30 March 2016
As a customer engagement agency, everyday we encounter companies making their first steps into the world of customer experience. We mainly support specialists, from Marketing and IT departments, who are looking for a solution that generates high quality leads from their successful marketing activities.
It was often revealed that Sales would frequently complain about Marketing only delivering cold leads, due to a lack of understanding of the business. In response Marketing would defend themselves arguing that Sales are too lazy to follow up on the good leads. Yes, it’s the eternal Sales and Marketing battle. However, from our experience we know it can be managed in a different way. Modern Marketers all over the world are bridging this gap and ending this annoying battle between Sales and Marketing.
According to SiriusDecisions1, B2B organizations with tightly-aligned marketing and sales achieved 24% faster revenue growth and 27% faster profit growth over a three-year period.
You are probably wondering… how can your organisation get closer to growth levels like that?
Well, for the beginners… how about involving Sales in the discussion first, before commencing your Modern Marketing transformation? It all begins with that initial conversation, and agreement on a shared end goal. Think for example, that the end goal is the estimated turnover of the company. To generate turnover, you need to close deals, and to help close deals Sales need tools, documentation and, most importantly, they need LEADS. Sales create some leads by themselves, but at the same time, your Marketing efforts are extremely helpful in generating new leads.
A key goal during your first meeting with sales, is to clearly understand the answer to one very important question ‘What is your definition of a lead?’
It can be difficult to answer to this question directly, so allow time for them to reflect on it and come back to you. Sales may provide several definitions of a lead, based on various product/market combinations. This is a perfect place to start!
Once you have the definition of a lead you need to review the different phases of lead generation. You should examine the processes that determine how the opportunity is managed and captured: definition of a Lead, MQL, SQL etc.
Next up are the responsibilities. Who is in charge of creating a lead, nurturing a lead, accepting a lead, managing the opportunity, etc. Describe these responsibilities briefly, clearly and unambiguously. Make any actions crystal clear for everyone.
At this moment you have an overview of:
So now we need to make the responsibilities measurable. How? By giving each funnel stage specific timing. For example: within 4 business hours Sales must accept or decline any Marketing Qualified Lead created. Agree an acceptable amount of time for a lead or opportunity to be within each stage and start monitoring it and reporting on it.
Place everything in a slide deck and present it back to both Marketing & Sales. Everybody will love it because they can all see exactly what is expected of them, on one slide. Remember the slide deck is not set in stone, with good feedback leading to new updates the slide can become a living document. Most importantly, we guarantee, it will bring your Sales & Marketing teams closer together.
By asking just a few questions you have developed your own Sales & Marketing Service Level Agreement (SLA). Except this time, you are doing it right because:
So keep in mind that successful companies are those who have tightly aligned Marketing and Sales departments. This can all start with an initial conversation and the first BIG question… WHAT IS A LEAD?