5. Identifying marketing usually, the biggest disconnection between marketing and sales groups is more than the generation and follow-up
Identifying marketing, “We spend lots of money and intellectual effort to generate these great leads.” Sales thinks, often emphatically, “These leads are @#%*.”
The truth is, both are right. Studies show that making a lead sales-ready will dramatically increase your overall close rate, and enhance the level of engagement and responsiveness from your sales force or channel partners.
Processes for sales-readiness screening might include:
- Lead scoring — Automated scoring based on demographic and / or behavioral criteria.
- Visual — Manual review of screening prospect information.
- Research — Enriching prospect information through third-party tools.
- Telephone screening — Validating information already provided, or providing context and detail as an enhancement to that data.
Email or direct mail screening and secondary qualification — Performed through additional response mechanisms provided in fulfillment.
The frequent complaint is that “this is doing the sales person’s job” or “isn’t this what we pay them for?” We will not argue the merits of that thinking here, other than to state unequivocally that you will more than recoup your investment in making leads sales-ready vs. simply generating more leads that go uncontacted.
A word about technology
There are countless technological solutions designed to help manage data and customer and customer relationships.
Whether you use an old contact management program like ACT!, a more robust CRM solution like Salesforce.com, or an even more complex and fully integrated set of tools from your business management system, technology alone will not solve your lead management challenges.
Determining the right combination of technology, process, logistical support and management oversight is key to executing at a high level. Many companies are trying to do far more with their CRM systems than they should.