12 Demand Management Competencies for Success


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Too many companies struggle to realize their demand management improvement expectations from investments in marketing automation.

Marketing automation initiatives are often considered the next step beyond email marketing. As a result, campaign oriented thinking carries forward and limits the approach and results.

Have we not learned from CRM and other technology categories that technology is an enabler, not a producer of significant outcome improvements? In fact, new technology often requires organizational change, new skills and increased work in the short term.

A failure to appreciate the required competencies for demand management success is a root cause of this phenomena. Just the terms “lead gen” and “demand management” often carry no distinction within these organizations. When you hear that, it’s a yellow flag of caution that poor performance is bound to follow.

The following is a checklist of demand management success competencies. Each are significant categories in their own right, with supporting requirements that often involve people and skills, process and technology components. (Click image for a larger view.)

Competency Checklist


  • Make decisions across all functions and competencies, determine priorities
  • Big picture and interconnected perspective
  • Demand management and related content strategy

Buyer Understanding and Useful Insights

  • Who buys
  • Why they buy
  • How they buy
  • Useful insights

Data and Database

  • Complete, accurate data
  • Tagged
  • What to collect – fields in database

Website and Landing Pages

  • Website as receptive and “sticky” resource for viewers – provide a reason to return
  • Resource center, content organized the way customers think
  • Microsites, landing pages, forms, tracking

Inbound and Social Media and other Lead Generation

  • Channel awareness and selection
  • Content alignment and distribution / syndication
  • Active promotion, conversational engagement and calls to action

Automated Lead Management

  • Efficient, thorough execution of strategy and plans
  • Technology
  • Selecting and editing content for specific initiatives


  • Human touch of prospects to qualify – determine BANT & competitive context
  • Nurture
  • Expand people map

Sales and Marketing Alignment and Integration

  • Agreement on target segments, accounts, personas and offers – priorities
  • Timeframe decisions: “find vs. create” opportunities – short term vs. pipeline development
  • Lead definitions
  • Lead disposition: handoff, action timeframe, feedback and return for nurturing


  • Use case requirements mapped to buyer journey, personas, verticals, nurture tracks
  • Document content specifications for each asset
  • Content creation resources, timing, process workflow, budgets

Metrics, Reporting and Analytics (predictive)

  • Set up and manage
  • Interpret and explain
  • Continuous improvement

Tools and Technology

  • Selection
  • Integration, user training
  • Support

Program and Operations Management

  • Professional program management vs. ad hoc, random acts
  • Change management
  • Governance, cross-functional, discipline co-ordination, problem resolution
  • Operational oversight, training, support
  • Continuous improvement

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jim Burns
Jim Burns is founder and CEO of Avitage, which provides content marketing services in support of lead management and sales enablement programs.


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