When ConnectLeader built our first product, we budgeted marketing dollars for lead generation, but our sales team couldn’t reach out to those leads fast enough/multiple times to drive intended results. Lower lead results were realized as our sales team would typically make 1-2 attempts to reach a prospect then give up. What we did not realize, but later confirmed via data analysis, was that it typically takes 20+ calling attempts to speak with a live prospect.
In addition, we found that properly managing lead flow quickly became complex and sales reps only focused on high yield leads, thus avoiding targets that needed nurturing. Their perception: Efforts were better spent on other tasks rather than calling back a non-responsive lead multiple times. Due to this perception, leads from our marketing endeavors became cold due to a lack of frequent outreach.
To avoid the cold lead conundrum, we needed to conduct a high velocity, high volume outreach initiative. Just because you can’t reach a prospect on two calling attempts, does not mean the target organization is not a fit. By performing high-volume calling of 20+ dials per target, converted leads dramatically increased and revenue went up.
Here are a few lessons learned from our early days:
- Align Sales and Marketing – One of the first steps is to deliver solid content for sales to consume. The lowest hanging fruit is to establish standardized collateral that reflects the same messages across all documents and website content. By doing this, sales teams are able to clearly convey validated product messages and trust that the marketing forecast is achievable.
- Make Smart Marketing Investments – Many start-up organizations initially dismiss branding in favor of defined revenue contribution per marketing dollar spent. To avoid this, companies can take advantage of free tools to help test and refine content with the best messages that resonate with the market. Don’t be afraid to elicit input from the sales team to help write relevant content and improve search results with more accurate, frequently searched keywords.
- Continue to Cultivate Close Marketing and Sales Relationships – Your sales teams are experts in gaining credibility with prospects; their knowledge of how customers react to is paramount for developing proper marketing content. In essence, sales teams build credibility with prospects and marketing teams build programs. Each organization is a critical building block in a collaborative environment with the intent to create better leads. By establishing a close collaboration, sales teams will gain a trust that marketing programs are ready to yield the desired results toward achieving sales quotas.
- Keep the Focus on Revenue – Require the marketing team to attend sales meetings and observe how the results of their programs are being viewed through the lens of lead followups. Together, both teams can share analysis based on conversations and click through rates to quicken the pace of finding qualified leads.
Remember, operating a young organization is stressful enough without having marketing and sales organizations acting like the Hatfields and McCoys. By taking a few thoughtful steps to break down communication barriers and ensure a closed-loop feedback, marketing content is improved and the sales prospecting becomes simplified. All efforts need to be predicated on developing quality leads – in abundance. When the pipeline is full of high-probability closings, marketing and sales teams are intertwined in a love affair.