Oftentimes, there is no official process in place for generating and managing leads. If a process does exist, it's usually a combination of manual tasks and inefficient communications that put leads at risk of never closing. In this post, we’ll cover six questions to consider, determining whether your sales lead process is both efficient and effective.
- Do your sales and marketing teams communicate effectively? While they rely heavily on each other, many sales and marketing teams often operate within a silo. In fact, Forrester data shows that only 8% of B2B companies have tight marketing and sales alignment. The top reasons blamed for misalignment include long-term thinking by marketing vs. short-term thinking by sales, different goals and measurements, and not enough time.
- Are your sales and marketing technologies in sync? Not only do the people within sales and marketing teams often neglect to share information, but the technologies used by each team rarely share data in real time. Activating bi-directional synchronization between your CRM software and marketing automation system will keep both marketing and sales teams updated on recent customer activity, allowing each team to adjust their strategies to any changes as they occur.
- Does your company experience lost leads? Is every lead provided by your marketing team contacted by sales? If not, your organization has likely missed some key opportunities. Gartner reports that up to 70% of sales leads are not properly leveraged or are completely ignored, thus wasting marketing program dollars. Leads often fall through the cracks or are passed on due to a lack of a closed-loop follow-up process, or because salespeople perceive them as difficult or unqualified.
- Are your processes and terminology clearly defined? Are both the sales and marketing teams on the same page regarding what a qualified lead looks like, as well as what to do once they identify one? According to CSO Insights, only 1 in 2 companies say sales and marketing have a formal definition of a qualified lead. This is the first step in getting these two teams into alignment.
- Is your marketing team scoring your leads? Does your marketing automation software provide the ability to assign a score to all leads? If not, you’re missing out on an opportunity to measure the level of interest of each lead, as well as update lead lifecycle stages, move leads to the CRM and trigger notifications using marketing automation workflows.
- Is the sales team qualifying your leads? Is your sales team taking the extra step to ensure that the leads provided by marketing meet your qualifying criteria? If not, create a set of qualification questions, such as current situation, product of interest, timeframe, key decision makers, etc. This saves both time and effort that would be put toward a prospect that is unlikely to become a paying customer.
B2B companies’ inability to align sales and marketing teams around the right processes and technologies has cost them upwards of 10% or more of revenue per year (IDC). On the other hand, SiriusDecisions reports that companies with aligned sales and marketing teams achieve up to 19% faster growth and 15% higher profitability. Having a fully-baked sales lead process is the key to aligning these two departments for the good of the entire organization.
Want to go from ‘half-baked’ to ‘fully-baked’? Download our white paper, “Your Sales Lead Process is Half-Baked. Learn a Better Way”.