It goes without saying, but we’ll reiterate it again- sales is hard. Whether you’re looking at it from a marketing or sales perspective, getting someone interested in a product or service you offer, and turning that interest into a real conversation can feel next to impossible. It doesn’t have to be consistent bleakness though, in fact, it’s possible to have far more control over your prospecting and lead management than you probably thought. It all starts with enabling your sales team, and turning them into lead nurturing machines. Here’s how…
Unified Voice Between Sales and Marketing
When sales and marketing work together, the revenue world is truly at peace. As a leader, you’ll feel more confident in the processes you’re responsible for managing, and trust that your counterparts have the same feelings. However, not every organization is lucky enough to have this, and yours might be one of them. Whether or not that’s the case, creating a unified approach to messaging and goals between sales and marketing is almost essential to any successful sales-lead follow up. You don’t have to be best friends with your sales or marketing counterpart to do this; all you need is a framework. To do this, start by creating a standard message for each group of leads. Why did that lead contact you? Why are they an SQL (sales qualified lead)? Once you know that information, you can tailor your sales prospecting and marketing outreach around it- telling a cohesive narrative about your products and solutions.
When the phrase “account-based” comes up, what’s the first thought that pops up in your mind? A list of accounts, right? That’s pretty common, and a reasonable place to be in. If your sellers are managing a list of target accounts, you’re definitely ahead of the game. However, what if we took that approach to nurturing leads? In an account-based selling process, it’s key to have account statistics and trends available to create customized outreach plans around. You can do the same for your marketing leads. If a sales rep gets a lead, chances are there’s intel they can start building around it. It’s so easy to just say “send them a templated email” and move on. Even with an inbound lead, it takes about 6-10 touches on average to get them to respond, and only 50% of those will convert to an opportunity. Customizing your outreach to your leads will not only help you convert them at a faster rate, but you’ll see an increase in lead conversions overall.
Sales Prospecting MQLs
MQLS (marketing qualified leads) are the lifeblood of any marketer, and because of that, marketing can be pretty stingy with them. Rightfully so. A marketer will spend countless hours nurturing leads and prospects down the funnel to get them to hit an MQL status and the last thing they want is for someone to reach out the lead too soon. However, there is a way a sales rep can prospect an MQL that doesn’t involve them stepping on marketing’s toes. Some organizations have dedicated appointment setters to focus on following up with these types of leads, however, having sales work them through a specific cadence can serious help build the value of your brand and potentially even snag a few opportunities in the process. It’s all about lining things up with the marketing strategy. Are the MQLs that have been generated the key buyer for that account? If yes, come up with a 5-8 step sales prospecting cadence that an executive rep can manage that focuses heavily on building value and personification of your brand. Some leads may not be ready to talk to a sales person, and that’s okay, but what you’ll most likely find is that the leads are looking for a human to answer their questions. It’s a hard balance to tow, but if executed on correctly, you can really start building towards larger sales at an earlier stage.
Handoff Customer Marketing Leads
Let me just start by saying that if you don’t have a current customer marketing program put in place- I’d recommend making that a major focus in your next strategy meeting. Customer marketing, in a nutshell, is all about building customer advocacy by focusing on retention and growth. What better person to be a part of this than the sales rep that closed the first deal? Most customer marketing initiatives focus on key priority spending clients, and the reps that made those sales are absolutely looking to expand that account’s revenue. This might be the most straightforward step because all it takes is giving the sales rep a lead that comes through from a customer marketing program, and the data will speak for itself. Most of the time, the data that is pulled from something like an advocacy campaign can be easily flipped into a sales cadence. From there, you’ll need to manage the outreach to ensure that the messaging is on point with what marketing is saying.
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