Lead qualification can be the cause of success or failure in any business project. Sending Sales to visit customers who are not at the time of purchase is a clearly avoidable cost. Traditionally Sales reproaches Marketing that the quality of the leads is quite low. And perhaps in Sales they are somewhat right.
Flipping through Feedly the posts of my favorite bloggers I found an article by Bridge Group talking about "Perceptions and Weights in Marketing Leads". I ask you to pay attention to the following graph, created with data collected in a survey of more than 1,150 B2B Salesreps
Can you believe that 53% of the respondents said that only 1/4 (or less) of the leads generated by Marketing were at the optimal time for their sale conversion? It is undoubtedly a revealing statistic and can have different readings. These are some of my interpretations:
- Marketing must sharpen their goal. Although it may not always be possible to segment your target market, it is always a good idea to get as close as you can. All your Marketing Mix - pay-per-click ads, blogs, SEO, Inside Sales, Appointment Setting - must be optimized, thought from scratch in some cases, and directed to a specific audience.
- Sales should have the necessary waist to tolerate that some leads produced by Marketing are not qualified. In a perfect world, a perfect prospect would be knocking on your door, check in hand, and yelling, "Open up! You're the only one who can help me!" But that is not reality. If your salesreps can lead business opportunities, they must also be able to qualify appropriately.
Now more than ever, it is important to have a team of SDRs (Sales Development Representatives) to fill the gap between the "raw" Marketing leads and the Sales area. Whether you decide to outsource your SDRs and their Appointment Setting activity with a company like heading2market or you do it with members of your team, it is recommended that you assign a person or team to manage the qualification of your Marketing leads.
In short, Marketing and Sales can reach a midpoint as long as expectations are set appropriately, and both could benefit from a team of SDRs, who qualify and set appointments, operating between them.