Even though, a company’s sales personnel are typically viewed as part of the marketing function, there are also differences of opinion and sometimes conflicts between marketing and sales. Instead, mutual respect and cooperation need to rule the day!
“In my job, I chat with marketers very often about what problems they’re facing. One of the most common issues I hear about is lead flow — a marketing department generates hundreds of leads per month, but many of them aren’t closing. Nobody knows where to turn. Sales points fingers at marketing. Marketing points fingers at sales. They both shrug, unsure of how to proceed. To get the partnership running effectively again, there are three things I recommend marketers start doing with their sales team.”
1) “Provide sales training on how inbound leads are different. Many sales reps are trained to aggressively go after leads who will close ASAP — and ignore the ones who won’t. When I was in sales, I did the same thing. If a prospect wasn’t ready to send in a purchase order in the next week, I was onto the next lead. With limited time and an endless universe of opportunities, I had to prioritize. This mentality needs to shift when your company is generating inbound leads. Just because someone became a lead by downloading an E-book doesn’t mean they are ready to buy something immediately. On the other hand, they may very well be a great fit for your company down the line.”
2) “Develop a feedback loop between marketing and sales. How often have you seen leads go sales, receive follow-up, and then fall into a black hole? In my work with HubSpot customers, I see it all the time. This is a huge missed opportunity. To prevent this lack of communication, set up a way for sales to pass leads back into the nurturing funnel based on what they learned in the initial qualifying conversation. They like pink? Put them into the all-pink text E-mail nurturing campaign. They like chocolate sandwiches? Put them into the E-mail nurturing campaigns with lots of chocolate sandwiches.”
3) Set up regular meetings between marketing and sales. Some marketers pass all leads directly to their sales team and others only pass over the ones that meet criteria they determine as ‘sales qualified.’ For the latter group, if sales is passing back a lot of leads, this indicates the criteria for transitioning a lead needs to be tweaked. Look at examples of leads that were passed back and what about their criteria missed the mark. Set up a meeting to review these examples.”
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