Marketing and Sales alignment continues to remain a hot topic in research and conferences. Why? Because in the words of Mary Shea, principal analyst for Forrester, “After years of acknowledging their issues with each other, many B2B marketing and sales teams continue to be at odds.”
Why it Matters
"Ghost leads are often from your most qualified prospects which are current customers which means the loss to the company is huge."
This job description for the Sales Lead Manager has been updated several times and the list of essential functions continues to grow. It was last updated in June of 2016. You can forward this to others or give them this link to the description on the SLMA site. In many respects the importance of this position has grown to be of equal importance to the Marketing Operations Manager. The two functions may share responsibility.
At the end of another blog entry (one of the best read) titled “All know the way; few actually walk it. ~Bodhidharma,” I quoted Giraudoux’s famous saying, “Only the mediocre are always at their best.”
As typically happens when we read something like this, we assume “the mediocre” is always someone else. It’s certainly not us.
Manufacturing can’t produce products without a process, Sales can’t sell without a process, Engineering can’t define a product without a process, Accounting and Finance can’t manage without a process, and Marketing can’t market without a sales lead management (SLM) process.
Of course, Marketing can create a yearly plan, but without an Sales Lead Management process the plan is a fantasy; Marketing can’t create qualified leads or measure results without a defined SLM process.
Without an SLM process, no one in Marketing is accountable because success isn’t measurable. Of course the salespeople are held accountable, but without an SLM process they spend time on ‘garbage’ leads that suck the life out of their jobs and contribute to quota failure.
Today’s Marketing Realities:
Sitting in for Matt Heinz (jury duty called), Jim Obermayer interviews DiscoverORG CEO Henry Schuck to discuss how his company fed their revenue climb with a journey to 24k demos a year for the SDR team:
- They discussed the history of DiscoverOrg’s SDR team (comparison of 2015 stats to today’s)
- How 2015 became the year they focused on hyper growth
- A realization of the need to step up the SDR program in order to compete with companies of the size they wanted to be
What they did:
With a shrug she said, “I do what we did last year. We have a marketing plan,” she continued. “We review last year's spend and and make adjustments, usually on a budget the CFO gives us.”
No one intends to be just 'good enough'; over time it just happens. To some.
If salespeople don't follow up on all sales leads, is some follow-up good enough? After all, these people don't report to Marketing.
When Marketing can't seem to create qualified sales leads, are the leads good enough to help salespeople make quota? Most likely not.
For C-Level Management, is it good enough to have a CRM system even if salespeople don't like it and use it only when they must?
Is it good enough for MarCom managers to stand between the warring factions of Sales and Marketing and not take a leadership role to bring the two together?
Is it god enough to not have a marketing automation system when all of your competitors are using a system? __________________________________________________________
Step up. Don't be just good enough;
go beyond good enough.
Being 'good enough' isn't good enough anymore. Marketing is in a position unlike any in the last 50 years. It can control corporate growth by creating demand and managing that demand with sales lead management tools. But there has to be a desire to be more than 'good enough.' There has to be a desire to take command of lead generation, create qualified leads, measure what they manage, and nurture prospects until they're sales-ready, and then do it all over again. And again.
There isn't room for someone who is just 'good enough.' Good enough isn't going the extra mile to help Sales make quota.
You have heard me say that pound for pound Marketing creates more wealth for the average B2B company that any department in the company. But to be recognized for it, you can't be just good enough.
Beyond good enough requires leadership, being held accountable, teamwork for Sales and Marketing, and a keen eye for what works, with the guts to measure everything and trash weak lead generation as soon as possible.
It also requires a sales lead management system that is world-class, all encompassing, and comprehensive enough to prove a return on investment for every lead generation dollar spent.
For 2018, Step up. Don't be just good enough; go beyond good enough.
“Statistics show that a large portion of leads fall by the wayside because of inadequate lead management systems, poor organizational skills, and varied levels of diligence among salespeople.”
e-Book Title: Mastering the Lead Management Process for Inside Sales
Published by/Authors: VanillaSoft