Align Sales and Marketing to Produce Leads That Close
Your company may have Marketing, Sales and a CRM system, but do you align Sales and Marketing with a strategy? In many companies, Marketing concentrates on producing the most leads possible while Sales tries to close the highest-quality leads. Often they’re not in sync with each other or with customer buying cycles. As a result, Marketing blames Sales for not closing more deals and Sales blames Marketing for not passing leads that are likely to close.
To get Marketing to produce the most high-quality leads and Sales to close them, get your departments together to align their needs with the enterprise go-to-market strategy. Gartner defines a Sales Performance Management vision as “a view from the top of what a sales-performance-driven enterprise should l00k and feel like,” including growth and how it will evolve.
Nurture vs Nurture
After new leads have been scored, your Marketing Department has to make some decisions:
- Which leads should I discard immediately?
- Which leads do I start to nurture first?
- How should I nurture each lead depending on product interest and other factors?
- Am I dealing with the decision maker?
To make these decisions, Marketing has to know what Sales is focusing on, where it’s had the greatest success and what direction corporate management wants to go. If the enterprise strategy is to target large enterprise telecommunications companies in Europe, then Marketing’s campaign strategy to target SMBs in the U.S. would seem inappropriate.
Success comes when the approach to sales effectiveness involves the entire business. Without proper focus across the board, sales cycles drag out and more and more deals are lost to “no decision.”
It is critical that Sales keeps win/loss records so Marketing can put Sales in touch with the decison makers who can make the call to buy. Marketing must have a marketing automation system and a CRM that can get the job done.
 Gartner Research, Strengthen Sales With the Eight Building Blocks of Sales Performance Management, 2012
 Gartner, Marketing Essentials: Three Ways for Emerging Providers to Increase Sales Effectiveness, 2011
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