How Some Good Lovin’ Between Sales & Marketing Will Bring Home the Bacon
Ultimately, quality leads are the raison d’être of (most, if not all) marketers. Sure, we have awareness campaigns, we do a re-brand to secure differentiation and memorability, we do research to profile the perfect distribution partner. But, ultimately – it’s all about the lead.
With the race for attention, and the hoops we jump through to prove relevance and deliver value – getting that quality lead isn’t always easy. Sometimes, there’s a trail of blood, sweat, and tears that we leave behind us by the time we get to our MQLs. We go inbound, we go outbound, create killer content, invest loads of K’s into media placement, court analysts, exhibit at events. What is it that we, marketers – don’t do to bring our sales gods their coveted leads?
Once those MQLs get into the funnel, and are in the CRM system – what happens then?
Before we answer that question I want to share a four step process I recently came across in a blog post by Saleshub, a Canadian inbound sales and marketing agency.
In that post the concept of closed-loop marketing is introduced. That is, closing the lead gen process with sales once the deal is closed.
The benefits are obvious: being able to uncover which activities and which channels bring in the most or the least leads.
The three steps discussed are:
Track and source web visitors: i.e. did they come to our site via a social media post, PPC ad, email marketing, or search term? (there's lots of tools out there to help us source visitors)
Add a cookie to trace their journey across your site and content: i.e. which pages they visited, stayed on, and what did they click on.
Mark the conversion event: the content, asset, or any other CTA that ultimately lead to conversion.
Source the deal: i.e. once the lead becomes a customer, make sure to know where it all started and what nailed it.
This four step process makes perfect sense, of course. The one step that must precede it and is taken for granted is that once sales receives the lead from marketers that they will initiate contact.
This should not be taken for granted. Through no fault of their own (I was one of these sales types for many years and have a lot of empathy for the realities of the burden to meet quota), sales people are not always focused on leads – sometimes they are very much, almost exclusively focused on active opportunities.
Consequently, if the value of our campaigns and content is measured by opportunities, and even if they’re not – it is our responsibility as marketers to make sure that our hard earned leads are properly courted by sales. This is the time to be proactive. This is the time for marketing and sales to work hand in hand as the true partners that we are.
So what can we do? Here's my own four step process:
Establish the scoring system: for every asset a prospect consumes they should get the credit they deserve. You can assign, for example, 1 point for a page visit, 20 points for a case study download, 40 points for a webinar registration - and when they reach a 100 points - get on the phone. This could be the job of inside sales or the direct sales force - depending on your organization.
Agree on the SLA: when prospects are engaged, and especially when they fill out the 'contact me' form - we better hit the iron while it's hot. We definitely don't want to wait more than 48 hours to get back to someone who has need and budget. Establishing an SLA with sales is critical to ensuring we don't miss out on any opportunity. We don't want to get to the point that by the time we realize that we need to contact a hot lead, they're already knee deep in discussions with the competition.
Track and synch: to make sure that no leads go unnoticed - we can set up automatic alerts in the CRM or marketing automation system about leads who engaged with content, set up dashboards in that same CRM system that give us a unified and holistic view of, for example: number of new leads created and with which inside sales or sales person they're with, and the number of leads who haven't been contacted - how long it's been per the SLA that they haven't been contacted - and who isn't contacting them.
Synch and swim: the whole point is not to be the police officer, rather to be a conversion enabler. Through a collaborative dialogue with sales - after all, we're all after the same thing - we can together get to those hot leads and turn them into hot opportunities.
Want to see how that works and strategize some good lovin’ between you and your sales team, get in touch! And let’s do great marketing together >>