How Well Is Your Marketing Team Supporting Sales? 4 Questions to Ask Yourself
When a quarter of all companies say their marketing and sales teams are either “misaligned” or “rarely aligned," you know you have a problem. Do you know what happens with leads after you send them to sales?
Too often, these teams exist in silos — each doing their own work, unaware of how it affects the other. This not only has an impact on relationships in the workplace (we’re certain you’ve experienced this), it will have an impact on the ROI of your marketing campaigns.
Below are four crucial questions to ask yourself to assess how your marketing campaigns are actually influencing ROI. For each, we’ll walk you through the steps to resolve that issue and align your marketing and sales teams at your organization.
1. Do You Know if the Leads You’re Generating are Qualified?
As marketers, there are a lot of metrics we look at for every channel: time on page, bounce rates, open rates, click rates, cost-per-click, and so on. From the sales perspective, however, there are two metrics that they want to see from marketing: How many leads are you generating, and how many of those leads are qualified?
61% of B2B marketers send all leads directly to sales, but only 27% of those leads will be qualified.
Your marketing reports should regularly include statistics on lead-to-deal conversion rates and how much revenue you can attribute to each marketing campaign. As a marketer, this gives you ammo to prove the ROI of your efforts and confirm the quality of the leads you’re delivering to sales. Here’s a guide on how you can do that.
In addition to that, however, you need to regularly sit down with your sales team and talk about the leads you’re sending them. Do they feel like the leads are marketing-qualified? In many cases, they’ll have examples or anecdotal impressions that yield nuggets of insight that you would have never considered.
2. Are You Arming Sales with Marketing Materials to Help Them Convert Leads into Deals?
Marketers often focus on creating content to support their own campaigns. This isn’t a bad thing — as long as you’re not ignoring your other crucial responsibility of creating materials that sales can use during the later stages of the funnel.
It’s not enough to just send them the content you’re already creating and assume you’re good. 76% of content marketers forget sales enablement entirely.
Content created solely to address questions and concerns that come up in sales conversations will save your sales team time, increase lead-to-deal conversion rates, cut the sales cycle, and improve relations between marketing and sales.
This comes back to the fact that you need to sit down with your sales team. Figure out the most common questions they get from leads and decide together on the highest priority materials to create (whether it’s catch-all FAQ resources, product docs, blogs that address a question in greater detail, or an informational video). Then, ensure you deliver on that promise.
3. Are You Providing Sales with Rich Contact Profiles Based on Engagement with Your Marketing?
With all the ways that leads get touched before and after they convert, you’re learning a great deal about their needs, preferences, and demographics. For many of our clients who have come to us seeking a solution to better aligning marketing spend to revenue generation, that information about their leads sat in a Marketing Automation Platform (MAP) such as HubSpot or Pardot — and sales never saw any of it.
Lead behaviors such as specific form completions, content downloads, event attendance, ads clicked, web pages viewed, and more can help the sales team get a clearer picture of each prospect’s individual interests and challenges. As a result, sales is able to tailor their follow-up and spend time on the most qualified leads for more closed deals.
This isn’t just anecdotal — companies with more tightly-aligned sales and marketing departments see 36% higher customer retention rates and 38% higher sales win rates.
Consider building a lead scoring model within your MAP based on the key indicators and pivotal actions leads are taking to better qualify them as strong buyers. Show your sales team this information about the leads’ behavioral history for greater context beyond their last touch. Then, deliver it straight to them either through an integration between your MAP and your CRM or an automated email triggered by lead score that sends the highest-priority information to the assigned sales rep.
4. Are You Working with Sales to Refine Your Buyer Personas?
If you’re like many other businesses, you spent time years ago to create rich buyer personas that got shoved into a drawer, never to be looked at again. But, if you put your buyer personas into practice for both marketing and sales, you’ll find that they’ll pay for themselves several times over.
It’s important to get rolling feedback from sales on:
- How well the leads you’re assigning to certain buyer personas fit that profile
- If the personas you’ve laid out actually represent the ideal leads
60-70% of B2B content created is never used. In many cases, this is because the topic is irrelevant to the buyer audience. You may need to adjust the most important aspects of what “CEO Sally” and “Tech Director Tim” actually care about. Or, sales may find that ideal leads don’t fall into two buckets, but three. And adding an additional persona will help you more accurately identify their needs and allow sales to better personalize follow-up.