What’s Your Lead Definition Costing You?
Confession: What keeps me up at night as a marketer is the fact that sales can and will sell without us (aka marketing). Maybe not as much… maybe not as fast… but they will ultimately get deals done. Now as a marketer I can’t say the same. We marketers can create killer brands, amazing content, and value propositions that’ll knock your socks off; but, we don’t actually close the deals.
(Disclaimer: obviously some of you represent transactional technologies, where maybe you can acquire customers with your digital marketing, but for argument sake pretend you can’t and stick with me).
That reality is probably what drives our team: the need to be adding value to the selling process. In fact, in retrospect, there hasn’t been a single piece of information produced by my team in the past 2 years that didn’t start with or at least get better from a discussion with members of our sales force.
Misalignment on lead definition could be costing your company millions
Why the spiel you ask? Because it totally blew my mind to learn that only half of marketing and sales organizations have an agreed upon definition of a lead (CSO Insights via MarketingCharts). How can a marketing organization be valuable to its #1 client (sales) if the most fundamental deliverable we pass along isn’t something we’ve taken the time to define together?!
If we’re not aligned on the definition of the deliverable, then we’re most certainly not aligned in terms of the processes and technologies to deliver it. This misalignment is costing us 10% or more in revenue annually.
Said more plainly, the lack of alignment around “the lead” costs a $100 million dollar company about $10 million a year. I don’t know about you, but we can’t afford that.
It’s time for sales and marketing to sit across the table and figure it out
We’ve become analytical powerhouses in marketing, but one of the places I’ve found the most value isn’t actually in the numbers, it’s in the old fashion roundtable discussions with various members of our sales team representing different regions, levels, sexes and skillsets. Hearing firsthand how they find success, overcome challenges and what from their perspective makes for the best opportunities. That insight is invaluable in helping me and my team figure out exactly what we’re going to deliver, and how.
If you’re anything like me or any one of your other marketing peers, you’re probably trying to figure out the balance of and intersection between people, process and technology- and thanks to today’s martech labyrinth achieving world peace sometimes feels well… more achievable.
Establish and fine tune your lead handover process
I’d argue that before you try to figure out what to invest in, you figure out what you need that investment to actually do. Work with sales to figure out what the end game really is, and who will be responsible for what in getting there (otherwise known as your lead handover process). The biggest part of building a lead handover process isn’t the process at all; it’s the exploration into how opportunities and ultimately deals unfold. While a lot of the questions you’ll explore will seem incredibly obvious, you’ll find that there’s a lot you don’t know about what you thought you already knew when you hear it from someone else’s perspective.
Need help in determining (or revamping) your lead handover process? Check out this guide we developed along with the folks over at Fresh Brain Marketing in order to get started. You can download the guide here.
Wasting money image via Shutterstock