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31 Tips for Improving Sales and Marketing Lead Generation Alignment

More often than not, there seems to be a disconnect between Marketing and Sales. Not having these two teams aligned can be a vital — and costly — mistake.

How does your sales team perceive the leads Marketing produces? Be honest.

  • They love them — couldn’t be happier!
  • They complain about lead quality.
  • They complain about lead volume.
  • The say leads, what leads? Marketing gives us leads?

If you chose answer No. 1, the first thing I would say is, well done. The second thing I would ask is, when was the last time you talked with your sales team?

Lead generation is an iterative process that requires consistent closed-loop feedback. Closing the loop on a regular basis allows you to constantly learn from each interaction.

Sales and Marketing often believe they are working together, but I’ve found collaboration takes more than annual, quarterly or monthly meetings. That’s why I think we can learn a lot from the football team huddle.Huddle

Each huddle allows the team to adjust, get feedback and focus on their next play together. Consider having short huddles daily and weekly between the marketing and sales team members.

In addition to implementing Sales and Marketing huddles, here are 31 ideas you can use to improve alignment and collaboration:

  1. Train your sales people on how to optimize your lead generation investment and how to give you feedback.
  2. Regularly get the marketing team out into the field with the sales team and channel.
  3. Centralize the lead qualification process.
  4. Get a closed loop feedback from the sales team on leads, and carefully examine the conversion process with regular face-to-face meetings or conference calls.
  5. Understand where the sales team is with their priorities, and help them nurture. Do not force-feed leads at a time when their focus might be on closing important sales efforts.
  6. Develop a strategic lead generation plan, with focus on standardizing and documenting the sales process for purposes of tracking and measuring.
  7. Conduct frequent, regular meetings to stay updated on developments.
  8. Share best-practice lead generation information.
  9. Assign revenue goals to joint Sales and Marketing plans.
  10. Document the lead hand-off process and accountabilities at each stage.
  11. Be flexible.
  12. Promote lead generation from the top down and the bottom up.
  13. Develop a universal lead definition.
  14. Arrange compensation to reflect shared accountability via lead generation.
  15. Close the loop on each sales lead generated.
  16. Focus on how to increase effective selling time of the sales team.
  17. Integrate Sales and Marketing into the same database.
  18. Define and map responsibilities shared by Sales and Marketing.
  19. Share nurturing content. Learn what content is most helpful to progress customers.
  20. Continually reinforce lead generation program strategies.
  21. Share new insights gained from customer feedback.
  22. Jointly develop a message map and value proposition.
  23. Examine and apply what has been learned.
  24. Implement parameters from successful campaigns.
  25. React to and develop solutions for the prospect’s concerns. Better yet, talk to future customers along with your sales team.
  26. Conform messaging to target audiences.
  27. Analyze and use competitive strategies as warranted.
  28. Improve sales tools and marketing materials.
  29. Map out your customers’ buying process and key questions customers ask at each step.
  30. Determine the life cycle of a lead.
  31. Develop a strategy for lead nurturing.

What am I missing? I’d love to hear other tips or ways you’ve leveraged lead generation to improve the Sales and Marketing alignment.

 

Photo Attribution: Jonathan Skalnes

 

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Lead Generation Checklist — Part 2: Sales and Marketing — One Team [More from the blogs]

Sales-Marketing Alignment: 8 tactics from a marketer who has worn both hats [MarketingSherpa how-to article]

Brian Carroll
 

Brian Carroll is the CEO and founder of markempa, helping companies to improve how they acquire and grow customer relationships with empathy-based marketing and meet the challenges of revenue growth. He is the author of the bestseller, Lead Generation for the Complex Sale, and the B2B Lead Blog which is read by thousands each week. He also founded B2B Lead Roundtable LinkedIn Group with 19,801+ members.

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