Are Your Sales Funnels Undefined?

Sales Funnels

The importance of creating cohesion between your sales and marketing teams has long been established; companies that have made strides towards bridging the age-old gap between sales and marketing experience up to 20% annual revenue growth compared to companies who neglect this important step.

Confusion and lack of strategy between your sales and marketing efforts can lead to a diminished number of quality leads and fewer leads converted into customers. There are a few easy ways to improve your company’s success, however.

Through defining your sales funnels, you can create uniform language and clear definitions of success for your sales and marketing departments. You can also build clear, understood processes for handling leads once they come through your funnel.

Defining your sales funnels are a vital part of your company’s overall success. Here are a few easy tips for getting started.

Determine What a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) Looks Like

What is a Marketing Qualified Lead, exactly? Well, it depends on your company’s particular definition, based on collected data, trends, and the type of customer you are trying to attract.

Sam Kusinitz at Hubspot defines an MQL as “a lead judged more likely to become a customer based on lead intelligence, often informed by closed loop analytics.”

The leads that are determined to be “Marketing Qualified,” according to your company, should possess a series of carefully researched traits and activities that indicate the lead is a good fit for your company and ready to talk to a sales person.

You might also include descriptors for your MQL such as job title, level of interest in your company, and role in the decision making process of a company, such as influencer, buyer or end user. Each of these pieces of information can help aid the process of defining an MQL for your sales and marketing departments, diminishing the communication barrier and helping transition both departments to the same page.

Determining the definition of a Marketing Qualified Lead is the key point of transition between sales and marketing teams.

When you’ve determined the definition and attributes of a Marketing Qualified Lead, your sales and marketing teams can move forward in the defining of sales funnels.

Implement a Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Another important piece of the sales funnel puzzle is to establish a Service Level Agreement between your marketing and sales departments.

The Service Level Agreement (SLA) will help determine what both departments are responsible for in the company’s overall strategy and will also help stablish shared goals towards growth and revenue.

Step 1: Determine the Marketing Department’s Accountability

In this step, you will need to determine how many leads the sales team needs to meet their quota.

With this information in mind, you can determine how many leads your marketing department will be required to deliver, what quality of leads they are required to deliver, and the timeframe in which they are required to deliver them.

You can also consider what percentage of the company’s overall prospecting will be done by each department.

Your sales department may need to be responsible for a fraction of the prospecting and for obtaining a number of the leads they’ll need to meet their quota.

Step 2: Determine the Sales Department’s Accountability

To determine your Sales Department’s Accountability in the Service Level Agreement, you’ll need to determine how quickly a sales rep should follow up with a Marketing Qualified Lead. You will also need to determine how many attempts at contact your sales rep should make with all MQL’s of a certain type.

With this information on hand, you can determine how contact attempts at contact your sales team should complete each month.

Step 3: Determine SLA in Dollar Value

In order to determine the Service Level Agreement in dollar values, you’ll need to take the percentage of sales’ quota that your marketing department is responsible for every month.

Say for instance, this amount equals $200,000.

Once you’ve determined this amount, you’ll need to calculate the value of each Marketing Qualified Lead. With the value of an MQL in mind, you can then determine how many leads your marketing department is required to deliver each month, to reach the total amount you’ve designated for their monthly quota.

For more information on determining the value of a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), check out our Complete Guide to SMarketing.

Each of these steps is a crucial element of success in aligning your marketing and sales departments. They can help catapult your company towards better relationships with customers and leads, better handling of Marketing Qualified Leads and more revenue overall.