The SiriusDecisions Demand Waterfall explained: Part I

Feb 4, 2021


Welcome to Rossi Marketing's comprehensive guide to understanding the SiriusDecisions Demand Waterfall. As a leading digital marketing agency in the Business and Consumer Services industry, we recognize the value and importance of a well-executed demand generation strategy. In this article, we will delve deep into the intricacies of the Demand Waterfall and provide you with valuable insights and strategies to drive your business forward.

What is the SiriusDecisions Demand Waterfall?

The SiriusDecisions Demand Waterfall is a widely recognized and adopted framework for managing and optimizing B2B demand generation processes. Developed by SiriusDecisions, a global research and advisory firm, the Demand Waterfall provides a systematic approach to nurturing leads, converting them into opportunities, and ultimately, aligning marketing and sales efforts for revenue growth.

The Stages of the Demand Waterfall

The Demand Waterfall consists of several key stages that businesses must navigate to drive successful demand generation. Let's explore each stage in detail:

1. Inquiry

At the top of the Demand Waterfall lies the Inquiry stage. This is where potential customers show interest by submitting a form, engaging with content, or requesting more information. It's crucial for businesses to capture and qualify these inquiries effectively to move them deeper into the funnel.

2. Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)

Once an inquiry meets certain criteria and is deemed a viable lead, it becomes a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL). At this stage, marketers focus on nurturing the lead, delivering relevant content, and building a relationship to increase the likelihood of conversion.

3. Sales Accepted Lead (SAL)

When an MQL meets the predetermined standards set by the sales team, it progresses to the Sales Accepted Lead (SAL) stage. This handoff from marketing to sales ensures that only qualified leads are pursued, increasing efficiency and effectiveness.

4. Opportunity

The Opportunity stage signifies a significant advancement in the buying process. At this stage, the lead has been fully qualified, and there is a genuine opportunity for revenue generation. Sales teams focus on engaging with the lead, understanding their needs, and presenting tailored solutions.

5. Closed-Won

The final and most coveted stage of the Demand Waterfall is the Closed-Won stage. This indicates that the opportunity has been successfully closed, and a deal has been won. It marks the culmination of a well-executed demand generation strategy, resulting in revenue growth and business success.

Best Practices for Implementing the Demand Waterfall

Now that we have explored the stages of the SiriusDecisions Demand Waterfall, let's discuss some best practices for successfully implementing it within your organization:

1. Alignment between Marketing and Sales

Effective communication and collaboration between marketing and sales teams are critical for the success of the Demand Waterfall. Regular meetings, shared goals, and a unified approach ensure seamless lead handoff, increased efficiency, and improved revenue outcomes.

2. Clear Definition of Lead Qualification Criteria

Establishing clear and agreed-upon criteria for lead qualification is essential. This prevents misalignment and confusion while ensuring the right leads are pursued at each stage of the funnel. Regularly revisit and refine these criteria to optimize lead quality and maximize conversions.

3. Continuous Monitoring and Measurement

Analytics play a crucial role in demand generation. Implement robust tracking and reporting mechanisms to gain insights into lead progression, identify bottlenecks, and measure the effectiveness of your demand generation efforts. Leverage these insights to make data-driven optimizations and drive better results.


In conclusion, understanding and implementing the SiriusDecisions Demand Waterfall is vital for businesses in the digital marketing industry. The framework offers a structured approach to demand generation, enabling businesses to optimize their processes and drive revenue growth. At Rossi Marketing, we have extensive experience and expertise in leveraging the Demand Waterfall to deliver exceptional results for our clients. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business maximize its demand generation efforts and achieve long-term success.