Marketing’s Job Doesn’t Stop at “Sales Accepted”

Marketing’s Job Doesn’t Stop at “Sales Accepted”:from The Messaging Feed 
Congratulations, marketer!  You’ve generated qualified leads by the dozen that you’re handing over to sales for follow up. Your job is done, right?  Not even close.
SiriusDecisions, a leading marketing and sales effectiveness analyst firm, recently published a blog post called, “Sales Accepted Leads: The Most Important (and Most Overlooked) Step in the Demand Creation Process.”In the post, they encourage using a “marketing qualified” to “sales accepted” status change to ensure qualified leads don’t end up lost in oblivion.
Great and necessary step, but your work doesn’t end there.  Perhaps you’ve set up various triggers to remind sales that they’ve got a hot lead and time’s a wastin’, but beyond that, most marketers essentially abandon the revenue generation process – even though it’s the marketing messaging that grabbed the prospect’s attention in the first place.
Here are three steps for adding value after a lead is qualified and in the sales person’s hands:
Get your messages in a row.
If a prospect has been visiting your website and clicking on and downloading content relating to challenge A, you don’t want your sales rep following up with a message focused on challenge B. Make sure your sales rep can easily see, within the lead management system, which message the prospect responded to. Once that’s established…
Equip your reps with follow-up tools that align to that message.
Don’t stop creating compelling content.  Every marketing message needs to be backed with a corresponding sales talk track.  Equip reps with a call-guide document that provides quick-hitting, additional pieces of insight into the challenge each campaign highlights. Don’t spell out the entire call for them (no good rep reads from a script) – but give them provocative industry facts, grabbers and key points to bring to the conversation. Otherwise, the “follow-up” turns into one email saying, “Hi, I left you a voicemail. Are you interested? When are you available to talk?” (You think we’re joking, but we’ve seen those emails come through. You know who you are.)
Track conversion rates by rep.
In any given month, track how many leads went from sales accepted to sales qualified (the lead is now in the pipeline), broken down by rep. Reps that are showing lower-than-average conversion rates likely need additional messaging coaching to increase their follow-up effectiveness.

Filed under: Business-to-Business, Deliver Conversations that Win, Deploy Tools that Get Used, Marketing, Sales, Sales and Marketing Alignment, Sales Readiness Tagged: marketing, sales, sales tips, sales training

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