If you want to stir emotion in a marketing VP, bring up the subject of lead follow up. Few subjects can rile like that one. Leads that are discounted, not accepted or simply ignored can cause otherwise cool-headed marketing execs to pull out their hair, especially after having worked so hard to generate them in the first place.
Having been in the business of helping B2B companies close the gap between marketing and sales for almost 20 years, and talking to execs from both sides, I could spend hours talking about why it happens. There’s a lot of psychology involved—fear of failure on the part of sales, for one thing. Preconditioning also plays a role if sales is used to receiving volumes of raw, unfiltered leads that simply take too much time to cull through.
My advice? Marketing needs to take on the role of qualifying leads. All those targets who’ve raise their hands—signing up for webinars, downloading your white papers, clicking through on an email—need to be quickly qualified. I suggest you make that your job.
Then, only pass through the real opportunities. Instead of giving sales 100 tradeshow presentation attendees, give them the 10 that are in a position to buy.
Whether you call it lead qualification, lead management, response management, or, as PointClear does, lead development, find an easy and efficient way to do it within days of generating the lead.
Heed this tip and you can make sales more productive, show a more impressive marketing ROI, and help make your company more successful.