About those high-intent leads

Here’s another one of those logical-but-not-helpful points that “thought leaders” now seem to be coming back to: 

“High-intent leads close at a higher rate than low-intent leads, so you should focus on those high-intent leads.”

For the love of everything!

“Hey, those demo requests seem to be turning into deals. If you could just get more of those, that would be great.” 

Are we really still talking about this? 

Let’s start here: 

Everyone who’s tried has realized you can’t just get more demos. 

Sure, it might look like it initially. When you double down and turn off some other stuff.

But can you really affect the number of in-market buyers meaningfully in the near term? 

Oh, right – demand generation. Just create some more of that demand! Get that POV out there, run those ads and start a podcast or something.

Your Director of Demand Gen or Revenue Marketing should be able to just turn it on, right? 

We’ve missed the whole darn point here. 

Before it makes any sense to obsess over an outcome like demo requests, we first have to obsess over finding one primary way to repeatedly get in front of our buyers. 

A way that can sustain and scale. And that brings would-be buyers to aha moments. 

(Yes, it all starts with distribution.)

Could ads be that? Possibly. But not likely. 

How about that podcast? Sure. If you can get people to want to listen to it regularly. 

Dark social must be it though, right? Hmm… 

The promise of the demand generation movement was basically that you could grow the slice of the pie that represents in-market buyers by simply getting your message out to where they are.

How’s that going for folks right now? 

When tech isn’t booming the way it was. When categories aren’t already growing. When capturing demand more effectively isn’t so easily mistaken for creating demand. 


Do we think savvy CEOs ever really believed that some of those guys over in marketing had figured out how to endlessly create new in-market buyers? 

Some probably wanted to because they hadn’t figured out how their business should grow. 

And that would create the kind of pressure that turns the (not-so-great) marketing leader into the villain who turns around and obnoxiously asks his/her head of demand gen: 

“Hey, what’s your plan for more demos?”

Meanwhile, great marketing leaders that have been through both ups and downs can see what’s really going on:

(1) Marketing is really hard (2) we have to solve problems higher up in the chain. 

Oh, and speaking of higher up in the chain…

If you’re really serious about getting more in-market buyers so you can consistently deliver those high-intent leads, here are three ways:

  1. Expand your market
  2. Deliver more product
  3. Position way differently

For that last one, we’re talking the level of (cue the eye-rolling) category design, not a different headline. 

Like when Qualtrics moved from survey company to Experience Management


The other part of this “high-intent leads vs low-intent leads” silliness is this idea that you should “turn off” the low-intent leads. That’s certainly not what we would recommend.

Especially now that buyers aren’t really buying the way they used to, gathering right-fit leads that just don’t yet have intent to buy is arguably one of your biggest opportunities. 

Couple that with distribution directly to those leads and an intentional approach to build towards aha moments and ultimately give them a taste of your core value. 

As folks are still running around saying other logical-but-not-helpful things like “it’s all about efficiency” and falling directly into the efficiency trap, we’re seeing “lead gen” as a highly efficient part of the low friction acquisition formula: 


It might seem logical that chasing high-intent leads would be efficient and something that will enable you to hit your growth targets quarter after quarter. 

But in a tough market and with goals going up, it just doesn’t get the job done. 

Listen, no pitch here, but if you do want to kick around alternative routes for your company, our founder Jay Baron will do a free call with any newsletter subscriber, so you can simply reply with a one-liner. 

We appreciate you reading! 

- Your partners in growth at Elevate Demand