To achieve sales and marketing alignment, both teams must understand and agree to whom they’re selling to. Since a lead’s sales-readiness is always the cause of disconnect between the two groups, it’s important to settle the question early on in the sales cycle.
Most often, at the end of the quarter when sales are racing against time to meet the quota, they pressurize marketing for more leads. Some of the leads are sales-ready, but a majority is not. When trails turn cold, the sales team starts to treat leads coming in from marketing with doubts. Marketing, on the other hand, feels undervalued for the effort they have put in so far, leading to a disconnect that could have been avoided in the first step itself.
Here are a few things that sales and marketing must agree upon to make communications between the two seamless and friendly.
1. Identify buyer persona and his action at every funnel stage
Once the buyer persona is set up based on buying capacity, demographics, behavior patterns, and more, it’s important to chart out the lead progression from awareness to the interest stage.
2. Identify what constitutes lead movement to the next stage
Through browsing history such as eBook downloads, attending webinars, or reading whitepapers, both teams must define behaviors that indicate when a lead has moved from top of the funnel to the next stage. A robust marketing automation system helps you identify this easily, and tracks lead movement through the funnel.
3. Identify what behavior(s) indicates readiness to buy
When sales and marketing agree on what they term as a sales-ready lead, it prevents confusion and contempt at the later stages. It also helps them complement each other’s work in order to generate purchase-ready leads.
4. Decide how leads will be handed over to sales
When the lead list is ready with hot leads and not-so-hot leads, marketing and sales can leverage an integrated CRM system that lets sales see instantly when leads are ready.
5. Decide what to do with not-ready leads
This helps sales to send back leads that are not hot enough for conversion. They require more intervention from the marketing side, for sales teams to pursue them for closure.
It is evident that the crucial step of defining a sales-ready lead can go a long way in fostering mutual accountability, and increasing team focus in the entire lead generation program. With an aligned sales and marketing, the company can expect to make steady progress in attracting new leads and converting them into new customers.
An experienced partner can support you in setting up a sales strategy, carrying out inbound and outbound marketing activities, and supporting you through the entire sales and marketing lifecycle. It helps reap benefits such as high–quality lead generation, increased visibility, and improved brand awareness. RAP is a full life cycle sales and marketing company committed to accelerating your growth path. Even if your requirement is for a distinct stage of the lifecycle, we can fit our solution to your organization’s demands. If you’d like to know how RAP can help you, get in touch with us.