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Bridging Sales & Marketing For Effective Lead Generation

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In lead generation it is important to define what constitutes a lead and have an agreement between Sales and Marketing. This is to ensure that that Sales and Marketing work in unison based on a common understanding of the term “lead”. There are some pointers which qualify a lead as a possible buyer for products or services, some of which are listed below.

Feedback on Quality of Leads
Basic feedback on a lead would mean reporting on whether a conversation with an interested customer occurred, if there is an interest and when the deal is closed. Additionally, how a lead performs over time (potentially months) is of interest and the lead’s reaction to all marketing touch-points is critical. Along with positive feedback, negative feedback is also required for the marketing department to further optimize the marketing automation process.

Input into Scoring Rules
For lead generation, feedback from the sales team on the quality of the leads should be used in refining the lead scoring rules. Asking the sales team for their criteria (for example, which lead source consistently delivers high-quality leads) should be mandatory for marketing departments. With a better lead score, sales team can focus on the promising prospects: this makes them more effective and also more likely to hit their sales target. This also gives sales a sense of ownership over the scoring criteria and reduces friction between the departments.

Input into Workflow
Similar to improving lead score calculations, the workflows can be optimized by repeating the events which have had a positive impact on the prospect and even improving the sequence in which the events are delivered based on feedback from the sales team.

Follow-up Handshake
Establishing specific lead follow-up expectations within sales department is important for marketing department in terms of the lead source or lead scoring. The expectation should include how quickly the follow up should occur, the methods of follow-up (e.g. phone, email) and the number of attempts to make contact.

Lead Capacity Model
This means determining how many leads the sales team can effectively follow-up on. If the lead volume exceeds capacity, then scoring & filtering leads becomes a key element in the process.

Returning Leads
It should not be solely the marketing department’s responsibility to take back leads. The sales team needs to be equally responsible for returning leads as ‘not sales-ready’, with reason for recycling, and pointers for the type of nurturing campaign required.

All the collaborative steps mentioned above are important, as at the end of the day, Sales would want a higher quantity of leads, which have a high potential to convert to sales. Marketing Automation projects are highly successful when treated as a joint project. Of course, the best way to measure the success of a marketing project is to get Sales to give a score card on how well Marketing did in terms of production of leads using Marketing Automation.



 
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  Published Date - October 31 2011
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  Mr. Martin Well
 
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