There is one month left in Q3. This is the time of year leaders begin to plan for 2015. As you look back on 2014, did your marketing team accomplish their goals? Did your team provide enough leads for your sales leader? As you review your performance, and contemplate next year, you have two choices.
Stick with the status quo. If 2014 was a success, then this might be your best option. Your marketing strategy worked and your team is contributing to revenue. Our research shows 29% of marketing leaders have the right strategy. These folks should make this choice. If you are one of them, congratulations.
Contribute more to the revenue goal. This will mean developing, and executing a new marketing strategy. Not just any strategy though. It must be different than your competitors. It must align with your buyers. It needs to be an actual strategy, not just a bunch of marketing activities. And finally, it must be aligned with your corporate strategy. 71% of marketing leaders should make this choice.
One important piece of the puzzle is your engagement. How will your marketing team interact with prospects and customers? As a marketing leader, you need to have processes for this in place. There are two parts. First, how do you drive demand for your product or service? And then, how do nurture prospects into sales ready leads?
Part #1 – Demand Generation Process
Marketing needs to make buyers demand what they are offering. Sales leaders are asking for more, and better, leads. Marketing teams are falling short because they don’t have a demand gen process in place. Or they are using an outdated version of this process.
How do you create a demand gen process that works? You can start by asking yourself these questions:
- What is our demand generation process to generate inquiries? What do we actually do to create interest in our product or solution?
- How do we generate demand in both new and existing accounts?
- How do we qualify leads?
- How do we score/grade leads?
- When and how should we route inquiries?
- How do we measure campaign effectiveness?
- How do we leverage marketing automation to generate more demand?
If you can answer these questions, you will begin to provide sales with more leads.
Part #2 – Lead Management Process
Marketing needs to nurture and qualify leads until they are sales ready. Does marketing and sales agree on the definition of a lead? Of an opportunity? Leads are often handed off before they are ready, causing discord between marketing and sales.
To have the right lead management process, marketing leaders need to answer these questions:
- What are the stages of our lead management process?
- What is the definition of a lead at each stage?
- What workflows are used to respond to leads at each stage?
- What offers do we need to nurture the leads?
- How will our marketing team manually nurture leads?
- How do we create a playbook for our team to use?
Again, if you can answer these questions, you will be on your way to providing more leads.
Sales depends on marketing for leads. Best in class marketing leaders have the right strategy in place to ensure this happens. Download our full report here to understand how to create your marketing strategy for 2015. The right strategy will mean more leads and more opportunities for your sales counterparts.