Insights

Enterprise Sales and Marketing Alignment: Beyond Lead Scoring

[fa icon="calendar"] Oct 23, 2013, 7:30:00 AM / by Katrice Svanda

Katrice Svanda

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We’ve talked about using lead scoring to improve marketing and sales alignment, but what are other areas that your teams may not be on the same page?  You’ve got your lead scoring system running smoothly.  You’ve defined what “sales-ready” means for your organization and have auto-scoring software, like HubSpot, in place to update your lead scores in real time.  But you still feel like your business could do better.  Here are a few areas your teams could benefit from better alignment.

Content

Sales and marketing teams have a variety of content they use to connect with your customers – from ebooks to nurturing emails to product pages.  Often teams have different, and exclusive, sets of content.  This content may even have different messages.  Conduct a comprehensive content audit to determine resources that need to be shared across team lines (for both a better understanding of each other’s processes and the customer’s concerns at different stages in the buying cycle) and gaps that need to be filled.  Do you have sufficient content for all of your buyer personas, prospects, or lead nurturing campaigns?  Do you have content geared toward buyers at each stage in the buying cycle?  If not, fill those gaps to ensure you’re targeting all of your prospects and leads. 

Evaluating the language of your content is a good idea, too.  Do your customers find your messages authentic and helpful?  DemandGen’s 2012 report, “Content Preferences Survey,” found that 75% of participants thought B2B marketers needed to dial back the sales-speak in their content.  Do you fall into this category?  Often communication isn’t about what you say, but how you say it.  It’s similar to when someone gives a forced, half-hearted “I’m sorry” or a genuine apology.  Your audience appreciates authenticity and clarity in your communications.  Make sure sales and marketing are on the same page with your content strategy and development to attract more customers.

Establish SLAs for Accountability

Establishing simple service level agreements gives your teams direction and sets a specific level of accountability.  What gets measured gets done, so identify important targets and create separate SLAs for your sales and marketing teams.  A few you might like:

  • The minimum number of sales-ready leads marketing delivers to sales
  • The information marketing must have on a lead before passing them to sales
  • The maximum amount of time for a sales representative to contact a lead
  • Timeframe for sales to give marketing feedback on leads that weren’t quite ready to buy

System Integration: Getting the Most from Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is your best friend.  You’ve already seen this in your real-time updating lead scoring software, but how well are your marketing software and CRM system integrated? Can all teams see the path your leads travelled from prospect to buyer? Integrate your software systems to ensure everyone has the information they need.  Have leads that reach your sales-ready score automatically jump into your CRM system.  Automate email notifications for the appropriate sales rep or department.  And make sure everyone can see the entire process.  Marketing may not need to know all the ins-and-outs of your CRM system, but if they can see the lead’s activity and concerns, it will help them create better-targeted campaigns.  The same goes for sales – seeing what attracted the customer to your company (e.g., a whitepaper on communications solutions) gives them an idea of what problems their leads are looking to fix and where they’re coming from, literally and figuratively.

Integration and communication, both internal and external, are the key to sales and marketing alignment that results in higher customer conversion and increased.

Guide to Aligning Sales and Marketing Quality Leads

About Digital Impact Agency

Digital Impact Agency is a creative firm specializing in interactive media and inbound marketing strategies for manufacturing and technology companies, professional service firms (architectural, engineering, construction, legal and consulting), nonprofits and enterprise companies. We are a team of innovative entrepreneurs focused on creating the most strategic and effective communication channels for our clients.

Topics: marketing strategy, enterprise inbound marketing

Katrice Svanda

Written by Katrice Svanda

Katrice Svanda is a Founder and CEO for Digital Impact Agency, a Houston-based digital media and inbound marketing agency. Her background includes over 15 years of experience in the technology industry from marketing emerging technologies to participating in several technology spin-offs. Katrice has created successful marketing campaigns for business-to-business, business-to-consumer, and business-to-government.