5 Steps to Align Sales and Marketing – Part 2
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Define and Agree on Terms and Process

In step 1 we covered the need to set clear goals in a way that lets each individual see how their performance is impacting revenue. Now when the goals are clearly set, you’d think that everyone would know what they need to achieve. But be careful! You are still open to the “that’s not what I meant by lead,” and “You are taking too long to follow up on leads, and they are rotting on the vine” arguments between sales and marketing. This is where the process is critical. Here are three critical elements to establish so you can eliminate the quarreling between sales and marketing.

  • Qualification Criteria. Especially on the handoffs between marketing, inside sales (telemarketing), and sales, define what is meant by “qualified” at each stage. The definition has to be agreed to by both marketing and sales leadership, and the process should support the documentation of the qualification criteria (e.g., in your salesforce automation tool).
  • Follow Up. The company spends precious resources generating sales leads. When a prospect responds to an offer, the follow up needs to be there. Create an agreement with sales (or inside sales, depending on your structure), about the time period within which sales will follow up with an inquiry. Document the follow up (e.g., using your salesforce automation tool).
  • Document the Acceptance/Rejection of Leads. Put the feedback loop in the process. Make sure you provide a way for sales to “accept” or “reject” leads coming from marketing or inside sales. This is a way to create visibility into the quality of leads, and remove the subjective anecdotes. Document the acceptances and rejections (e.g., in your salesforce automation tool).

Once these processes are documented and all parties are on the same page, collaboration and improvement can begin. We’re now two steps closer to marketing and sales alignment.

Check back next week for Step 3 of this series: Monitor Performance.

Can you identify all of the elements within this model today? If not, contact us today.

About author:
Kia mobilizes marketing efforts to create effective campaigns that generate leads and fill the opportunity pipeline. She establishes and trains on marketing and sales processes, executes strategic campaigns, and configures Salesforce.com and marketing automation systems to measure results.

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