There’s a complicated dynamic between B2B sales and demand generation teams. Each can’t do their jobs without the other, yet each thinks the other has work to do to adapt to today’s buyers. With the holidays approaching, we asked some of our favorite sales leaders what's on their demand generation wish lists. Here's a snapshot of some of their top items:
1) Tailored leads. There’s often a disconnect between how demand gen sends leads and how sales want to receive them. Sales teams are most effective when they can build on where they've already been successful—for example, selling to a certain type of buyer or a certain vertical market. Demand gen should take some of these sales preferences into account when scoring and assigning leads. If you're not scoring leads, the New Year is a great time to start! If you are scoring leads, maybe you're overlooking some key scoring criteria.
2) Lead insight. Rather than simply handing over contact information and lead source information, sales would like some context about what those leads already know about your product and where and when they've shown interest. Being able to view and track how prospects interacted with inbound and outbound marketing campaigns, surveys, and social messages all helps sales frame that first crucial call or email that moves the needle from lead to opportunity.
3) More effective—but not more—sales enablement. Once sale teams know a bit about potential buyers, they need tools to continue the conversation at each stage of the buyer journey. The big problem for sales is there's too much content and not enough structure. They want to be able to easily find the right content for the right audience exactly when they need it. That's a tall order.
Fortunately, checking off your holiday wish list is easier than you think. Marketing Automation offers lead scoring based on a wide variety of criteria, including demographics and behaviors, so you can deliver hot leads to the right salesperson at the right time. Through integration with leading CRM systems, sales teams can view each lead's journey through web, social, and email channels, gaining valuable insight that helps refine their sales tactics. If a sales rep decides to use email for a sales approach, they can leverage easy-to-use email templates to send personalized, trackable emails using Microsoft Outlook or Google Chrome.
If the lead is not ready to buy, Marketing Automation allows sales to easily reassign the lead—within the CRM—back to the demand gen team, including all the activity and information the sales team collected. With that insight, marketing can restart a more targeted nurture campaign and tweak their lead scoring criteria, ensuring lead quality continually improves.
Once they've qualified the lead, sales can access content for each product, buyer, or stage of the buyer journey. Using Sales Enablement, you can organize and tag content and place it in a central repository where sales can easily find it, including CRM systems. Sales teams can easily provide feedback on which content was most useful and when.
Speaking of feedback, we'd like to hear from you about the state of alignment between sales and marketing. If you are a sales or marketing professional, please take a few minutes to answer 19 questions in our 2016 Sales and Marketing Sentiment Survey. If you provide your email address we will provide you a copy of the results.