software lead, software lead generation, medical leads, call centres in australia, lead for business intelligence, lead generation companies singapore, outsourced telemarketing singapore, software appointment setting, business leadsTech companies presently face a daunting list of challenges in their software lead generation campaigns, and one of the most fundamental is aligning marketing and sales activities. Poor marketing-sales alignment affects lead generation in negative ways as it tends to increase both the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of the processes involved. This issue is even further compounded by the fact that business software companies generally face buyers who follow longer and more sophisticated purchasing cycles, highlighting the requirement for higher levels of cooperation between marketing and sales teams.

A typical textbook example of a multi-department company usually has separate marketing and sales arms, each focused on its specific set of tasks in business software lead generation and other marketing/selling activities.

However, this doesn’t mean absolute isolation. In fact, the lack of sufficient interaction between marketing and sales results in lost opportunities of about 80% of generated business leads according to a study from Bulldog Solutions. The same research also finds that better cooperation between the two departments (in the form of marketing-qualified leads passed to sales) yields 7% higher win rates and 6% shorter ramp-up time.

So, in order to enhance your campaign’s efficiency and effectiveness, you have to align marketing and sales together, and here are six proven tips to help you do exactly that:

1. Remove communication barriers. An important first step toward marketing-sales alignment is to make sure you’ve eliminated any barrier to smooth communications between the two departments. This commonly involves defining and using a common set of terminologies or their equivalents as well as ensuring that individuals from either team can easily reach or connect with their counterparts.

2. Use identical yardsticks. As an extension of the first point, both marketing and sales teams need to agree upon what metrics to focus on in measuring important lead generation outcomes. Both teams should also set the “trigger” or “critical” values for each considered metric to indicate specific conditions. As an aside, the two departments need to consider metrics that measure the quality of leads and veer away from giving too much emphasis on lead quantity.

3. Set cross-department goals. By “cross-department goals,” we mean those targets that concern both marketing and sales while also taking into account the overall strategic position of the company. This means that both are actively participating or influencing the objectives of the other through their inputs. For example, sales could provide suggestions on the number of qualified prospects transferred each month considering factors at their end of the pipeline.

4. Standardize certain protocols. This goes beyond being able to set common definitions and descriptions for such elements as qualified prospects, warm leads, etc. and involves adopting a uniform set of procedures for accomplishing such tasks as responding to no-decision prospects, prospect re-engagement, and other lead nurturing tasks. The idea here is to develop standard protocols that must be followed based on the event at hand not on the department.

5. Consider having occasional sit-ins. This is an excellent way of letting practitioners from either of the departments to experience the challenges and concerns encountered by their counterparts first-hand. The goal of this practice is to widen the perspective of marketing and sales practitioners in order to make more informed decisions in their own task sets.

6. Be sure to meet regularly. For starters, having quarterly meetings between marketing and sales is recommended. However, you may need to schedule more frequent meetings (or even have unscheduled ones), especially as prospects/customers are constantly evolving in the B2B software sector.

If your company doesn’t have separate marketing and sales departments, as is typical for small businesses, there’s still a clear need to align these two distinct activities toward a uniform direction since, as a software company, you’re likely following a lengthy and complex sales cycle. This requirement also extends to software companies that outsource specific tasks in their marketing campaigns such as software appointment setting as deviations among certain parts of the process can result in inefficiencies outlined above.