There’s nothing more frustrating than struggling to put a top-notch B2B marketing effort together, only to hit a brick wall of poor sales results. Often the wall exists as a function of poor sales and marketing alignment. This isn’t a new dilemma; companies have been dealing with the successful transition of leads from marketing to sales for what seems like forever.
If you are experiencing trouble with your sales funnel, explore our 3 common reasons for trouble based on sales and marketing misalignment and learn how to address them.
Sales and marketing aren’t on the same page
It becomes more apparent with the advances in lead generation, nurturing and conversion that if sales and marketing aren’t playing with the same rule book, things can go south quickly. Stop problems before they start by making sales and marketing alignment a priority. Both departments should be working together throughout the whole sales process: from the criteria you create for a productive lead scoring system, through the touch points marketing engages in with prospects to a clean hand off to sales through continued communications to close.The hallmarks of sales and marketing alignment include:
• Lead scoring that reflects input from both departments to rate leads most likely to convert – this is never a static process. Scoring should constantly be tweaked.
• Targeted email marketing which focuses on prospects’ interests and problems and moves leads through the funnel toward conversion effectively – the best email marketing builds upon a feedback loop from sales.
• Collaboration between sales and marketing for quick kickback of sales leads that need further nurturing.
2. Leads aren’t getting attended to quickly enough.
The ideal time period between inquiry and contact is 5 minutes. At that point you’re four times more likely to qualify a lead than when letting 5 more minutes slip by and 21 times more likely than when you think about it for 20 minutes. Faster response to leads = better conversion rates.
To stay on top of every lead that comes into the pipeline you need marketing automation software which manages the process from initial inquiry to closed sale.
Sales should offer continuous feedback to the marketing team in order to further hone the definition of a MQL (marketing qualified lead). The more you do this, the more you’ll be happy with the leads you receive.
3. You’re dropping more leads than you should.
If leads are moving through the cycle too fast, marketing may be in too big a hurry to stuff the funnel. Your lead scoring system needs to be on point to rate leads correctly. Lead scoring needs constant attention and adjustment. Learn it. Live it.
Next, your content needs to target relevant questions and concerns your prospects may have throughout the nurturing cycle. Since all leads are not created equal, help marketing to fine-tune messaging dependent on who the lead is:
• Are they influencers?
• Do they have actual buying power?
• Are they buying-by-committee members?
- With all the chatter buyers hear, the message you send them should be worthwhile, succinct and applicable to their unique requirements. Don’t let marketing waste their time or attention on information they can’t use. Empower marketing with the data they need to develop meaningful messaging. Share with them insights that can affect messaging. These insights come directly from your prospects with whom you speak every day.
The process of breaking down the imaginary wall between sales and marketing may seem overwhelming. However when you dedicate the time to examining what is truly holding back sales effectiveness you can successfully swing your sledgehammer to eradicate the barriers between you and sales success. When you do you’ll find solutions for improving your sales effectiveness and better ROI for your marketing efforts.
Interested in learning more about how your organization can elevate your sales? Visit our resource center to learn how Marketo is helping companies evolve with Sales 2.0.