Are the leads weak? Is the rep weak? If you’ve seen the classic film Glengarry Glen Ross, you know what I’m talking about and are likely smiling. If you haven’t, pause reading this and go watch it! Or finish this really quick and then go watch it. 🙂
Lead generation and management is one of the most contentious topics between marketing and sales teams. How are you handling the leads? It is of utmost importance to have a process in place and to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of that process. Here are some items to consider when building the process or examining a current process for areas to improve:
- Define what lead means to your marketing & sales teams. The teams need to speak the same language. Whether your need is to generate high volumes of inquiries or lower volumes of qualified contacts, ensure your marketing and sales personnel are on the same page.
- Determine who qualifies the inquiries and define what “qualified” means. Of course, this depends on the definition and need determined. Usually it rests on marketing’s shoulders to qualify inquiries. Regardless, make sure it is understood within the organization where that responsibility lies. Then create consensus on how to determine when an inquiry is indeed qualified.
- Create an appropriate hand-off from marketing to sales. You’ve agreed on how many and whom the sales team will engage. Now, how do these leads get from marketing to sales? It is crucial that this process is efficient for both teams. Don’t bog your sales team down with a system which isn’t practical in the field.
- Coffee’s for closers only. Everyone understands what a lead is, how many they need, and how the sales team receives them. At this point sales takes them and closes them, right? Of course, some won’t be closed. The critical factor here is to close the loop, whatever the outcome. How will sales let marketing know what happened with the lead? Sales must provide high quality feedback that can be used to help drive improvement in the lead generation and qualification tactics. Agree on an efficient communication flow and implement it.
- Is the lead now closed, dead, or does it need to be re-qualified? With the feedback from sales, marketing can now remove the lead from the process or put it back in to be touched at another time. The key is to determine criteria based on feedback from the field and which can be effectively measured.
Lead flow is of vital importance to a business, but is unfortunately often neglected or poorly managed. Regardless of systems and processes, collaboration between marketing and sales teams on definitions and expectations is critical to maximizing the money and energy spent on leads. Define, form consensus, measure, and review often. With sales and marketing working together, you’ll get more out of your lead generation activities.
Please let me know your tips for maximizing the leads.