In today’s B2B companies, marketing and sales alignment is critical to success. Proper alignment is the result of a documented, effective, efficient and measurable process for capturing, engaging, nurturing, managing and converting leads into customers.
Unfortunately, few B2B organizations focus on creating, implementing and executing a defined marketing and sales process. Instead, they embrace trendy marketing and sales concepts, ever-evolving marketing channels and the promise of technology to deliver the revenue results they need to grow. When they start falling short on conversions or missing revenue, they simply treat the symptoms of a misaligned or broken lead-to-revenue process—more leads, more sales people, more technology.
Treating the symptoms of poor revenue performance is not going to make it better. Think about all you’ve done in 2015 to improve sales and grow revenue:
- Launched a new website
- Increased spending on lead generation
- Hired a social media marketer
- Invested in content generation
- Purchased technology to score and nurture leads
- Added an SDR team
- Increased the size of the sales team
Did you improve conversions? Did you hit your sales goals? If you did, have you been able to sustain performance?
Building a lead-to-revenue process that results in real revenue transformation requires more than temporary remedies. It requires a willingness to look past the symptoms and assess your lead-to-revenue process start-to-finish.
A lead-to-revenue assessment gets at the cause of marketing and sales misalignment, low conversion rates, and poor sales. It delivers a diagnosis and a plan of treatment to improve the health and performance of the lead lifecycle.
Marketing and sales leadership can use the assessment to determine the stages of the buyer’s journey where prospects disengage and disappear. It is a deep dive into key areas of your process:
- Lead and demand generation
- Data quality
- Nurturing workflows
- Content creation and usage
- Pipeline management
- Marketing and sales technology
- Measurement and reporting
So how do you know if your company needs a lead-to-revenue assessment? The truth of the matter is the majority of B2B companies today need help streamlining and optimizing their lead-to-revenue process to hit the marketing and sales goals. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to determine if your company is one of them:
- Does your marketing and sales team have clear direction on managing leads through the funnel and into the pipeline?
- Have the number of leads you need to keep your sales team active increased over the past three months?
- Is the percentage of leads returned to sales by marketing more than 5 percent?
- Are leads disengaging and disappearing before sales can get to them?
- Do you have a defined process for the sales team to follow while engaging a lead?
So, before you commit another dollar to marketing, extend those marketing and sales technology agreements, or approve the 2016 hiring plan for sales, commit to assessing your current lead-to-revenue process. Once you do, you’ll have the information you need to diagnose and repair the path to conversion and sustainable revenue growth.
If you are not sure where to start, check out part two of this blog for some suggestions.
Today's blog was submitted by Pam Hege. Pam is a traditional marketer who crossed the great divide and transitioned into digital marketing, happily finding a home at the intersection of marketing, sales, and technology. For more than 20 years, she has been focused on driving intentional, measurable revenue growth for B2C and B2B companies as both an in-house marketer and a consultant.
Today she serves as Managing Partner of Homeport Marketing, a B2B lead-to-revenue firm in Atlanta that builds and rebuilds lead-to-revenue strategies and processes that align marketing and sales to generate consistent revenue growth.
Topics: Marketing & Sales Alignment