Marketing and sales need a “judicial branch” to keep everyone honest: In the ideal sales lead management process, marketing defines the target market, the offer, the message and the media necessary to cost effectively generate the number of leads required by sales to meet revenue goals. As a “check and balance,” sales must evaluate and accept or reject marketing’s leads and marketing should be evaluated accordingly. This step ensures that marketing does not simply load the pipeline with low-level leads. Instead they must provide sales with legitimate, closeable sales opportunities.
Sales can either accept or reject leads on a lead-by-lead basis, and then convert the leads to revenue (or not). Once a lead is accepted by sales (the lead advances from marketing qualified to sales accepted), marketing’s responsibility for the lead ceases (unless it requires nurturing or reheating, but that is not a marketing or sales responsibility and a whole different story).
For this process to actually work, organizations require a judicial branch comprised of senior sales and marketing executives, if not the CEO. The judicial branch is required to assess leads that have been rejected by sales, but “appealed” by marketing to ensure opportunities are not being squandered. This same team should evaluate sales effectiveness in lead follow-up.
I find that the missing ingredient in many organizations is a “judicial branch”. The judicial branch could keep everyone honest. Unfortunately, this is not often done.