Earlier this week I wrote a post asking the question Does Sales Care About Alignment with Marketing? Some great comments were made about the fact that sales will LOVE marketing if they get QUALITY leads. But not much was said about what it takes to make that happen.
B2B marketing and sales alignment, sales enablement and integrating the pipeline into one end-to-end process won't occur just because your company needs to give salespeople qualified leads. It takes work. And, often this work requires shifting the culture for both departments.
For those of you making progress - Congrats! For those of you with a healthy Marketing VS Sales mentality, see how many of these scenarios are true within your company:
- Don't let marketing and sales speak to each other or share information.
- Refuse to create an agreed-upon ideal lead definition.
- Encourage sales to cherry-pick leads and let the others rot in the CRM.
- Let salespeople tell their own stories and create their own content.
- Have sales reps pitch everyone who downloads a white paper.
- Mandate that marketing focus on increasing lead quantity.
- Consider marketing a cost center.
- Don't give marketing any technology that improves visibility into the buying process.
- Only approve short-term marketing campaigns that include sales offers.
- Give all the credit for revenue production to the sales team.
In case no one has mentioned this, operating your company's marketing and sales efforts as distinct, separate and siloed entities is self-defeating. Not to mention irritating to your prospects, buyers and customers due to the disconnects for them in their relationship with your company.
Alternatively, consider this scenario that can become a reality when marketing and sales work together:
Marketing generates net-new leads. They score the leads based on demographics and put them into nurturing tracks based on how they were sourced (subject matter interest) and who they are (personas).
Every couple of touches, the prospects are asked a progressive question on the landing page to help qualify them based on the ideal lead definition that marketing and sales have agreed upon.
When a certain score is reached, an inside sales rep is alerted to call the lead and provided with a follow-on content offer relevant to their expressed interests. This enables a conversation based on a topic of relevance to the lead. The inside sales rep either routes the lead to field sales as qualified for pursuit, or lets them remain in nurturing for futher development.
And the process continues consistently as marketing and sales work together to help prospects make progress across their buying process until they're ready to engage with sales.
Sales accepts 171% more leads than they used to.
Sales is able to increase their ability to connect with leads by 200% because leads feel like they know them due to relevant nurturing interactions.
Because the value the company provides is recognized by the leads based on education, expertise and evidence content, there is less discounting, resulting in higher revenue per won deal.
The time it takes to close deals is reduced by 30% from what it took before.
[These results are real as reported by Intellitactics and presented as a case study reported in my book, eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale]
If these improvements don't matter to your company, by all means, keep that Marketing VS Sales mentality alive and thriving in your company.
But, really, why would you want to?