Marketing Leaders Tend to Overlook Their Most Important Customer—Their Own Sales Team

by Laurie McGrath, Chief Marketing Officer, Intalere

Laurie McGrathOver the years, my career has afforded me the opportunity to work in several facets of Marketing in many industries. One thing I know for sure—whether your organization is global or national, large or small—the success of your marketing efforts will depend a great deal on the engagement level of your Sales team.

Too often, Marketing spends countless hours and dollars on initiatives that look great, have strong messaging, and seem to follow the customer’s journey, and yet, when it comes to the transition into revenue, things seem to fall apart. Below are a few key tactics and best practices to enhance the collaboration between Sales and Marketing and to help provide a significant return on investment.

1. Before you even begin to develop a campaign strategy and elements, engage key Sales stakeholders as part of the process.
4. Make sure to provide ample information in terms of lead response resources to make follow-up easy for the Sales representative.
Having them involved up-front in the development of strategy and content will help drive a greater sense of ownership, engagement and accountability. Sales also "lives and breathes" the market every day and has incredible insight into your prospects and customers. Furthermore, these stakeholders can become your “sales evangelists” to carry the message back to their peers in the Sales force. It is a great idea to develop a campaign summary that enumerates the objectives with each customer, the suggested follow-up in terms of questions and talking points, and product or service suggestions. Any sales sheets, brochures or collateral should also be shared in a type of “campaign repository” that is easily accessible.
2. Once a campaign is created, hold a ”campaign council” call to review the campaign with a blue print of key messages, call to action, materials, etc. 5. Maintain follow-up by reviewing weekly aging reports with the Sales team to determine the length of time the leads from the campaign are in the funnel, identifying those that are being worked on or are untouched.
Again, involving key representatives of the Sales force in the process drives ownership and engagement by providing a great opportunity for Sales to fully understand the goals and objectives of the campaign, provide feedback and suggest any changes to the plan. Keep comprehensive notes and track progress, as well as challenges and any red flags. The aging report is the "golden ticket" in keeping things moving and fresh. It’s no secret that the earlier leads are followed-up on, the higher the probability they turn into revenue.
3. After the campaign has launched, and leads begin to come in, conduct a thorough due diligence of all leads prior to importing them into the sales funnel. 6. Celebrate your Marketing ROI by highlighting the “wins” from marketing campaigns.
The perceived lead quality is extremely important in the process. If you are importing what Sales considers low quality leads, they will be less likely to follow up and will quickly lose confidence in the process and results. This helps keep the momentum going and illustrates to everyone that the campaign, and especially the process, is working. It is also a great way to help convert any non-believers with the hard evidence of success.