Posts Tagged ‘sales lead’

Advice on Lead Hand-off from Marketing to Sales

Technology Executives Roundtable (TER) LogoI was at an Technology Executives Roundtable (TER) event on Marketing ROI earlier this week. It was a panel with three members, all marketing executives, who were asked the typical questions for a panel like this: what marketing programs work for you, how do you measure ROI, and how do you track ROI for the marketing campaigns you run. These are always good questions to ask, since the answers change as markets and marketing tools evolve.

A member of the audience asked the question, “How do you qualify leads as ready to hand from marketing to sales and track them?” I commend the panelists for their candid answers. Each responded that his or her company had problems either with sales and marketing agreeing on when a lead should be handed off or with tracking the lead from when it entered the marketing funnel and tying it to sales opportunities and sales. The answers surprised me, especially because these are sophisticated marketers for well-marketed companies.

Here is my advice:

  • Start with agreement between the top sales and the top marketing executives on the definition of a Sales Lead. Arrive at the definition by asking the sales exec, “Would you want a lead if they did this (attended a webinar, for example)? How about this? Or this?”.
  • Then, use that definition to qualify leads for every campaign you run. Track the actions of all contacts that are part of a campaign and identify the sales leads. Hand them off to sales, and get feedback from the sales team. The definition may need to be refined.  Lead follow-up is a challenge in itself, but by handing the right leads over, you’ll get more enthusiastic follow-up from the sales team.
  • Typically, about 5% of the marketing pipeline are sales leads that are ready to be handed to sales. 10% of the pipeline are close and should be watched carefully by marketing. Our marketing team scrutinizes that group – those that responded to actions that are not quite strong enough to qualify them as a sales lead – looking for key target customers and companies that are in strategic markets. Sales people will want to call these leads because they may know of an opportunity, share contacts or turn into advocates for your company when the sales opportunity arises.

As with any panel these days,  there was plenty of talk about Twitter, Facebook, and blogging. What kind of marketing expert would you be if you left out Twitter and Facebook, right? These were all B2B marketers, so I’m pretty sure the hottest lead they ever got from Twitter or Facebook was when to be at Gordon Biersch if they want to run into Stephen Fleming. Actually, the most interesting marketing tip came from Gary Brooks when he said Bomgar spends about $2000 to prepare a custom business case for specific target customers – with about a 40% close rate on a face to face meeting – kudos for that.

The session was excellent, and got me thinking quite a bit. If you’d like to know more about lead generation, hand-off and follow-up, feel free to post comments or pop me an email.