Some questions that often comes up in discussions with clients and prospects at OnTarget Partners are from the CMO or other B2B marketing executive: “Why can’t I get sales to call these leads?” or “Why can’t I get my sales team to follow-up on my leads?”
Marketing creates leads via online, tradeshow, conference, research or other, and they go nowhere – they are not followed-up on by sales. We all know that salespeople tend to be busy people, and tend to focus on deals ‘closer to the cash’. So, what to do?
The solution that I share with my clients is breaking the marketing and sales process into three steps, instead of two.
Step 1 is to Originate the Lead.
This is done through content marketing, creative marketing, digital marketing and lead generation of all types. Typically, the information on these leads includes name, company, email, phone, and a bit about the need of the prospect.
Step 2 – the new step – is to Qualify the Lead.
This step can be done by marketing or sales (or a third party, like OnTarget), to make sure the lead meets the necessary criteria of a qualified sales lead. Generally, the lead qualification step will require direct communication with the prospect, via email or telephone. Sometimes, this step will require research. The goal of step two is to create quality information that further qualifies the prospect, or disqualifies them as a prospect.
Step 3 is to effectively Transfer the lead
Finally, the leads that pass muster are handed over to sales in a qualified format . The qualifying step typically reduces the lead flow to sales by 50+ percent, so there are fewer hours spent, specifically on poorer quality leads.
This process should make the sales team happier with marketing, and more productive, which should enable them to make more and better closes. Working together, with one new step – lead qualification – can help sales and marketing achieve their common and uncommon goals.
(Ed Trachier is Founder & CEO of OnTarget Partners. He can be reached at 469-200-4901, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.)