For some reason there's an irritating hard stop at the point when marketing hands leads off to sales. This is probably because:Marketing thinks their job is done.Sales doesn't want marketing stepping on their toes.This results in marketing ceasing to nurture leads passed to sales.
But, if sales doesn't take action-and research shows sales only works about 30% of the leads marketing gives them-then your leads go cold. That's a big waste of investment already sunk into generating and nurturing those leads.So what do you do? Here are several ideas about how to increase the revenue flow from your pipeline:Develop a reciprocal SLA between sales and marketing.Get agreement on requirements for a qualified lead.Establish and agree to a timeline for sales to formally accept them.Have sales agree to contact accepted leads within a specific time period.If sales passes on a lead, make sure they can hand them back to marketing with an explanation for the rejection.
That way marketing knows what needs to happen to get the lead accepted in the future.Create a Sales Enablement Handoff BriefHelp salespeople get up to speed fast and take action in line with the lead's expectations.Provide the lead's activity history during nurturing.Include an overview of the related nurturing program.Given the lead's last interaction, provide conversational snippets, messaging and collateral suggestions to help sales initiate a conversation.Integrate extended Nurturing into the Sales ProcessMarketing can create nurturing touches on behalf of the assigned sales rep and execute for them until the salesperson indicates it's no longer necessary.
Make sure the sales rep knows what marketing is doing.Shift the messaging for late-stage buyers.Facilitate the Introduction of the Sales Rep to the LeadHumanize the process. When you want to introduce one person to another, you don't just hand off their contact info and walk away. You introduce them. Why shouldn't the same respect be paid to people you hope to do business with? It really is about the relationship. People buy from people.The whole point is that marketing and sales need to work together to keep the momentum going. The more personal you can make the lead's transition to sales, the more credibility the relationship will have.By putting processes in place to ensure lead progression continues at the transition, you've got much better odds that your leads will actually become customers.
Arming salespeople to step seamlessly into the relationship is something marketing can help accomplish.And, it doesn't have to be difficult. Marketing automation systems can give you a lot of this information on request. When you do your research and content development, create those last two pieces of the sales enablement handoff brief.
Likewise, design your introduction email message. By integrating these bridging activities into your marketing strategy they easily flow from the other work you're already doing to build your nurturing programs. And, by increasing marketing's visibility into the sales side, they can take action when sales reps are too busy closing other deals to pay attention to each new lead that comes their way.Without that insight, a lot of your leads may be just sitting in your pipeline. But, while they may look idle to you, your competitors are out there catching their attention. And, don't you just hate it when that happens?
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