6/25/15 – Written by Amber Foster | @Amber_E_Foster
It is Smart to Add Sales + Marketing, It = SMarketing.
Modern day and Inbound marketing strategies should implement SMARKETING, the combined efforts of both your marketing and sales team to generate leads, nurture leads and close customers.
Today, many companies have a hard time connecting the sales and marketing teams together, here are some ideas for creating a modern “Smarketing Department.”
Create a Lead Qualifying Process
Creating a lead qualifying process for your company is important and will help you determine when to send qualified leads to the sales team. The qualifying process helps align the marketing goals to the sales quotas.
Here are a few questions you can work through with your team:
- How strong is the prospects need for your services?
- Does the prospect have a budget that qualifies?
- Are decision makers part of the sales process?
- Do you know the timetable for their purchase decision?
Meet and Review Leads with the Sales Team
Reviews should be regularly conducted at a time span works best for your team; weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly. During the lead review meetings, the goal should be to assess how each department can understand and support the goals of the other departments. From the sales team’s perspective, you want to continue to improve the leads that are provided to them as “Sales Qualified Leads.”
Some question you can ask your sales team:
- What does your sales process look like?
- What qualities make a lead good or bad?
- Do leads typically have the right expectations about what they’re getting?
- Are there specific marketing offers that signify a particularly strong or weak lead?
- What are the top reasons a lead doesn’t close?
- Are there any ways marketing can help or do better?
- What does a bad lead look like?
- Why do great clients stay with you and make repeat business?
Coach your Sales Team Communication Tactics that Close your Inbound Leads
What should your sales team say to a lead that has come from the marketing strategies? Because the sales team is being handed marketing and sales qualified leads, the sale members will have a wealth of information at their fingertips to improve the communications.
During a conversation with a lead, your sales team should consider some communication guidelines:
- First, mention the form or download that was used to generate the lead’s contact information. For example, “I just received your form requesting contact by one of our representatives. What can I help you with today?”
- Next, ask open-ended questions such as “How? Who? What? When? Where? Why?” Questions should not be sales related. Rather, the sales person’s goal is to begin the consultative sales process.
- Find out the issues that a lead is having and be the solution. The consultative sales process focuses on finding how to be of value to the lead by focusing on issues or pains that a lead is having and providing a solution to the pains. This methodology is sometimes called “solution-based selling.” Remember that the conversation should not be about you, your numbers or your products.
- Continue sending the lead through the lifecycle stages. A future contact date should be scheduled with the lead during this initial conversation. If your sales person does not connect with a lead, the lead should be placed into a workflow that includes a plan for further nurturing.
Create a Service Level Agreement (SLA)
Create a Service Level Agreement (SLA) between sales & marketing to determine the number of leads that marketing will pass to the sales team. How many leads should be given to each sales rep?
Inbound marketing expert’s state that “150 is the magic number for sales leads.” As an inbound rule, each salesperson should contact 150 leads per month and each lead should be contacted two or more times. Don’t take our word for it, see what the marketing industries leading platform, HubSpot says about 150 leads.
So, if your business generates 150 leads or less per month, a salesperson should contact every lead. If your business generates less than 150 leads each month, the goal should be to generate more leads!
Set the number of leads that will be passed to the marketing team each day, week or month, then review these leads regularly.
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