Translating your marketing campaign into sales leads

Introduction
Your marketing team has spent hours putting together that witty campaign with those beautiful high-end graphics to target your new potential customers. It’s been emailed, tweeted, blogged and facebooked, so now what?  How do you know which of your audience members are tuned-in to your signal and are ready to buy?

It’s no secret that lead closure rates reflect as much on the performance of marketing as they do on sales, so whether you are in sales or marketing, you need to know how marketing leads translate into sales dollars. This blog post provides you with five tips that can help you translate your marketing campaigns into qualified sales leads.

First: Some basics...
Do you know the difference between a lead type that is marketing qualified as opposed to sales qualified or sales ready?

Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)
A Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) is a prospect who has displayed some interest in your offering. This could be deciphered by way of their behavior, (for example: multiple visits to your website, opening every email etc.) but you can’t say for sure how deep their interest runs.

Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs)
A Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) is a prospect who meets the sales team’s minimum requirements so as to be accepted as a lead by them.  What does this mean?  It means this lead has “consumed” enough of your marketing material to show that they have a serious interest in your products or services and they have a definite need for your product, but they aren’t ready to make a purchase just yet.  This is a lead your sales team will attempt to nurture in order to transition into the next phase: The Sales Ready Lead.

Sales Ready Leads (SRLs)
A Sales Ready Lead (SRL) is a prospect who is definitely an SQL, but, due to some reason, they are not ready to make a purchase.  By this phase you’ve confirmed they have a need for your product and budget in place to commit to a purchase so there may be some other reason they have not transitioned into a customer.  Perhaps they are still looking at your competitors or need further incentive to finally commit to buying.

Knowing the differences between these leads is critical, because your sales team’s time will be wasted pursuing prospects that have very little interest, or the budget, for your products.  An MQL should NEVER be passed directly to sales because it’s a sheer waste of the sales team’s time and it only reflects poorly on marketing when they don’t close. SQLs should NEVER be ignored when they don’t close, instead they should be groomed until they become SRLs. The key lies in knowing which category your leads fall in, in order to determine how they should be treated.

Second: Do your homework...
Do you know the current MQL-Sales Ratio that exists in your organization? Simply put the MQL-Sales ratio tells you, how many leads actually closed, out of the total leads that marketing qualified as worth pursuing. The smaller the difference between the two figures, the higher the quality of leads being passed through to sales.  

Third: Work on MQLs...
Most MQLs need work. An MQL needs to be nurtured before they become SQLs. Nurturing is the process of educating the lead about your offering and gradually letting them know how your product addresses their problem areas..

Fourth Score your leads...
You will need a good lead scoring platform that will help you effectively categorize your leads into MQLs/SQLs/SRLs, objectively, based on their behavior and attributes.  Without such a system in place, it will be impossible to tell where prospects fall in the MQL to SRL spectrum.

Fifth: Get a single view of your leads...
At times there’s a mismatch between how marketing and sales teams perceive the same lead. As a result, the leads that marketing sends to sales are rejected by sales. Giving your marketing and sales teams a single, unified view of your leads will help keep everyone on the same page with respect to lead classification. This also enables marketing and sales to work together to identify the key attributes and behavior of leads that results in them being classified as MQLs/SQLs/SRLs, thus giving both teams a common yardstick.

The verdict...
To successfully translate your marketing campaigns into sales leads, there needs to be seamless integration between your marketing and sales teams.  Each team needs to understand the process of how a prospect is moved from one lead category to the next in order to ensure your sales team knows which leads to focus on to close those deals NOW.

2 comments:

  1. This is a great article. I have been trying to increase my sales and marketing leads over the past few years. My company has a effective business plan but we needed an extra boost to get good sales results. I decided to use lead generation services because they can help us get a higher client investment.

    ReplyDelete
  2. WOW. You went with great points in your article. Keep update more often.

    ReplyDelete

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