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September 28, 2023

Demand Generation and lead generation in the B2B SaaS environment

demand generation and lead generation

In B2B SaaS, differentiating between demand and lead generation is key for growth. Our blog dives into these concepts, shedding light on their unique components, how they function in harmony, and their overarching significance in driving business expansion.

Sara Rendón
Content Strategist

In the vast digital expanse, the B2B SaaS industry races forward, often blurring the lines between various marketing strategies. But, if there's one distinction that remains pivotal, it's between demand generation and lead generation. These are not just two sides of the same coin but represent two strategic phases in a company’s growth trajectory. Let's delve deeper into the nuances that differentiate them and their unparalleled potential in driving business growth.

Demand Generation: Setting the Stage

Demand generation is all about generating awareness and interest in a company's offerings. It's about setting the stage, preparing the audience, and letting them know what's to come.

Key components

1. Content Marketing: Offering free, ungated content like blog posts, podcasts, and infographics that educate and inform your audience.

2. Social Media Marketing: A dialogue, not a monologue. Engaging with audiences to build brand rapport.

3. Webinars and Live Events: Powerful avenues to offer insights, showcase expertise, and initiate industry discussions.

4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Being discoverable, ensuring your company appears when potential clients look for solutions.

5. Alternative Marketing Strategies: Implement attention-grabbing strategies appropriate for your brand, such as influencer or guerilla marketing.

Demand Generation KPIs

  • Website Traffic: This is an essential metric to gauge how many visitors your strategies are driving to your website.

  • Content Engagement: Measure how your audience interacts with your content, such as blog post reads, video views, infographic shares, etc.

  • Social Media Engagement: This includes likes, shares, comments, and follows, which can indicate the level of interest and interaction with your brand on social platforms.

  • Email Open and Click-Through Rates (CTR): Measure the effectiveness of your email campaigns in terms of how many recipients open them and click on the embedded links.

  • Brand Awareness: This can be assessed through surveys, direct feedback, or by tracking mentions on social media and other online platforms.

  • Event Attendance: If you're hosting webinars, workshops, or conferences, the number of attendees and their feedback can be a valuable KPI.

Lead Generation: Capturing the Interest

After setting the stage, it's time to reel in the interested parties. Lead generation is the tactical process of identifying, attracting, and nurturing potential clients who've shown interest in what you offer.

Key components

1. Lead Capture Model: Create an efficient system to collect data from visitors, primarily using web forms.

2. Lead Magnets: Offer valuable resources or deals in exchange for contact details, such as whitepapers, discounts, or product trials.

3. Landing Page Optimization: Gateways to valuable content like eBooks or whitepapers, in exchange for contact details. Design focused landing pages that minimize distractions and have a clear call to action.

4. Social Media Utilization: Use both organic and paid channels on platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook to promote offerings and thought leadership.

5. Marketing Automation Workflows: Implement systems to enhance reach and monitor the performance of lead generation campaigns.

6. Lead Scoring System: Prioritize leads based on their engagement depth and quality.

7. Email Marketing: Not just to pitch but to continue the dialogue, educate further, and tailor solutions.

8. Pay-per-Click (PPC) Campaigns: These aren't just ads; they're targeted solutions showcased at the right time.

9. CRM Integration: Building a systematic approach to lead management, ensuring no potential client falls through the cracks.

10. Remarketing: Re-engage site visitors through targeted ads on other parts of the internet, especially on social media platforms.

Types of Leads

1. MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead)


An MQL is a lead that has shown some level of engagement with your marketing content or website, indicating potential interest in your products or services.


MQLs often engage with marketing materials such as downloading eBooks, signing up for newsletters, or spending a significant amount of time on your website.


The purpose of identifying an MQL is to pass them to the sales team for further nurturing. The sales team may continue to provide them with more information, offers, or other content that moves them down the sales funnel.

2. SQL (Sales Qualified Lead)


An SQL is a lead that has expressed a clear intention to purchase and has met specific criteria that demonstrate their readiness and ability to buy.


SQLs often take actions such as requesting a product demonstration, asking for pricing information, or contacting sales directly.


Once a lead is classified as an SQL, the sales team focuses on converting them into a paying customer by addressing their questions, concerns, and specific needs.

3. PQL (Product Qualified Lead)


A PQL is a lead who has used a product (often a freemium or trial version) and has shown signs of wanting to upgrade to a paid version.


PQLs are identified by tracking product usage patterns and behaviors that signal a likelihood to upgrade or make a purchase.


Recognizing a PQL helps the sales and customer success teams to target leads who are already familiar with the product and have shown an interest in getting more value from it.

Lead Generation KPIs

  • Conversion Rate: This metric shows the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action, be it filling out a form, downloading content, or signing up for a newsletter.
  • Cost Per Lead (CPL): This metric calculates how much it costs on average to acquire a single lead, helping you determine the ROI of your lead-gen efforts.

  • Lead Quality: Not all leads are equal. Assessing the quality (e.g., by tracking how many leads meet specific criteria or advance to the next stage in the sales funnel) is critical for effective sales follow-up.

  • Sales-Qualified Leads (SQLs): These are leads that have been vetted and are deemed ready for the next step in the sales process.

  • Lead Source: Identifying which channels (social media, search engines, direct traffic) generate the most leads helps in optimizing future strategies.

  • Lead-to-Customer Rate: Of the leads generated, this metric tracks how many eventually become paying customers.

  • Landing Page Performance: Given that landing pages play a crucial role in lead generation, it's vital to monitor their conversion rates.

  • MQL to SQL Conversion Rate: This tracks the efficiency of the process of moving marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) to become sales-qualified leads (SQLs).

Demand vs. Lead Generation: The Symbiosis

Demand generation casts the net, creating a general buzz and building trust. It operates at the top of the funnel, focusing on educating and attracting a broad audience. In contrast, lead generation dives deeper. It aims to convert the intrigued audience into potential clients by addressing their specific needs and pain points.

But the two aren't isolated. They're sequential steps in a journey. You generate demand, create awareness, and once you have an audience's attention, you use lead-generation strategies to provide them with specific solutions, guiding them further down the sales funnel:

1. Targeted Approach: Understand and segment your audience for tailored strategies.

2. High-quality Content: It's about building trust. Offer value, insights, and position yourself as an industry thought leader.

3. Data-driven Decisions: Tools like analytics and enrichment can help refine your strategies, targeting, and content.

4. Personalization: Recognizing that every lead has a unique journey and catering to those individual needs.

5. Consistent Follow-up: Engaging leads at various stages, understanding their hesitations, and offering tailored solutions.

Preparing for a Successful Demand & Lead Gen Strategy

When aligned perfectly, demand generation lays the groundwork, and lead generation capitalizes on it. It's about understanding the audience, resonating with their challenges through demand generation, and then providing tailored solutions via lead generation.

  • From Broad to Specific: Start by showcasing expertise and building trust. Once the audience recognizes the brand and relates to the challenges presented, shift the gear to show them how specifically your product or service can be the solution they need.

  • Clear Business Objectives: Are you looking to boost brand awareness, or are you focused on converting leads to customers? Your goals shape your strategy.

  • Understanding Your Audience: Dive deep. Use enrichment tools to get a 360-degree view of your potential clients.

  • Infrastructure: Ensure you have the tools, from analytics to CRM, to execute and optimize your strategy.

  • Aligned Sales and Marketing Teams: Foster collaboration. Each team offers insights that can refine and enrich the other's approach.

  • Content Roadmap: Plan not just topics but also formats and channels of distribution.

  • Metrics and KPIs: The success of combined strategies should be gauged through digital marketing key performance indicators. It's vital to understand which aspects are driving results and where there's room for improvement.

  • Continuous Learning: Stay updated. The digital world evolves, and so should your strategies.

Effiqs for B2B SaaS Demand and Lead Generation

In the world of B2B sales, there's a delicate balance between generating awareness (demand) and capitalizing on that awareness (lead). While demand generation puts your brand on the map, lead generation navigates interested parties to the destination: conversion. The right tools and insights can help strike the balance, ensuring neither overshadows the other. Ready to apply these insights to your business? Schedule a call with Effiqs' CEO, Alex Hollander, and let's explore how you can amplify your growth trajectory.

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Alex Hollander B2B SaaS Marketing Specialist

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