The B2B Demand Generation Guru Every C-Series Business Should Listen To


Chris walker seems angry. He should smile from ear to ear as the founder of Boston Refine laboratoriesbecause it is one of the fastest growing demand generation agencies in recent years. It’s the first time we’ve met, but maybe he’s angry to have to explain, once again, to an old school founder (me) how marketing has changed, why the old ones methods don’t work.

“Most of the companies in this space are leading the generation, not the demand. Marketing is built around transactional conversions of contact information so that you can make outbound sales. And they’ve been using the model since the early 2000s. Back then, it was difficult to get contact information. So marketers created closed content. Back then, it was working … but those leads are closing at a very low rate, resulting in the need for a large sales organization, which is woefully unproductive.

Or maybe it’s not anger I’m hearing, maybe Walker is just bitter.

“I was working in B2B tech companies funded by VC and developed a unique and effective marketing model, and I was able to do a few things, but eventually you hit a place where you can’t keep on. innovate. And when I quit my previous job, I interviewed director and vice president positions and introduced companies to my way of marketing and nobody wanted it. “

So Walker launched Raffiner Labs in 2019 and structured it so that only companies truly committed to his strategy would work with him. Walker’s customers are typically C or D series startups with less than a thousand employees and selling a SaaS solution with an average contract value (ACV) of $ 30,000 to $ 150,000.

As Walker explained a better modern approach to demand generation, I realized he wasn’t angry or bitter, he was just serious about its demand generation model and determined to achieve measurable results for its clients.

“The new way is to look at how word of mouth drives most buying decisions in mid-sized B2B SaaS companies … We’re not trying to convert people who aren’t ready to buy. Instead, we educate them through content as a way to grab attention, to take into account the product, and some of those word-of-mouth actions inside channels that we can’t. not necessarily measure or see. “

The natural result of this model is that contacts don’t raise their hands (ie, fill out the “I want a demo” form) until they’re almost ready to buy. Walker said, “I have reduced the sales cycle for a business from 225 days to 64 days. As one of our current clients, we went from a 140 day to 75 day sales cycle. “

When I asked a leading question about how webinars and white papers were less effective than before, he explained that “it’s not the medium, it’s the content”. Of course, attendance drops for traditional webinars with an expert speaker buzzing over dozens of slides. But what if you use the same technology – live presentation with Zoom – and create something that’s really of value to your audience?

This is exactly what Refine Labs does, as an example of eating your own dog food. “Gen Live requestIs a live show in which Walker and other experts essentially offer free advice to the roughly 50 people who show up every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET. And that’s not a typo. Boston-based Walker starts the show at 7:30 p.m. His time.

The key is that this “content” is not designed with an end sales goal in mind. It does not correspond to a specific funnel step. It’s really Walker who gives his best advice. Even to other agencies that are its potential competitors. Some of what he has shared in recent episodes:

  • “90% of our revenue is attributed to organic search and we don’t do any SEO. And that is why the allocation of channels is completely discontinued. “
  • Walker firmly believes in the power of the paid social. But he clarified: “What I do is not ‘social selling’. It’s content marketing with efficient distribution. Most marketers have transactional intent because of their business KPIs. Their content therefore intends to sell rather than help. And people listen to him. “
  • On the difference between capturing demand and creating demand. “Most marketing teams are just focused on capturing existing market demand. They wait for people to look for them. Then try to capture it with SEO, SEM, review sites, and retargeting. They spend all of their time, effort, and money fighting for the 0.1% of the market that is actively buying. With buyers who have no affinity or brand loyalty … all the potential lies in marketing to the 99% of the market who are not actively buying. To create awareness. To drive differentiation. To influence the consideration of the product. To develop an affinity with the brand. AT create demand. “

Listening to Walker, I find myself having a little angry on all the money I wasted on my B2B marketing efforts.

Maybe it’s not anger, maybe I’m feeling bitter about all the agencies that convinced me that I had to pilot MQLs to feed my SDRs.

But I quickly realize that I am neither angry nor bitter; I just feel serious and determined to stop wasting my limited marketing resources and start a new approach to demand generation.

Kevin Kruse is the founder and CEO of LEADx, a platform that evolves and maintains leadership habits throughout an organization. Kevin is also a New York Times bestselling author of Great leaders don’t have rules, 15 secrets successful people know about time management, and Employee engagement 2.0.

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