on Feb 22, 2021 / by Corey Cantrell

Combining the Marketing and Sales Development Process

One of the biggest frustrations in the marketing and sales space is the lead generation process. It’s pretty common knowledge now that the sales development process is necessary to qualifying and un-qualifying leads. So, why then does it feel like there’s a constant battle between marketing and sales for control over the lead follow up? You’d think everyone would be on the same page, right? Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that and we’re going to attempt to explain why that is, and how to best navigate this challenge to ensure that your demand generation needs don’t fall by the wayside in the process.

The Marketer’s Demand Generation Challenges

If you’re a marketer, then this probably isn’t news to you, but demand generation is hard. If you’re not a marketer, here’s why it’s hard: quality and scalability. There are only so many people from your targeted buying personas that are actively in the market at any given time, and a percentage of those will become leads. Then only a percentage of that percentage will convert to MQL, and so on and so forth. You get the struggle? Demand generation often times comes down to a balance of numbers. However, that’s the last spot you want to be in as a demand generation marketer, because you know that quality of lead follow up counts far more than quantity. So herein lies the problem. A demand generation marketer can’t opt-in every single lead for every single marketing campaign. That’s why they typically turn to sales. Lead development is a tricky process full of nuanced language mixing both sales and marketing tactics to convert leads through the funnel.

Sales Development Process Falling Under Sales Leadership

This makes sense, right? Sales development should report to sales leadership, based on the how much influence they can have over pipeline generation. However, this becomes a challenge when we talk about marketing attribution and visibility. If marketing is handing the leads over to the sales team and has no insight or say into how those leads are managed, it becomes a major issue in gathering results for the campaigns that the leads are attributed to. This is a tight rope to walk. On one hand, you have the sales department that specializes in selling the products, and on the other you have the marketing department that has the research and insight into the leads pain points and needs. Both sets of leadership needs to have a seat at the table when it comes to lead follow up. Again, sales development works best when it combines sales and marketing language to create a narrative with the buyer.

Advocating for Personalized Outreach

Looking at the modern B2B software buyer, we can see two major trends forming: the need for personalized communication, and desire for easy-to-consume content. One of the best parts of sales development is that they can handle both of those needs for your buyers. Since they’re a human being with human thoughts and emotions, your SDR team should be enabled and empowered to deliver personalized content in their lead follow up. Where this whole process goes awry is when the sales development follow up becomes automated with pre-filled content. Now, we’re not advocating against sales automation, but it’s worth noting that sales personalization software Drift saw a 15% open rate in their email sequences when using personalized content. Think about what types of content you’d like to receive when making a decision on a software purchase. You’d probably want content that provides immediate value but also something that talks about your unique challenges. So, why stunt the SDR’s ability to provide that content your leads?

Bridging the Gap Between Marketing and Sales

Okay, so here’s the main question, “How can effectively communicate with the sales or marketing leadership team so that we’re all on the same page?”. Well, there’s a lot of ways to do so, but think about things this way. Both sales and marketing have valuable pieces to add to the lead generation and sales development process. Remember that sales knows how to sell to the clients, and marketing has the information to enable the selling. Working together on creating a personalized lead follow up buyer’s journey can actually increase the ROI on the lead generation programs as a whole.

This is a touchy subject for some, and we also realize that not every organization has the ability to communicate like this. However, when both sales and marketing collaborate and highlight each other’s strengths in the sales development process, magic can happen. Also, remember this, it’s not a sprint for ROI, it’s a marathon. You’re playing the long game here and acknowledging that up front can be instrumental. Both sales and marketing have a lot to bring to the conversation to revenue generation and collaboration can be extremely beneficial!

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