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Difference between B2B Lead Generation and Demand Generation


The words “demand generation” and “lead generation” are often synonymously used in B2B marketing. Even if they seem ambiguous, they do not relate to the same thing. Two distinct names, two distinct connotations.

It is understandable why the distinction between lead and demand generation might be perplexing. Let’s dive in to understand the difference between demand generation and lead generation.

What is B2B lead generation

B2B lead generation refers to building the audience’s interest in your company’s services via nurturing. This is done with the ultimate objective of turning individuals into customers. Here, you persuade them that what you provide will suit their requirements.

Examples include CTAs with lead generation forms to collect audience contact details and send more emails. Or advertising gated content with lead generation forms on social media are two typical lead generation marketing methods.

With marketing intelligence tools, you can collect contact details from prospects who have looked for material connected to your company online. Most marketers consider such leads as qualified since they have shown an interest in learning more about what your company has to offer. Are they really qualified leads though? 

What is B2B demand generation

B2B demand generation is how your company expands into new areas and gets people interested in your offer. It increases brand awareness and exposure by educating audiences and building trust.

Blogging and producing materials to help your audience succeed is a popular tactic for demand creation. Although it may seem like brand awareness, there is a significant distinction. 

Demand creation is a process, not a quick fix. You create demand by introducing your audience to your service and enticing them to learn more. Demand capture is the next phase when you identify the customer’s intent and encourage conversion.

B2B lead generation vs B2B demand generation

Demand generation raises interest and awareness of a company’s goods and services. You may also utilize its methods to reach out to new audiences. In contrast, lead generation is when you convert prospects into hot leads – those who are eager to become customers.

Demand generation, unlike lead generation, is less transactional. Demand and lead generation activities occur at various B2B sales funnel levels.

Demand generation is at the very top of the funnel. It aims to educate and delight when people browse your social media pages or your website, for example.

Once the accounts starts showing interest in your product or service, lead generation occurs. They love your content or the solutions you’ve been giving them. They like it so much that they are ready to trade personal information to learn more, for instance, via a landing page.

Demand generation is located further up the sales funnel and creates avenues for future lead creation. If you don’t produce enough SQL leads, it might indicate an issue with demand generation.

Consider the following significant points of distinction between lead generation and demand creation: 

  1. Goals

Demand generation tries to raise your firm’s awareness and challenges. Even if the audience doesn’t need the solution you provide, they must know who to turn to when the situation occurs. 

Your audience must learn about your offerings as they progress in the buyer’s journey. Then, you might offer to address the prospects’ problems with your product or service. This is where you can think of creating leads.

  • Participation

Demand generation increases audience trust and brand authority. The more you establish yourself as an industry thought leader, the more people will want to connect with your company. 

Lead generation assists in distinguishing your brand and services from those offered by your rivals. It outlines all of the advantages of using your products and services.

  • Influence

It is necessary to educate your target audience to generate demand. It usually entails producing free materials to address your prospects’ inquiries.

Lead generation takes it to the next level with more detailed materials. The aim is to nurture the prospects into leads. One popular tactic is gating resources that need contact information for access.

How B2B lead generation and B2B demand generation work together

Demand and lead generation ultimately serve the same aim. They must operate effectively together to deliver good conversion and maintain a healthy pipeline. Without an effective demand-generation plan, your sales teams will not have enough inbound leads to meet the sales target.

Another crucial component in the health of your funnel is the variety of demand creation. Prospects explore and work via various channels; every prospect chooses to get information uniquely. As a result, having a solid offering of social media postings, branded videos, guest appearances, and paid advertising speaking engagements is the most effective method to guarantee you’re not missing out on critical prospects.

Furthermore, excellent offers and CTAs in the demand generation stage may increase prospects’ confidence in directing their attention to a firm. During the lead generation stage, these increase the opportunity to persuade prospects to trust you and continue with the buyer’s journey.

Healthy pipeline with better lead gen and demand gen alignment

B2B lead generation and demand generation should be used in your inbound sales approach to help you create predictable pipeline. If your demand creation techniques generate qualified leads, your lead generation approaches will nurture them into pleased consumers.