Three ways marketing can improve the quality of sales leads
Today, sales teams rely ever more on marketing to help them reach prospects and maintain revenue.
Gone are the days where salespeople had to get past the gatekeepers of PAs, filtering calls away from the decision makers. Instead, this has been replaced by a whole new set of challenges – how to reach someone through the void of voice mail or email? At least before you could speak to a real person, so it felt like you were getting somewhere.
It’s for this reason marketing must be more analytical in their approach to lead management and take a ‘whole sales funnel’ approach. We can no longer be just marketers anymore, and think that our job is to generate leads and then simply pass them over to sales. We have to walk in the shoes of sales and understand this huge challenge they face of how to turn these leads into ways that will actually reach people.
There are three key things marketers can do to help support sales in generating more quality leads:
- Quality of insight
What are we as marketers, passing over with these things called ‘leads’ to the sales team?
Marketing has always looked at capturing the source of the lead, which still remains important, but also how are we identifying ‘interest’ and what is the level of that interest? Is it interest that is stated – so the person has actually said they are interested in the organisation? Or has it been demonstrated by something that has been done by the individual? Maybe interest has been inferred, so the individual has done something which we therefore assume means that they must be interested in something else?
It’s not just important to know that the person is interested, but at what level and how have we captured that information? Are we identifying a hand raising moment, has someone come into our digital environment and actually said ‘I want to talk to somebody?’ If so, this data is more important than ever as there is an urgency to getting the right sales person to follow up such a lead.
It’s about being highly analytical at every stage of the sales funnel. What behaviour are these leads displaying? Yes, they may have filled in a “contact me” form or requested a trial but what other indicators are being displayed through the lead nurture process? And if in doubt, ask your customer what they want.
The other part is recognising that not all leads are equal. Great marketers really understand the sales strategy and get under the skin of the struggles of the sales team. Are there certain sectors or cohorts that sales are struggling to reach and how can we reach them or move them through the funnel? Are there key influencers we can identify that can help us to reach those key decision makers – whilst you might identify interest from an individual who is unlikely to be part of the decision making unit, it’s still essential to capture and share their interest.
The quality of the insight is beholden on marketers to really look at current processes, the data being captured, and question the relevance of it to help sales make contact with the right people.
2. Importance of analytics
Analytics is the second key important aspect marketers have control of to help generate good quality sales leads. Really understanding what is working for whom and where – what channels are working or not working? Analyse the data to work out what audience segments, prospects and customers are being reached. What’s resonating and moving well or not moving well, how do you find more of them?
What leads are converting? Ensure you’re understanding this from the sales team once these leads are passed over so you can work out how to find more of these types of customers, understand why these are converting and do we need to adjust our marketing strategy to attract more?
It’s all about being better aligned with the sales team.
3. Test, learn and adapt
The third part which is always on a marketers’ list of things to do is ‘test, learn and adapt.’
It’s easy in a world when we’re all working in an office, brainstorming together, to say ‘let’s test it and try it’ as we don’t know how effective that marketing process will be. But now that we are all sitting separately it’s ever more important to learn from the insight. Track the analytics but keep testing things to learn from them.
This continuous cycle of marketing improvement, where we can adapt and move forward in creating lead management data, which feeds and supports the sales team with a strong pipeline of good quality customer leads will be key to helping drive the business forward.
Contact WoolfHodson today on email@example.com if you would like to find out more on how we can help digitally transform your sales and marketing processes.