Lack of proper lead management and lead nurturing causes sales to lose leads marketing has painstakingly gathered. We try, sales tries but we just cannot close the deal. Why? Because we speak a different language.
According to Forrester Research 93% of the leads that are generated by marketing are not ready for a purchase at the time these leads were generated, and even worse, not even during the following 90 days. According to SiriusDecisions 90% of the leads never close! US based Sirius Decisions Research Company has focussed on bridging the gap between sales and marketing for over a decade.
Recently I spoke to Tony Jaros, SVP of Research at SiriusDecisions: “One of our biggest challenges is to learn to speak ‘sales’. We have a different understanding of who the buyer is and we don’t use a common framework to support the buyer journey. If you get it right, you can generate 47% more revenue.”
SiriusDecisions developed The Demand Waterfall, a shared view of new demand creation between marketing and sales. It focuses on the responsibilities of sales and marketing in the demand activity. Rather than each department measuring its work and its results, it is a shared scenario of registering and measuring a demand journey from the inquiry down to close and its subsequent stages.
What is really driving the demand generation in the buyer journey?
According to Tony there are three elements of good inbound marketing:
- Content –Promote relevant content at relevant places so your buyer can find it and consume it.
- Pathways – lead your buyer to your content elsewhere, i.e. your website, blog, etc.
- Conversion – get to know unknown visitors, start a conversation and nurture them down the funnel
Aligning sales and marketing
So, how do you start aligning sales and marketing? Tony: “We all know that getting the buy-in from sales can be tough. Talk ‘sales’, focus on numbers and how to make them. Marketing can start off by producing some high-quality leads. Sales in turn will have to invest less time in finding these quality leads but can focus more on closing the deal. Marketing should support sales with good content, tools and resources. This will mean that sales can manage more opportunities at once, which should ultimately increase close rates.”
In closing, Tony sums up some great tips
- Start communicating better and more. Agree on what is a lead and what is an opportunity. Share the Demand Waterfall vision with sales and try to agree on what will be each other’s responsibility.
- Start piloting. Prove your successes and try to get more buy-in to go bigger.
- Make sure you agree on who you target and what you are selling. Define basic key messages and what your value proposition is.
Lead management and lead nurturing will be one of the main themes of the B2B Marketing Forum on March 14th 2013. SiriusDecisions will be present as well. Interested to hear more? You can get more information about the event and register on www.b2bmarketingforum.nl.