“As marketers, we should be changing the mantra from ‘always be closing’ to ‘always be helping”. – Jonathan Lister
One of the major goals of any organisation should be to align the sales and marketing teams so they are working in harmony, as it can improve the quality of leads being generating, as well as increase the conversion rate of these leads. If the two teams can’t collaborate then they won’t be able to effectively build relationships and best serve the customers.
Yet it is often easier said than done to get the two teams to work seamlessly together without friction, especially when they have different goals, different ways of working, and different expectations of what the other should deliver. There has traditionally been a lot of conflict between the two teams.
If each team –– and each member within a team –– does not have a defined role that is communicated with the other team then there will be frustration, confusion, and a poor working relationship. Communication also needs to be open and honest to enable true collaboration.
That’s why marketing and sales need to align in the way they work and have complementary goals if they want to generate more revenue for the company.
Lead generation and nurturing process
How does the marketing department know when a lead is ready to be passed to the sales team? Creating and implementing a robust process for lead generation and nurturing that both teams should follow –– and have input on –– is one of the key drivers of marketing and sales alignment. To truly succeed, this strategy needs input and support from senior management and key stakeholders from your marketing and sales teams.
This lead generation process needs to match up with each team’s goals and way of working. For example, often marketers have more long-term goals, as taking a website visitor and turning them into a qualified warm lead that can be passed to the sales team can take a long time. Sometimes the lead nurturing process can take days, but sometimes it can take months.
These days, marketing is often very data-driven and more precise, meaning that marketers can rely a lot on these metrics to run campaigns and make decisions.
But when a sales team receives a qualified lead, they normally have to act quite quickly to make contact and try to make the prospect understand how the product or service they are selling can solve their problem or make their lives better. They have weekly, monthly, and yearly quotas and targets that they have to hit.
There are also a number of misunderstandings that can arise if each team doesn’t know what the other is doing and how they operate. Maybe the sales team is complaining that the marketing team isn’t generating high enough quality leads as they aren’t converting, but marketers think the problem lies with the sales team not being able to do their job correctly.
Creating a collaborative lead generation process
Implementing a successful lead generation strategy will align marketing and sales teams within your organisation.
To create this strategy, you need to have clearly defined company goals that can then be cascaded down to one single goal for the sales and marketing teams. While both teams are working towards the same goal, within that you need to have defined how you score leads and communicated that to all involved. This should help ease any complaints that sales have that marketing hasn’t delivered high-quality, qualified leads.
There also needs to be a consensus over what teams regard as a qualified lead, bringing together the concepts of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL), Sales Accepted Leads (SAL), and Sales Qualified Leads (SQL). The final piece of this is ensuring that there are Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for each phase of the revenue cycle. This involves discussing and agreeing on questions, such as:
- What happens when marketing hands over a qualified lead to the sales team – what are the next steps in the process?
- How long will it take for the sales team to make contact with the lead (or decide not to make contact)
- What happens to the lead if the sales team decides not to contact them – will it come back to marketing and, if so, what will the next steps for the marketing team be?
Any company needs sales and marketing to work together through lead scoring, lead qualification, and service level agreements if they are to succeed and offer the best possible sales process to prospects, while building relationships that turn these prospects into loyal customers.
At WSI, we can help you come up with a way to best generate, score, and qualify your leads. We also work with marketing automation software providers to build workflows that can help automate the lead generation and scoring process to ensure even better collaboration and alignment between the sales and marketing departments.
visitors and clicks. They need to understand how their marketing strategies and tactics impact the entire customer journey at the various conversion points throughout the sales funnel.
To be able to do this, you need to start by clearly setting out SMART goals and objectives for your lead generation strategy. As the acronym suggests, these goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based
After that, you need to set Key Performance Indicators (KPI) so you can evaluate how campaigns are performing, as well as measure the successes and failures of particular activities and business areas.
You’re unlikely to be able to measure every single metric, so make sure you pick ones that are meaningful for your business, and will allow you to identify opportunities for improvement. These goals and KPIs should be decided collaboratively across the business so as to ensure you are collecting and analyzing data that gets insight that can be applied to different areas of the business.
-Lead Generation Blogs-
Full-stack digital marketing analytics
Your analytics and business insight is only as good as the data you collect. If you aren’t collecting the right data, or if it’s stored in a mix of different silos, then you will be getting an incomplete or inaccurate idea of business performance.
You also need to think about which sources you collect data from, and if you have the right technology in place to be able to collect and store the data in one place, which is accessible to all people.
If you start using full-stack digital marketing analytics you will be able to compare performance across different channels and marketing techniques, such as social media, website, content marketing, and email marketing. By centralising all the data you are pulling in you’ll be able to better apply analytics, which will help you determine the true ROI and impact of your marketing activities.
This approach also allows you to diagnose deficiencies in marketing channels so you can adjust tactics to better align with your broader marketing strategy and objectives.
Without full-stack analytics, you are virtually guaranteed to miss critical insights and opportunities for improved marketing performance. With full-stack analytics, you can better plan, implement, execute, track, and optimize marketing campaigns. This can lead to better relationships with customers, improved pricing, a more efficient lead generation and nurturing process, more repeat customers and, ultimately, better revenue.
At WSI, we can help you with all areas of your digital marketing strategy, from planning through to execution and tracking the success of each campaign so you can understand what to do more of to boost your ROI.