The relationship between sales and marketing is a critical one. Both teams (should) have one ultimate goal in mind: increase the bottom line of the organization. The two teams must work as a cohesive unit to fulfill that final, juicy goal of realizing the many benefits of a healthy, sustainable company.
And in fact, results from the recently released State of Inbound 2017 report by HubSpot show that both sales and marketing professionals are facing the same major challenges. Seventy percent of the marketers surveyed said that converting leads into customers was a top marketing priority for their companies. Similarly, 71 percent of sales professionals said closing more deals was a top priority and the next most mentioned priority was improving the efficiency of the sales funnel” (44%).
While both teams are facing similar challenges and working toward one goal, one question that sometimes comes into play between marketing and sales is this one: When does the sales team get the lead?
The answer to that question can vary widely from company to company, depending on the parameters set for each marketing persona. The important part to consider, though, is that sales and marketing need to work together to determine when a lead is marketing qualified to be passed along to the sales team.
Sit down with your sales team and go through the following exercise to develop your MQL (marketing qualified lead) strategy.
1. Determine if you need a lead scoring strategy. Some businesses deal with a lot of leads. If you’re just feeding buckets of leads to the sales team who then complain about the quality of the leads, you may need to develop a lead scoring strategy. When a lead has the agreed-upon score, then (and only then) do you funnel it to the sales team. Boom. You’re done with your MQL strategy.
2. If you decide that you don’t need a lead scoring strategy because you don’t generate enough leads to make it necessary, there are some other things you can talk through with your sales team.
Start with your buyer personas. Use your personas to determine what an ideal lead looks like.
Use demographics. Take a look at company size, location and other demographic qualifiers to figure out, again, what characteristics your best leads have.
How does sales do it? Find out what questions the sales team asks over and over, and then, use those questions within your CTAs to help your leads qualify themselves.
Whatever you choose to do to determine your MQLs, ensure that you have buy-in from both sides of the table. The sales team will be comfortable with the process, and you may even find it easier to get more information from the sales side as the prospects move along the pipeline. Get those leads qualified, and get more moving into the top of the funnel for a healthy sales and marketing pipeline.