Ever notice how Sales and Marketing teams seem to sneer at each other from across the break room? Or what about those epic stare downs during weekly/monthly meetings? Why is it that the two departments who should complement each other tend to be enemies?
Unfortunately, this is largely due to marketing teams generating the wrong kind of leads. What I mean by wrong is unqualified. As with any department, it’s all about providing numbers. So marketers keep busy generating leads without making sure those leads are qualified before handing them over to sales. Consequently your sales team ends up spending a substantial amount of time and effort trying to convert leads into customers that, for a number of reasons, can’t or won’t purchase your products or services.
What are Qualified Leads?
An individual or company who can afford your product or services. Marketers shouldn’t waste their time nurturing leads who can’t afford the product or service in the first place, and they certainly shouldn’t pass that lead onto Sales. They can’t afford you!
An individual or company who needs your product or service. Marketers should first and foremost target those who actually need your products/services. It wouldn’t make sense to try and sell someone dog toys if they don’t have a dog, and the same goes for your product/service. Or maybe this prospect already has a similar product or service from a competitor. Your marketing team needs to find out if they’re satisfied with their current product/service. While they have the need, they may not be willing to switch to your company. So marketers shouldn’t waste too much time trying to convert them or pass them to sales.
Someone who is a decision maker. You may have a prospect who is interested in your product or service but if they aren’t the decision maker, or have access to persuade the decision maker, then your marketing and sales teams are going to reach a dead end very quickly.
What They'll Need to Agree on Before Establishing Qualified Leads
The amount of revenue a lead should possess to be able to afford your products/services.
The desired position of the lead. (Are they the decision maker, or have access to influence the decision maker?)
The level of interest or need for your product or service. Remember that for a lead to be passed to your sales team, they should have a deep need for what your company offers, and be willing to switch if they currently utilize a competitor’s product/service.
Other factors. Depending on your industry, your ideal prospect might live in a certain area, be a particular age or gender, work in a specific industry, etc.
Marketing teams need to reevaluate their responsibilities and realize it’s not just about pumping out leads. It’s about qualifying those leads. If sales teams are given more prospects that not only want to make a purchase but have the authority to sign that check or dotted line, your sales team’s time and effort will be put to much better use and will close more sales. Bottom line: if your marketing team can produce leads that fit into your sales’ spectrum of qualified prospects, then the two departments will get along just fine.