Marketing had its chance to say the things they wanted to say to sales – now it’s our turn to retort!
As the Sales Director here at InsightSquared, I spend a lot of time on the frontlines. I’m always talking to and working with my sales reps to collectively figure out how we can all do our jobs better – namely, to sell more software to the people that need it. A big part of that improvement analysis involves marketing – studying their process of generating and delivering leads and figuring how to improve the alignment of our two critical teams.
So, without further ado, here are 5 things that us folks over at sales would like to say to marketing. All in the interest of alignment and doing our respective jobs better, of course! 🙂
Give us more leads!!
There’s no better place to start than with the one thing that sales has been demanding from marketing since the dawn of time – MORE LEADS. Please.
Of course this is what all my sales reps want. They can’t hit their quotas unless they have leads to work on and convert into opportunities. To that end, we just need marketing to keep pulling levers and bring more leads into the top of the sales funnel.
Give us fewer leads, please!
“Huh?!? But you just asked for more leads! What do you want from us?!”
It’s true, we did just ask for more leads…but what we’re really asking for is more good leads. There’s a difference.
In fact, flooding my sales reps with bad leads that they have to spend time calling, just to verify that they are in fact an unqualified lead that has no interest in us and no chance of buying, is killing our sales process. We’re being a lot less efficient with our time. So please, stop casting such a wide net just to get names and leads into the funnel, and start segmenting your marketing efforts and homing in on the right demographics and psychographics of our Ideal Customer Profile – people who actually want to buy our product.
Work on the timing of your lead generation.
As they say, “In life, timing is everything.” Lead generation certainly qualifies as a huge part of our life, and timing is critical.
For example, if the pipeline is looking barren at the start of the month, we would appreciate it if marketing scheduled their highest yield campaigns and email blasts at the beginning of the month. After all, with our sales cycle, leads that come in within the last couple of weeks aren’t going to make a difference to hitting our number this month.
Another thing to think about is response time to leads. According to this InsideSales.com Infographic, the best time to respond to leads is within 5 minutes. With that in mind, marketing should not be sending blasts on Friday afternoon, or really any time at the end of the day at all.
Can we get some high-quality BOFU collateral please?
Marketing’s great at generating TOFU collateral – one-sheets, white papers and blog posts are all great for piquing the prospect’s interest early and giving them a quick introduction to our company and product. However, this emphasis on TOFU collateral unfortunately leaves a shortage in another key area – bottom-of-the-funnel collateral.
BOFU collateral can really make an impact and swing an opportunity from being on the fence to firmly in your camp. Some examples of great BOFU collateral that sales reps can use to seal the deal include:
An ROI Calculator – Such a tool would calculate and visualize just how much prospects stand to gain if they were to buy and use our product. Putting it in blatant ROI terms crystallizes the exact impact of using our product, compared to maintaining the status quo or using another similar product. Numbers – placed in the context of ROI – speaks much louder than any sales pitch.
Value proposition vs. competitors – Similarly, collateral that compares your offering favorably to those of your direct competitors can pack a really powerful punch when closing on an opportunity. If the opportunity is wavering and can’t decide between you or your competitor, an apples-to-apples Value Prop vs. Competitor one-sheet can swing the tilt decidedly in your favor.
Spend as much time / effort on attribution when it’s NOT in your benefit, as you do when it is in your benefit.
Attribution – giving due credit for leads generated, opportunities sourced and deals closed – is understandably a huge emphasis for Marketing VPs. They want to make sure that marketing’s hard work in lead generation is recognized. And that’s great! Just make sure you care as much about attribution when it’s not in your benefit.
This means doing an equal amount of highlighting and back-patting when prospecting sales reps or some other source generates high-quality leads. A lot of Marketing teams spend a great deal more effort attributing their own successful efforts, with only a cursory mention – or none at all! – in attributing other lead generation sources. We’re happy to give due credit to marketing when they kick ass; just make sure to do the same to our prospecting reps when they do as well.
We’ve listened to all the things marketing wants to say to sales, and we’ve now come up with the things that we would also like to say to marketing. If we both listen to each other, our respective teams will be all the better for it, and we can collectively use these improvements to work toward achieving our overall company goals.
What else have you always wanted to say to marketing? Share in the comments section below.