Sales and marketing departments are two key players that need to be on the same team to ensure the company’s success. It is crucial to make sure they cooperate smoothly, and there are no lost chances related to the lead source and lead generation. To do so, each Head of Marketing needs to know the most about the lead source. This article indicates what to focus on.
You can have a winning team of salespeople, managed by an outstanding head of sales. Next to them, may work brilliant marketing experts, led by a pro experienced in the industry. But, the most critical part is the cooperation, and the exchange of information between these two groups. Without that, they will be just a bunch of clerks who, in the long run, will not meet their goals. How to make it all work?
To create this article we talked with Sergey Butko, the CMO of CallPage. He shared with us his insights and advice coming from his experience. From them, we created a list of questions each Head of Marketing should ask their sales counterpart about the lead source, to ensure the company’s success.
1. Number of leads one rep needs to hit quota
Marketing must receive clear information on how many leads one salesperson must be given to work efficiently and meet their target. All this should be based on a detailed forecast. By knowing this, marketing can plan their activities, and Head of Sales will be able to either, ask for more leads, or reduce their sales team.
2. The volume of leads a rep works with in a defined period
While working on lead generation, marketing needs both, quantitative and qualitative, data about the lead source. What is more, it is not only about delivering as many leads as possible - more is not always better. Marketing has to know how many leads a rep needs to meet their target, but also what is their limit. Delivering too many leads is pointless and ends in lost chances in the selling process. If a rep is unable to work with all contacts they received, because there are just too many of them, the whole company loses.
3. The definition of SQL and MQL
Clarity in definitions of MQLs and SQLs is essential for good communication between departments, and has a crucial impact on any business’s performance. The scoring system needs to be unified. Everyone interested in the lead source, and lead qualification, has to be familiar with the terminology, use the same definitions, and implement it properly in their everyday work.An MQL is located at the top of the funnel, with a general interest in the company’s content, represented by various interactions. An SQL indicates immediate interest in the product and is at the narrowest part of the funnel. Both, marketing and sales, need to find the spot in which an MQL can be turned into an SQL. Not sure how to distinguish MQLs from SQLs? Read this text to find out!
4. How many SQLs have you received from us?
This is a widespread problem, but still hard to solve, in some companies. The Head of Marketing and Head of Sales have to be sure the number of leads delivered by marketing is equal to one sales received. Leads lost in between, due to flaws in the process and lack of communication, are just missed chances for the growth and profit.
5. Metrics for each lead source in your funnel
An elementary, yet fundamental, question. It sends a message that helps marketing to understand which leads are of poor quality with no chance to become SQLs. This can be caused by flaws in the marketing strategy, like the marketing message is addressed to a wrong target group, or a correctly defined target group receives faulty communication.
Another example: cold mailing statistics are always worse than those from webinars, or inbound marketing. This does not mean cold mailing is dead. This form of lead source needs a different, more persistent approach - more follow-ups and more attempts to reach a prospect.
6. Remarks on the lead source from salespeople
It’s not only about the numbers and estimations. Marketing needs qualitative feedback from salespeople. They have to understand the needs of the sales team, and know their problems and limitations (backed by data, of course). Which leads, in the opinion of reps, are the best to work with? And, at the same time - are salespeople prone to stereotypes and cliches? Maybe they do not want to work with some SQLs, because of some unjustified opinions?
Sometimes, their way of thinking, or common bias, can stop reps from selling more. The job of the Head of Marketing, in cooperation with the Head of Sales, is to change the mindset of reps, and to convince them which leads are worthwhile.
7. Information about a prospect that is essential to the selling process
There are many metrics about prospects that are crucial for marketing and sales, and this is not only demographic info. At the same time, those two groups probably have a bit different approach towards this topic. Marketing, while creating the content, may think of some other features than sales. In the case of sales, information regarded as important can relate to the decision-making power of a lead, but marketing will not focus on that, in the first place.
In many cases, sales values information from leads, such as - “What is your biggest challenge?”, “What goals have you set for this month/quarter/year?”. So, both departments have to work together on building and implementing a buyer persona, as well as lead-capture forms. On this very stage, sales needs to emphasize what is most important for them to close as many deals as possible.
8. Amount of primary SQLs who are real decision makers
This kind of feedback is crucial for assessing and, as a result, adjusting the marketing strategy. If salespeople notice most SQLs need to consult purchase decisions with others, within the company, marketing needs to rethink their communication and adapt it to a new target group.
A simple example: marketing creates content addressed to heads of marketing, but sales reps notice that heads of sales are those who participate in the decision-making process. To improve the conversion rate, marketing has to include leaders of the sales departments in the target group, designing and distributing the content, accordingly.
9. The most common objections from leads
By knowing leads’ objections, marketing can answer them, change leads’ approach, and educate prospects, even before they are contacted by the company. It can be done mostly by producing content that is adjusted to address the client’s arguments. Even though, remember that objections from leads are unavoidable and can come up during any sales call. Guiding reps on how to handle objections is a must-do for a leader. Learn why it's essential, and what are the most common sales objections.
10. Questions asked by leads in the selling process
Marketing must know the most common questions asked by leads in order to work efficiently and save time. This is pretty similar to the case of objections. By knowing a prospects’ perspective, their doubts, and hesitations, content creators can choose the most appropriate topics, and answer leads’ questions, even before they ask salespeople about them. Thanks to that, reps can focus on the product’s best features, instead of answering basic questions. Managing a sales team? Check 12 ways to monitor the efficiency of sales calls.
Usually, sales and marketing departments tend to compete with each other, harming business’s growth. What separates a good leader from an average one, is the ability to improve the communication between both of them. The easiest way to achieve equilibrium is to get to know the needs of both sides, and promote the exchange of information within these two groups. And it’s a continuous work, not done only by organizing monthly or quarterly meetings.
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