It’s commonly noted that sales and marketing departments are often at odds with one another. In what should be a seamless marriage of two departments working together toward customer acquisition, we often find that it is more of a clunky prospect-to-customer handoff.
In fact, a LeanData survey confirmed strain between the two departments, “[…] 51 percent of marketers are not satisfied with the level of communication between the teams and 53 percent of sales professionals are not pleased with marketing’s support.”
On both sides of the table, 1 in every 2 marketing and sales professionals feel that the other side isn’t pulling their weight. Something’s got to give.
As a marketing professional, you know the energy and resources you put into building your system that helps bring in prospective leads for your sales departments. But what if you could do better? The fact of the matter is, you can. And once you do, you can position yourself and your team as the shining star department of your organization.
In this article, we’ll go over the various ways you can improve the strategies and processes of your marketing department in order to see a greater ROI between your marketing and sales efforts.
Align the marketing to sales mission
Many marketers believe this goes without saying, however the two departments are often developed in relative exclusivity. Often times, different sales and marketing material are made in isolation of one another. A marketer might develop a “buyer’s persona” metric and a salesman may create a sales pitch deck. The problem is, they aren’t always sharing the creations with one another. In fact, a recent CSO Insights study indicated that 32% of a sales rep’s time was spent looking for or creating sales content. This is important because a sales professional should be focusing on the lead and closing them rather than spending a third of their time creating sales content. When building the sales & marketing strategy, the teams should be working in unison – from the top of the sales funnel all the way through.
You have an understanding of the audience that your organization is aiming for. By developing targeted content and material for your sales team, you are helping bridge the gap and any lapse in organization-branded messaging. Maintaining a consistent experience is vital for any prospect that is currently progressing through your sales funnel.
Create a shared data and process reporting system
Another way a marketing professional can improve the lead hand-off is by compiling lead intelligence through the qualification stage. What you should be charged with here is gathering any and all information of the leads including:
- Contact information
- Demographic information
- Areas of interest
- Level of engagement
All of this information can be uploaded and shared in your organization’s CRM and will allow for a clearer picture of what the prospective customer’s buying intents are. It’s also important to note here what method of communication does the lead prefer? What forms have they filled out? Each detailed dimension added will help sales know how and when to approach the lead and what tools they can use to secure the sale.
It’s also important to collaborate with the sales department to obtain all the information they get from the leads: conversion rates, revenue generated, customer lifetime value etc so you can continuously improve your processes.
Handover better qualified leads
Not all leads are created equal.
Did you know how important it is when qualifying leads to be the first to contact a lead? Research indicates that when you’re the first to respond to a lead, you’re 3X more likely to convert the lead. Furthermore, 78% of leads buy from the first responder.
You are in charge of gathering leads, but you’re also responsible for making sure that the leads that are gathered are qualified to be sent over to sales and to be converted.
Both the marketing and the sales team can be stretched thin on resources throughout the course of business. If you can respond to a lead instantaneously, you position your team to hand over more qualified leads to your sales department.
Construct the optimal sales funnel
Your organization’s sales funnel is the various process points your customers pass through before, and often after, their purchase of your product or service. Every organization’s sales funnel will have its unique intricacies. This is where you can use your savvy marketing know-how to help define the various stages of your organization’s sales funnel, what the potential customer will experience as they progress through the sales funnel process and what your marketing team can provide in order for the purchase stage to be a seamless handoff for the sales team as possible.
Collaboration on the sales funnel process can help identify and mitigate friction points: stages during the process where leads can be lost or lose traction in the process. Once friction points are identified, it can open the door to implementation of automated marketing processes that help further qualify the leads headed towards sales.
According to a survey, 91% of the most successful marketers believe that automation is “very important” to their campaign’s success. What’s more, is it’s noted that marketing automation can result in 14.5% increase in sales productivity when implemented correctly in an organization’s sales funnel.
Many organizations find that there is a gap between their sales and marketing departments. In fact, 25% of organizations believe that their sales and marketing efforts are “misaligned” or “rarely aligned.”
Your organization doesn’t have to be a statistic.
Within your marketing department, you know the importance of bridging the gap between generating the lead on your end and handing it off to the sales department to make the sale. By using the strategies laid out above, you can work towards building seamless integration of your marketing and sales efforts so you can see the revenues within your organization soar and you can get back to doing what your department does best – generate and qualify more leads.