Are your leads hovering around, rather than moving forward? Or are salespeople wasting time on cold calls? The problem might have its roots in a lack of internal collaboration, diffuse definitions and ambiguous goals. We’ll walk you through how you can optimise your lead management by integrating marketing and sales.
Want to achieve success in the digital era? Of course you do. Well, in that case you need to buckle up and adapt your organisation to your customers’ new behaviours and needs
. The new terms placed by your customers means that you need to work harder than ever to successfully capture and nurture leads into paying customers.
This, in turn, requires some extra effort in order to understand customer behaviour, define and score leads in order to separate marketing qualified leads (MQL) from sales qualified leads (SQL) and integrate marketing and sales in your process for lead management.
An Integrated Organisation is a Win-Win Situation
It’s absolutely crucial that marketing and sales work in unison if you want to ace the efficiency and profitability of your lead nurturing. With close collaboration, salespeople are relieved from dreary cold calls and marketers are able to calibrate hard-hitting messages according to the individual’s wishes and needs.
This has a dramatic impact on the all-important customer experience. For the customer, it’s a difference between getting bombarded by presumptuous salespeople who are pushing a completely irrelevant product, and getting the final nudge to seal the deal. In the end, one leads to effective sales, while the other leads to frustration, a blocked number and money down the drain.
Before you kickstart the process of integration and your journey towards amazing results, it’s important that you take a step back to answer the question: When does a MQL turn into a SQL?
The Importance of Defining Leads
It’s the marketing team’s main responsibility to nurture marketing qualified leads (MQL) with engaging content that strikes a chord. By continuously stimulating a MQL with relevant content, the lead moves down the sales funnel
on his or her own accord until he, she or the organisation is considered a sales qualified lead (SQL) – and is handed over into the sales team.
A MQL is standing on the very brink of the sales funnel, but has the right attributes (i.e. right industry, size, etc.) and is exhibiting actions that indicate engagement and interest. A SQL is a lead that has leaped through the sales funnel and has arrived at the very end – ready to make a purchase decision.
However, the definitions aren't set in stone. The way in which you choose to define and separate your MQL:s from your SQL:s comes down to your own sales process, product(s) and last – but certainly not least – the customer journey.
Marketing Automation Scores Leads – and Improves Collaboration
In order to conduct effective and efficient lead nurturing, sales and marketing need to have a productive brainstorming session with the purpose to map out the responsibility distribution and to define the criteria that separates your MQL:s from your SQL:s. You might consider factors such as:
- What attributes qualify someone as a MQL?
- What behaviours indicate buyer intent?
- How do you hand over a SQL to the sales organisation?
It goes without saying that the criteria is far from a fit-for-all. In reality, your definition must emanate from your organisation, its target audience and your collected customer data. However, an effective solution is to score your leads based on their expressed level of activity and engagement.
With the help of a system för marketing automation, pre-defined criteria and an integration to your CRM-system, you can create customisable flows and continuously monitor lead activity.
The effect is that it becomes a whole lot easier for marketers to nurture leads with the right content at the right time. At the same time, salespeople can focus their energy on hot leads at the peak of their decision-making process.
Through a tight-knit internal collaboration between marketers and salespeople (with the help of a witty strategy and fine-tuned system for marketing automation, of course!), productivity comes to an all-time high.