How do you get More Sales-ready Leads?
Demand Gen as well as marketing and sales teams are not new to the concept of prioritizing leads based on certain specific parameters and lead scores. In order to avoid the age-old friction between marketing and sales, marketing teams leverage lead scoring to measure the level of prospect engagement and to assess the status of a lead.
But is this enough to ensure that marketing is always fueling sales with leads that are sales-ready?
Here’s the problem with this traditional approach:
You’re Leaving Opportunities Open to Competitors
While lead scoring is a basic step most marketing and sales teams follow to allocate priority levels to their lead database, the problem with this traditional approach is that, by itself, without the support of buying intent behaviors and buying signals, the lead score cannot denote the intent or level of purchase intent within that target account.
Buying behaviors have changed significantly and more so during this year’s Covid-19 pandemic.
By only relying on a lead score to indicate when a prospect should be parceled off to the sales team for further sales prospecting, marketing teams are missing out on key buying indicators that indicate level of engagement with their brand, interest in their brand, awareness about their brand. Without this information, handing off a lead to sales does not ensure that it is sales-ready. More over, for sales teams who usually have a standardized sales cadence in place, without further personalization of sales communications at this handoff level, combined with the right buying intent signals, marketing is still in theory pushing non-qualified leads that have a lower chance of converting down the funnel.
Using Sales Assistants and Sales Technologies to Effectively Nurture Low Quality Leads
In most situations, marketing teams will choose to dump their low quality leads (based on lead scores!) into a typical marketing or lead nurture campaign. This approach is a common go-to strategy, because marketing teams then use their campaign to move these leads further through the funnel, evaluate new metrics based on these campaign results (email engagement, open rates, etc) and then re-qualify them as sales-ready or SQLs.
This approach can prove to be lengthy and again, without the combination of the right supporting sales tools, the buying cycle stays long and complicated and does not ensure that the lead metrics evaluated at the end of the campaign denote actual sales-ready leads.
Instead of choosing the typical lead nurture approach, sales teams and marketing leaders can invest in virtual sales assistants that help automate and personalize conversations at this level itself, thereby moving more prospects through the buying cycle effectively with the right triggers and a shortened sales cycle.
Driving Productive Sales Conversations, Based on Buying Interest and the Right Followup Tactics
Lead prioritization and lead scoring is an important step in the lead process because it helps teams focus attention on those accounts that will show results. But as established before, by itself, it won’t help achieve desired business outcomes.
To generate more sales pipeline from the leads being generated, it is important for sales and marketing to have a strong followup process. When marketing and sales teams are going after bulk leads and accounts, regular and timely followups based on the buyer’s actual buying journey is a crucial step that can help drive more conversions, but it is also at this juncture that sales teams might not have the right technologies in place to help automate mass (timely!) followups with the right messaging that’s infused with the right personalization tokens, all of which is adjusted to each prospect’s buying stage.
By achieving the latter, with the right integration of marketing and sales technologies, sales teams can improve the quality of their lead conversions significantly and enhance their overall lead generation process.
How do you Reformulate Sales and Marketing Strategies for the New Normal? Catch these tips where leaders from Xactly, Upland Software, CloudShare and JotForm share their thoughts!