Almost every organization will at some point experience a gap between their sales and marketing functions. The sales team may be skeptical of marketing’s efforts and frustrated about the quality of leads generated. The marketing team may feel unappreciated and pushed to the side because the sales team doesn’t maximize the use of the leads they create. As a result, two major teams within an organization operate out of alignment and consequently loose potential opportunities to fuel the pipeline – which should be the main priority!
We’ve outlined 6 tips to help bridge this gap and align the functions to help you create a more cohesive and seamless working relationship across the board.
1. Create a Universal Lead Definition
One critical way to increase efficiency within an organization is to come up with a clearly defined definition of a lead. When a prospect expresses interest, fills out a form, downloads a white paper, maybe even directly reaches out by phone – at what point do you consider them a “lead”? Is this consistent with what the sales team considers a lead?
If your definition isn’t in line– there will be missed opportunities, inconsistent reports, and an overall uncertainty that everyone is operating on the same page. Get together, ask the right questions, and create a widely understood or “global” definition of a lead!
2. Implement Human Interactions
In this ever changing data-driven/digital world, human-to-human interactions seem to be less and less. Adding the human touch is a critical component in getting to know your buyer persona. One surefire way to get to know more facts is to pick up the phone and have a personal engagement! Tune in to your potential customers’ perceptions and needs in order to qualify them in the most efficient way possible.
3. Enhance Lead Qualification Efforts
In order to increase conversion rates and lead qualification, sales and marketing need to work in sync to be focused on consistent communication and engagement with potential buyers. The key is to understand the customer’s motivation. Sales wants more qualified leads and marketing aids in the qualification process. In this way marketing can provide even more value to the sales process. As mentioned above, assign priority to make use of the phone to get the information you need to start those qualifying conversations. Engage with prospects, build trust, start a relationship – all of this before going in for the kill to ask for an appointment.
4. Improve Segmentation to Drive Personalization
One way to maximize your email marketing outreach is to improve your database segmentation. Establishing segments will allow you to tailor your content for each specific group of contacts you’re targeting. It’s very important to have clear communication between both sales and marketing to safeguard against any lost information for specific segmentation. If sales are asking the right questions with their prospects, they need to share that information so marketing can personalize content even further.
One specific segment to keep in mind is the role of a prospect, instead of their title. It’s become obvious, especially within high growth organizations, that titles have become quite generic and therefore less useful. What gives you a better clue, even into the buying cycle and who’s involved, is the particular role of the prospect.
5. Strategic Selling – Touch Multiple Prospects in Each Organization
You may think you have the right contacts within an account but actually – you may not have enough! The amount of people involved in the buyers cycle is actually 7x more than the common perception of 1-3 decision makers! Take a look at this Infographic: The Hard Truth About Connecting to gain a bit more insight into the perceived ideas vs. the realities about the number of Individuals Involved in the Buying Cycle. The goal here is to touch multiple people within an account to get to the right influencers and decision-makers.
Network with your current contacts to get to the right people! This will enable both the sales and marketing teams to nurture accounts in the most efficient way possible –not only selling to a few contacts within an organization but the organization as a whole.
6. Mind the Gap
Don’t underestimate the importance of simply acknowledging this separation between sales and marketing – mind the gap! To reach your peak success and maximize your ROI, both teams need to come together to create a passionate interaction with both skill sets working in sync. Facilitate an open line of communication with both functions to ultimately drive more efficiency in your pipeline creation.
From the digital marketing world to the sales world, the emerging landscape is a mind-field. You may not know where to start. Realistically, you can’t do it all on your own. Marketing are focused on generating content and disseminating it. Sales are focused on the pipeline. You need a third party to bridge the gap and provide that interphase between sales and marketing to qualify leads by phone before passing to the sales team. Learn about our scaleable Lead Generation On-Demand packages.