Sales starts at marketing — at the point when leads are generated through strategic content distribution. With the right messaging and nurturing, leads become marketing qualified and sales can take it from there.
The problem, however, is that oftentimes, although marketing may have put in a lot of effort in order to hand qualified prospects over to sales, the ball gets dropped and sales aren’t made. Why does this happen? Where’s the disconnect?
In this blog post, we’ll explain five key reasons why lead handoff from marketing to sales tends to fail.
If marketing and sales are not running completely in sync with one another, the process will be flawed. This is especially important in terms of overall goals, on which marketing and sales teams need to be aligned. Each department needs to be clear on the overall revenue goal the company is trying to hit and the key metrics they need to deliver against. There needs to be agreement on target prospects, lead stage definitions, and lead scoring criteria. This will ensure both teams are on the same page on what good leads look like and how they’ll be treated. Both sales and marketing should know how many marketing qualified leads need to be generated each month and what percentage of those leads need to convert into sales opportunities and closed deals in order to hit the revenue goal.
Marketers know where a lead is in the pipeline, what activity they’ve had with the company to date, what eBooks they’ve downloaded, and more. This crucial data needs to be provided in full context to the sales team in order for sales to effectively engage each lead. When they understand the lead’s behavior and background, they’ll be able to pick up right where marketing left off rather than going at it with cold, unengaging sales sales outreach.
Here's an example of important marketing information that sales should have access to:
Timing is huge when it comes to lead handoff. Leads can easily slip through the cracks without an effective follow-up system in place. Using automation can help you ensure leads — especially currently active or high priority leads — are called back within minutes or even seconds of receiving the inquiry. According to a recent study, attempting to contact a lead by phone within three minutes of a web inquiry submission increases the likelihood of conversion by 98 percent. So, don’t miss key opportunities!
Historically, marketing would hand off leads to sales reps based on geographic location, but this tactic is now outdated. Since you want to keep the ball rolling and not waste any precious time, leads need to be passed to the most readily available and capable person for the job. Marketers should find the first available rep to follow up with a new lead to optimize conversion. Some sales teams will then route specific leads to reps who have had proven success with those types of leads, putting the job in the right hands as quickly as possible.
If marketing and sales don’t establish a set hand-off process, responsibilities will fall by the wayside. Both parties need to understand which tasks they’re responsible for so that everything that needs to happen will, and no work is duplicated. Having a defined process in place will decrease the margin of error.
If you’re doing any of these five things, you’re not letting your leads live to their full potential: a closed deal. Keep these tips in mind and your hand off will be smooth and effective.
Following through takes diligence and dedication. Request a consultation to learn how our team can help you successfully move leads through the funnel!