topic or guest suggestions to the host at david.green@leadcrunch.ai.

Here’s Dave.


 [0:00:33.5] DG: I’m here today with David Lewis. David, thank you so much for joining us today.

[0:00:38.4] DL: Absolutely, good to be here with you, David, thanks for having me.

[0:00:41.3] DG: You bet. David is the CEO of DemandGen, a great company that helps companies in B2B with things like the marketing stack, the configuration and integration of those things, demand gen strategy and execution, lead management, reporting analytics, data services, and all the things that come with that, like sales and marketing alignment, and lead nurturing, and all those kinds of things.

The company’s worked with 400 different clients I think at this point. Companies like Dell and Apple and SAP, and so on. David’s also an advisor to Martec, if you’ve ever seen the Scott Brinker marketing tech landscape with 5,000 companies on it and it gives you a headache to look at it. And he wrote a book about five years ago called Manufacturing Demand, which I highly recommend, and he also has his own podcast, DemandGen Radio.

David, thank you so much for joining us again.

[0:01:39.1] DL: You bet, thanks again for having me, and it’s always interesting to hear someone else kind of paint your life story, or a little bit about what you’re doing, and glad to be here and share some of the insights, and certainly learnings I’ve had, across that journey.

[0:01:52.9] DG: You and I – you actually started off at Microsoft back when Microsoft was, I think, widely recognized as the greatest company on the planet. You started off there, so you and I have seen a lot of change, I think, in our careers, and you’ve written a book five years ago. Technology just continues to have an explosion of innovation in marketing and sales. The rise of ABM, big data. Your book talks about guiding principles to scale marketing, and I’m wondering if you can talk a little bit about those guiding principles and the impact of innovation on those guiding principles.

[0:02:34.2] DL: When you talk about Microsoft, and we were, I mean, I remember my dad saying to me “So, this company that you’re interviewing with,” this is 1988, “What do they do?” And my dad didn’t – he wasn’t into technology back then. I had a home computer, which for that day and age was very innovative, and if people read the foreword of my book, they’ll hear how that came to be, which is an interesting part of my journey.

But I said to my dad, “You know how I have that computer, Dad? Well, that computer needs fuel, which, of course they call it software, and Microsoft is the company that makes, essentially, the fuel for the computer.” And, to your point, they were one of the only games in town, right? They wrote the operating system, and we were introducing Word, Excel, Power Point, all the very first Windows operating systems.

And so, when I look back on my career, just from then to like 1995 when all of a sudden there’s email, and there’s websites, and there’s downloadable software, and just everything that came with it, that was really the first turning point when I remember marketing changing. Marketing going from almost like an arts and crafts department, branding, and messaging—every creative agency in New York just cringed, by the way.

But, you know, when marketing was all about pretty pictures, call to actions, branding, messaging, and that. But then my book, which came out five years ago, which, for everybody listening, I like to kid around and say I’m on The New York Times best giver list. I give my book away in its entirety electronically, and so I can tell you where that URL is later, it’s manufacturingdemand.com, I’ll come back to it. But I give it away because my mom was a teacher, educator, and I just want to share the lessons with everybody.

And to your point, David, the principles that I teach in that book were really the start of modern marketing from a digital marketing perspective. So, some things I would change. The very first principle was about know thy buyer, and it’s about creating buyer personas. While that is still very much alive and well in terms of a key principle for marketing, I would say it’s a bit of more, “Know thy target,” these days, because with the advent of ABM technology, we have the ability to really establish those targets and operationalize that target list into systems, so that we can go after those accounts and roll up the engagement by context.

I didn’t cover ABM at all five years ago because it really wasn’t – it’s not that it wasn’t being practiced, it just wasn’t an acronym, and certainly there wasn’t any technology. That’s one of the things that has changed.

The second thing is the demand funnel. So the second principle is to establish a demand funnel. And the way I talk about it in the book is each stage of the buying process or each stage of the DemandGen process, is like containers of inventory. And so your inquiries are in one bin and your MQLs are in another bin. And then the sales-accepted ones, the ones that sales is working on is in another inventory bin. And the qualified ones, the opportunities, they’re in another bin, et cetera, et cetera. That’s where the title, by the way, Manufacturing Demand, comes from, because I use a lot of analogies and metaphors to having a demand factory and where things are in the stage going around the factory.

So the demand funnel is still, again, alive and well, key principle. Every one of our clients at some point implements lead management with us. What’s different is that the demand funnel really represents individual context at those inventory bins. And today you need to practice lead management as well as have a layer of ABM, if ABM is part of your strategy, which for B2B companies more and more today it is part of their strategy. But that’s only really been evolving over the last couple of years.

Next principle is about lead scoring, and lead scoring, again, just like the phrase implies, was about scoring individual records, David. So how has that changed? Well, we’re rolling up the engagement these days to the account, so that’s changed.

Those principles have changed or evolved the most. There’s an umbrella for those in B2B marketing around ABM, and lead management is under that umbrella. The other two principles, which are around nurturing and analytics, we’ve just gotten better at doing that, more targeted, more personalized. Nurtures aren’t just emails. They’re omni-channel, all bound, if you want, inbound and outbound. So, we’ve just gotten better at doing that. But those first three, I think, are the ones that have evolved the most since I wrote the book.

Get the free ebook “How to Scale Demand Operations”


[0:07:31.0] DG: There’s no question there’s been an explosion of technology innovation, but for that stuff to work, people like you and other marketing practitioners out there have to really think about these guiding principles and how to adapt them and evolve what we know and how we think about going to market. So, I really appreciate that.

Let’s say there’s a marketer out there that knows they’re not really moving the needle the way they’d like to. They hear what you’re talking about with trying to build a manufacturing kind of plant for their demand funnel. What would your guidance be to them about what that journey would look like if they were trying to sell this idea internally to their CEO or the CMO in terms of time, in terms of resource commitments, in terms of what a reasonable expectation would be about a return on investment?

[0:08:24.0] DL: That is a great question, and I feel like we could do a series of podcasts to break them all down. The reason I say that is because I remember my very first slide when I started DemandGen and I started giving presentations and sessions on lead scoring and nurturing. My very first slide was, “Marketing Automation Is a Journey,” and if I can just tell you, to turn back time, that was 2007. Really, marketing automation was the key digital marketing platform. Still is today, but as you know, we’ve got 7,000-ish other tools, so I would not use that slide anymore.

I would talk about that digital marketing is a journey, and it’s a journey that never ends. You never get to the end of the destination, but there is a road map that you need to start on. So in terms of your question around what advice would I give them in terms of the sequence of steps? It really depends on where their journey is starting.

There’s a client of ours on the East Coast. They are a payroll and services provider and they for the past, I think, 70 years have been incredibly successful becoming a multibillion-dollar company, but all sales-driven, David. They don’t practice a lot of digital marketing, and so we’ve been working with them to take them on that journey, and some of the things that we had to do with their leadership team was help them explain to the executive team why change. We had to teach them how to become agents of change and help them with that change and talk about why.

Now truth is, their leader, their CMO, she had worked with us at previous companies before and felt tremendous level of success and so she took this opportunity there to go become their agent of change. She knew what the journey looked like, but certainly we had told that story so many times for so many other accounts that we built her PowerPoint decks and shared with her messaging that would get the team to go, “Hmm. Yeah, let’s explore this more. You mean we’re not going to pass every lead to sales? We’re going to score them? Why would we do that? Well, here’s why. What would that do for our business?”

Some of the things that we did was help them explain like, “This is your funnel today and this is your funnel on lead management, and why will that be better? What will the impact to revenue be?” We built the slides to share that, and I think that’s the starting point, to paint a vision of the art of the possible, what it could look like with us as a company if we were to embark on this journey, because the journey’s not inexpensive. And what I mean by that is, it’s just time. It’s people, it’s projects and priorities, and it’s certainly investment in resources both internally and ideally externally with an agency like our’s.

Then we just stacked on. We almost explained to them how we would erect this virtual demand factory and how we would build it out and what it would look like as it’s getting constructed metaphorically and built together. That first step is to get shared vision by the executive team so everybody knows why you’re rolling in that direction and that sales and marketing have to be aligned.

From there, David, candidly, and I want to pause, everybody’s journey’s a little bit different. For them, we had to revamp their CRM. We had to take their kind of batch-and-blast marketing approach and evolve it and do that by educating, and ran a multi-day workshop to help everybody understand what life would be like now in this new normal.

[0:12:00.4] DG: That’s really interesting. David, you mentioned where people could get a free copy of your book. Do, do you want to share that with the audience?

[0:12:06.4] DL: Yeah. I mean there are two places. One, if you go to demandgen.com, in the top menu, just click ‘resources’, you’ll find it there. But if you want to go right to it, it’s manufacturingdemand.com, and you can download the entire book as a PDF for free, and read it, and reach out to me if you want to discuss any things in there, or any things we hit on the podcast. And the podcast that I do is DemandGen Radio. Just search for that and I’d love to continue the conversation. Thank you, David.

[0:12:34.8] DG: David, thank you. I really appreciate it.

[0:12:36.8] DL: You bet, all the best.

[0:12:38.2] DG: All right.


[0:12:40.1] ANNOUNCER: Thank you for listening to the B2B Marketing Jukebox by LeadCrunch. On our website, leadcrunch.com, you can find timestamp transcripts and info about the guests. You can send topic or guests suggestions to david.green@leadcrunch.ai. Subscribe to these podcast on all the major platforms like iTunes.

Thanks for joining us and we wish you happy data driven growth.