What’s the sales team’s biggest complaint when it comes to their relationship with Marketing?


Too few or low-quality leads.


When the quality and frequency of leads is improved…


  • A stronger partnership between the marketing and sales teams arises. Marketing should be supporting Sales with high-quality leads. But often lead generation is a point of contention between the two teams. Out of all the functional strategies, sales and marketing are tied the most closely together. Improving this relationship is good for the whole company.
  • The company experiences better sales results and more sales revenue. With higher quality leads, Sales has a head start. They can approach each lead with confidence and more efficiently increase win rates. It makes them more productive when it comes to closing sales. This in turn enables them to help Marketing when they’re behind on a goal.


There are three key ways the marketing team can generate better leads for Sales:


1. Improve the Lead Management Process With Content Marketing.

Content marketing is a key strategy for leading marketers today. Cloud and mobile technology are on the rise. Transactional sales are giving way to subscriptions. It’s a new economy out there, and content reaches buyers where they are.


Content marketing helps Marketing better identify leads by engagement activity. Focus on generating subscribers (to blogs, webinars, etc.) produces:


  • An understanding of where the buyer is in the buying journey
  • A pathway to nurture the relationship
  • A better-qualified lead handed over to Sales


Consider adding social media to your content strategy, too. With it, marketers can go straight to the territory where buyers hang out. Social media also gives marketers a potent avenue for dispersing content. Social selling is a powerful tool to generate referrals and drive topline growth.


2. Smooth Campaign Execution With Content Mapping.

Your marketing team is not a campaign factory. Nor should they be. No matter how agile Marketing has become, running multiple campaigns per month is challenging.


Improve your demand generation campaigns by making them more repeatable and scalable. This means taking the time to create a process around producing marketing campaigns.


Create a content map by campaign to guide buyers from attention to action. Note the time, frequency, and alignment with the buying and sales process. Share this with the sales and product teams to help them understand your plan. Mapping will also help ensure that leads aren’t handed off to sales too early.


Finally, determine the KPIs you need to track. Use those metrics to iterate the campaigns and improve their effectiveness over time.


3. Upgrade Your Marketing Systems.

Your marketing team can’t do their best work without the right tools. They might need new or different technology to be more effective. Tools that enable automation are especially powerful when it comes to lead generation.


If Marketing is spending too many hours on administrative tasks, they’re losing leads.


Consider the following technologies. Can you better leverage these to improve productivity?


  • Marketing automation
  • Customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Email marketing
  • Website optimization
  • Content management system (CMS)
  • Social media management
  • Marketing analytics
  • Predictive analytics
  • Sales enablement
  • Mobile playbooks
  • Partner resource management
  • Learning management systems (LMS)
  • Social collaboration
  • Sales portal
  • Event management


A good CRM can be an especially valuable tool. But make sure Marketing is using it effectively. It should track the success of the sales process – not just be a lead repository.


Learn more about how to apply this to your organization. Register for a live How to Make Your Number in 2016 workshop. An SBI strategist will come to your office for this 90-minute training. And you’ll come away with a plan that sets you up for 2016 success.


John Staples

Leads teams of highly qualified experts, all relentless in their pursuit of helping you make your number.
Learn more about John Staples >

John is the global leader of SBI’s account management business unit. As such, he and his team help clients across 19 verticals drive top line growth and operational efficiency in sales and marketing.


John’s marketing, sales and product expertise span a multichannel strategic approach. He has an unyielding focus on strategic and key account development, which enables strategic alignment between all functional team members in order to reduce acquisition cost and increase lifetime value.


His broad experience in sales, marketing, product and engineering allows him to bring a unique problem solving approach to his team and clients. As he has discovered through decades of experience, clients are often distracted by the symptoms of a larger problem and overlook the root cause of it.


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