Let's take a look at the top Demand Generation Challenges faced by Tech Companies in 2021. Some of the solutions of these challenges may seem obvious, while others are harder to see and more complex to solve.
2021 is a year filled with unique challenges that we as a society have never faced before. Tech companies are no exception to these circumstances despite their incredible success throughout the difficult times in 2020. As with any problem the best way to solve these challenges is through preparation. So let’s take a look at some of them and discuss how you can be best prepared to meet them.
Being personal and authentic is paramount this year more than any other. The lack of in person meetings, conferences and personal communication is greater now than ever. With 8 out of 10 Americans missing in-person meetings according to a survey by APCO, companies have been forced to find alternatives. While video-chats are great for internal meetings but how do you drive demand when your sales people can’t connect with your prospects in the way they are accustomed to? A good way to supplement in person contact is through personalized gifts. Your sales team can create personalized gifts using services like Swag to ensure your prospects are thinking about your products every time they sip their coffee, sanitize their hands or mask up for a trip to the grocery store.
Another challenge for 2021 is creating demand instead of capturing it. This means a greater focus on top of the funnel leads but it also means using different tactics. Most companies spend their budget on capturing demand through SEM, SEO, and audience retargeting. According to a study by Refine Labs, creating demand is done through thought leadership tactics like LinkedIn articles, Podcasts, and virtual events. By targeting this content and these events at prospects who are not yet in the funnel you can get them to the top of the funnel; then you can inexpensively move prospects to the mid-funnel using tactics like content syndication to guide them along the buying journey until they are ready to speak with a sales executive.
Converting customers into advocates is always a challenge for Tech Companies (all companies really) but when you succeed it can have a major impact on your bottom line. 92% of consumers read online reviews and testimonials when considering a purchase. 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. 72% of them say positive reviews and testimonials make them trust a business more. So, how do you get your existing customers feedback in order to leverage this? You can do a few things quickly and easily. First you can create a customer advisory board that would allow your clients to influence your strategy while providing positive feedback to be shared with prospects. You can join industry organizations and gather feedback from peers (non-competitors of course) to use in your marketing. Finally you can put your money where your mouth is and start a client referral program where you share revenue with existing clients who bring in new business. I like all these methods and think it is best to use them concurrently.
Perhaps the greatest challenge this year is scoring leads accurately. In the tech world almost all companies score leads from marketing to determine if those leads are ready to move into the anxiously waiting hands of their sales teams. The challenge here is to get out of the generalized action based scoring systems that most marketing teams use in their marketing automation tools. These give points for things like email opens, content downloads or website visits. While these are great indicators of interest in your content and maybe even in the functions of your products, they don’t tell you if the prospect needs your product, has the authority to make the purchase or is even in your target audience. There is a simple way to surmount this challenge; create a custom scoring model based on data. Use data from closed won clients who were once prospects in your funnel and determine the patterns that exist. Use those patterns to devise a scoring system that moves prospects only when they take an action you have seen lead to closed won business in the past.
These are a short list of barriers amongst many challenges tech companies will face in 2021 and beyond. Some of these are a result of the pandemic and others simply a product of the market's evolution. Some of the solutions may seem obvious, while others are harder to see and more complex to solve. Any of these challenges may seem daunting but if tech companies prepare using these suggestions and work with the right partners they can be sure to succeed in conquering all the difficult hurdles of 2021.