We’ve all seen or heard sales and marketing bad-mouth each other, but here are some facts to prove bad relations prevail. A mere 26% of sales reps say marketing consistently delivers sales-ready leads; the overwhelming majority think otherwise. And only 10% of marketers feel that sales follows up on leads quickly enough. Apart from heightened communication and coordination, how do you build a bridge over these troubled waters? Here are some pointers.
- Lead Definitions – A CSO Insights' 2014 Sales Performance Optimization Study found that one in two companies does not have a definition for what makes a qualified lead. If you don’t have basic lead definitions in place, build them ASAP, making it a consultative process between marketing and sales. Set definitions for: a lead, a marketing qualified lead, a sales accepted lead, and a sales qualified lead. These definitions not only help smoothen the lead handoff process, but also help improve conversion rates.
- Create an SLA Between Marketing and Sales – Apart from bringing about the much desired sales and marketing alignment, a Service Level Agreement or SLA can help you achieve company goals and increase productivity of sales and marketing teams. Keep your SLA simple and short so it is easy to follow. In order to be effective your SLA needs to outline lead criteria, the number of leads marketing will deliver to sales every week, the % of leads marketing will contribute to the sales pipeline, specifics of the handoff process, and timeframe for sales to follow up on each lead. For a more detailed post on the topic, read: How to Make an SLA Between Marketing and Sales.
- Give Reps Tools – While the onus of giving reps the latest tools largely rests on sales operations, marketing can always pitch in with some help. For starters, marketing can and should share their marketing automation platform with sales. This is often a complete no-no in some organizations but we certainly encourage you to do so, as this can greatly aid reps, giving them an unprecedented level of real-time lead intelligence along with the ability to run hyper-targeted campaigns.
Want to know more about how to build bridges between sales and marketing? Listen to our Accelerating Sales: How Marketing Can Be the Hero webinar that we held earlier this month.