In today’s world, the perfect qualified sales lead is one that has come to us, engaged with us, and has felt that we’ve provided them value – even before talking to us. When the sales rep finally reaches out, the lead is responsive, and so the sales rep uses their time more effectively, focusing on opportunities that are more likely to close. In order for marketing to provide this continuum of value, engagement and nurturing that makes the lead feel like they are valued and not like they’re being sold to, the two departments must work together. Unfortunately, as we all know, communication between sales and marketing is rarely resonant.
The difference between sales and marketing’s ideal qualified sales leads
At a very fundamental level, sales in most organizations has not accurately defined the perfect sales lead, even though sales has a very pragmatic and realistic understanding of the needs of the people that they’re speaking with. On the other end, marketing, which typically doesn’t have such a crisp view of that reality, is in charge of defining the attributes of ideal qualified sales leads, also called personas. Since communication between sales and marketing is not always optimal, marketing misses some of the key questions, attributes, and nuances that occur in a real sales discussion. The result is that the personas defined by marketing usually don’t equate to what sales representatives in reality call a perfect qualified sales lead. The foundation of this discussion has to be the meeting of minds between sales and marketing in terms of who is the perfect lead.
Finding a middle ground
The lead generation department used to have the job to filter and score qualified leads; today it’s much more elegant in that inbound marketing creates quality content that naturally pulls people toward your company and product.
To do this successfully, marketing has to know what the basic issues, questions, needs, and preferences are that the sales representatives deal with in early discussions. A marketing department that’s sophisticated in inbound marketing can then use this information to create attraction strategies that provide alignment of value and content with those interests. That way, your organization attracts and nurtures qualified sales leads that will be interested to talk with your sales representatives and have a higher propensity to close.
When marketing activity is consistently delivering value that anticipates the initial sales engagement, there is a seamless experience that delivers higher performance In the perfect world, marketing has a conversion process that adds value, builds trust, and creates a level of meaningful engagement so that it’s natural for the lead to reach out and ask for discussion with the sales representative.
The first step
To get closer to this goal, it is fundamental that your sales representatives accurately capture insights from the sales process as data and use them to deliver a consistent experience of value. Share your Insight Panel™ with marketing so that their engagement strategies are synergistic and their personas are more accurate. These strategies are part of the Insight Sales Process™. It enables sales reps to capture key insights gathered in their calls and meetings that increase sales effectiveness – and makes it easy to implement by supporting the process in the workflow. To learn more, download your complimentary white paper on Responding to the New Sales Reality: How Insight Selling Can Increase Sales Effectiveness.