Industry digital marketingArticle postingSales vs Marketing: Conflict Over Lead Generation

Sales vs Marketing: Conflict Over Lead Generation

-

- Advertisment -spot_img


Misalignment between sales and marketing teams can cost B2B companies 10% or more of revenue loss annually, according to Precision Marketing Group. This misalignment often occurs over one of the most critical activities required to drive a business’s long-term growth: lead generation. Usually, this conflict is unintentional and goes wholly unnoticed by everyone involved. Given the potential financial implications, it’s worth understanding the root causes.

Who’s In Charge of Lead Generation?

In the traditional, pre-digital world of B2B sales, a company’s sales team would oversee lead generation, which made sense at the time. With cold calling used as a fundamental source of lead prospecting, sales teams could actively seek out potential buyers. However, in today’s digital world, there are far more diverse means of generating leads, so sales and marketing teams share a sense of responsibility to divide and conquer. Still, despite these varying approaches, good old fashion cold calling remains one of the most effective means of prospecting, while tech-driven alternatives typically derive from marketing efforts.

•Sales teams used to be solely in charge of lead generation. In the digital age, the role is shared with marketing.
Sales teams used to be solely in charge of lead generation. In the digital age, the role is shared with marketing.

Where’s the Problem?

It helps to look at the lifecycle of a modern lead, as illustrated by the sales funnel . The very top of the funnel is where marketing focuses a lot of its activity. Marketers design and execute multichannel campaigns, distribute content, and even program paid advertising, all geared toward generating interest and drawing people into the wide top of the funnel. From there, lead capture forms on landing pages and social media platforms become tools to engage leads and gather information for further nurturing.

The bottom portion of the sales funnel is where sales teams typically enter the scene. By this point, prospects have moved beyond expressing mere interest, conducting basic research, or evaluating solutions. They’ve already expressed their specific needs, indicated intent, and communicated a commitment to buy. Therefore, it’s at this point sales teams’ job to consider those prospects as valid leads and nurture their intent toward official conversion. By clearly positioning a company’s products and services as ideal solutions, comprehensively addressing concerns, and negotiating cost options, sales teams can engage leads further down the sales funnel, establishing trust and brand loyalty all at the same time.

Here’s where the problem lies: that middle section of the sales funnel, where lead qualification happens.

Lead qualification is the process to determine whether a lead is worth pursuing based on their respective level of purchase intent. A high quality lead expresses definitive intent through online activity (i.e., downloading content, attending a webinar, signing up for newsletters, etc.), while lesser qualified leads express only limited amounts of behavioral intent, marking them as less of a priority for sales teams. Commonly, B2B companies have a lead scoring system in place, which ranks the priority of these leads based on particular actions.

It’s this middle section, where lead qualification begins, where tension between sales and marketing starts to brew. And here’s why:

1. Sales often doesn’t understand the role of marketing

Part of this misunderstanding comes from an overall lack of knowledge into what marketing teams actually do. It seems simple: marketers bring in leads to help sales teams hit their revenue goals. But that’s a pretty myopic view of what marketing brings to the table. They’re also in charge of equally important lead generation activities that help prime prospects prior to the customer journey. These nurturing efforts offer longer-term strategies for B2B organizations looking to enhance customer engagement and brand loyalty. These strategies include social media posting, SEO, content creation and distribution, and other opportunities to bolster brand reputation, increase transactional value, expand reach to new audiences, and even increase lead quality.

However, some B2B sales organizations struggle to prove marketing ROI from these long-term lead nurturing efforts, which furthers the schism between sales and marketing departments. When sales teams feel marketing isn’t doing its part to generate enough high-quality leads, that’s where the tension thickens.

2. Sometimes expectations about leads aren’t too clear

Qualifying leads is a tricky business because of the many variables involved. For example, a lead who reaches out, engages with you, and asks questions might seem to be a highly interested customer. But if they neither have the budget nor a company co-sign, they probably won’t purchase anything when sales finally reaches out to contact them. Unfortunately, this might make sales teams think they’ve been duped by a bad lead, which can lead to a lot of useless finger pointing.

Sure, sales is justified in their frustration over non-converting leads tagged as “high-quality” or “likely to convert.” But in marketing’s defense, they just might not have enough deep insights to determine a lead’s full purchase potential, so they make their best, most-informed evaluation based on applicable data.

3. There’s no reporting and feedback between teams

When it comes to lead generation, the single biggest cause of misalignment between sales and marketing is miscommunication. Marketing needs to provide as much information about incoming leads as possible. While lead scores are great, the methodology behind those scores needs to be explained and understood so expectations can be properly managed. For its part, sales should report conversion results back to marketing in order to improve marketing strategies moving forward. Rinse, wash, repeat!

This feedback loop allows marketing teams to determine the success of a particular lead generation campaign and refine lead scoring accuracy moving forward. It also gives sales teams the chance to articulate what exactly they’ll need in the future to hit their specific sales goals.

What results from this (re)alignment is a continued cycle of growth and refinement from which both teams can benefit from.

•Communication is key to ensure that lead generation efforts are on-point.
Communication is key to ensure that lead generation efforts are on-point.

Putting everything to paper

The best way to start building uninterrupted lines of communication between sales and marketing teams is to have both parties align with a service-level agreement (SLA). This is a contract that defines the deliverables one party agrees to provide the other. The most critical components of any SLA should include:

  • Quantity: The number of leads a sales team should expect to receive from marketing within a defined period. Most often, this is expressed as a range and determined on past performance of marketing, vis-a-vis lead generation.
  • Quality: Expressed as a percentage of a set of leads that ultimately prove fruitful (i.e., become paying customers). This can’t be arbitrary and should ideally be determined with an eye toward sales goals.
  • Qualification Definitions: Definitions can vary from company to company, but what ultimately matters is a shared understanding of what constitutes quality between sales and marketing teams.
  • Feedback Expectations: Data points that marketing should be able to receive from sales regarding the results of marketing-nurtured leads. This information will be invaluable in refining marketing’s lead generation strategies.

You can add other key points you feel are important, but these four provide a strong foundation for a clearer set of expectations between sales and marketing teams. Better, they prevent an unnecessary blame game when problems arise.

There’s power in working together

If you’ve noticed your marketing and sales teams have been at odds with each other as of late, it might be time to look at how they interact. When sales and marketing teams align properly, businesses can really move the needle, becoming 67% more efficient at closing deals and making sales.

If you want to enjoy highly qualified leads with greater intent to purchase, talk to us today. It’s kind of our thing.



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest news

「贵州日报·教育」聚势赋能 提质扩容——贵州财经大..

2023年11月21日贵州日报16版(点击图片,阅读全文)全省高等教育高质量发展大会对当前和今后一个时期全省高等教育工作作出部署,描绘了新时代贵州高等教育发展的新蓝图,干货满满、令人鼓舞、催人奋进。风 Source link

台湾教育界人士批评民进党当局“去古文化”乱象

来源:新华社新华社台北11月6日电(记者刘斐石龙洪)台湾“历史教育新三自运动协会”6日在台北举行记者会,批评民进党当局为达成不可能实现的“去中国化”政治目的,进行不负责任的“去古文化”教育,牺牲学子们 Source link

走出大山看世界!云南怒江崇仁完小师生团完成沪上游学..

8月13至16日,受中交疏浚邀约,来自云南怒江崇仁完小的19名师生代表来到上海,参加为期四天的“中交助梦?看世界”暑期访沪交流活动。崇仁完小坐落于海拔2000多米的横断山区。该校师生总共327人,学校 Source link

Bronchitis in Dogs: Signs, Causes, & Treatment (Vet Answer)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research. Learn more » In dogs,...
- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_img

Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment – Dogster

Astra, the 6-year-old Cocker Spaniel exhibited several vague clinical signs like not eating every few days and occasional...

Ark Naturals Voluntarily Recalls Brushless Toothpaste Value Packs

Ark Naturals voluntarily recalls three of their “Brushless Toothpaste Value Pack” products after learning that one of their...

Must read

Lady Gaga and Cardi B Meet at the Grammys

What was expected of her was the same thing...

Jennifer Aniston’s Ex Justin Theroux Wishes Her Happy Birthday on Instagram

What was expected of her was the same thing...
- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_img

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you