Many sales organizations are not aligned with the lead generation teams that serve them. Regardless of whether the lead generation team is within the sales organization or in marketing, the result is more garbage leads.
Take 10 minutes today to think through the root problem. It’s likely not technology. The root cause of under performance is often alignment between your sales team and the lead generation team.
Ten Attributes of Alignment from World-Class firms
Download the Sales Leader Checklist for Lead Generation Alignment to take the 10-point test. You’ll be surprised at the result.
The blog article below provides an executive summary of the key attributes of alignment. Download the full tool for expanded guidance including deep definitions of the world-class attributes.
Expect Due Diligence – Prior to contacting a prospect for the first time the lead generation team MUST do research to understand the status of the Account. The CRM is searched to understand if there is an active Opportunity and/or Contact.
Don’t Smother Lead Generation Efforts – Don’t be paranoid and close out your lead generation team from a large portion of accounts. With solid due diligence in place to identify active opportunities and contacts, remove the draconian level of protection. Limit the number of ‘protected’ accounts. Constrain the parameters that squelch lead generation efforts.
Comprehensive Revenue Lifecycle – Transition from silo views of lead generation and sales where the Revenue Lifecycle is fragmented. Instead operate with comprehensive view from prospect Inquiries that can be tracked all the way through to Leads, Opportunities, and Wins.
Clear Areas of Responsibilities – A comprehensive Revenue Lifecycle cannot be complete without a neck to choke if results are not there. Does the lead generation team have specific people accountable for key functions?
Right Expectation – It’s a best practice to formally define leads between sales and marketing. It’s NOT a prospect ready buy. A good lead one that is worth investing time developing into an opportunity.
Provide Concise and Specific Lead Feedback – Don’t let your reps throw mud by giving negative feedback without specific details. Be tough with feedback. Provide specific details on why leads were not good.
Leverage Nurturing – Quality lead generation includes automated and 1-to-1 nurturing to build a rapport over time. This planned cadence speeds up the overall buying process.
Resist choking the Golden Goose – Allow Leads to develop. Resist the urge to increase the short-term quantity of leads by lowering the criteria for when a lead passes off to the sales rep. Allow best practices in lead management to work for your sales force. Don’t prematurely pull under-developed prospects that aren’t ready into the sales rep’s call plans.
Return to Nurture – When your sales reps receive a Lead that’s not ready or is non-responsive, simply return the lead to the lead generation team to continue nurturing. Let the nurturing resources work on your behalf to cultivate awareness, onto interest, through consideration. The reps will get pulled back in at the right time.
Regular Cadence of Performance Review – Lead Generation teams should have regularly scheduled meetings with sales leadership to report on results. Monthly or Quarterly reviews are too infrequent to get to root cause problems that are preventing peak performance.
Unknowingly sales leaders place draconian limits on lead generation teams that suppress effectiveness. The net result are constraints and poor business practices that hurt the sales reps they are trying to support. Assess your team for leadgen misalignment with the ten question test Sales Leader Checklist for Lead Generation Alignment.
Your comments and suggestions are welcome.