A few months ago, we asked this question: “Do you have a closed loop between marketing and sales?”
It’s a question that’s worth asking again, as the gap between sales and marketing – whether it’s in perception or reality – is one that worries many companies.
The closed loop is a system where sales and marketing collaborate using the data marketing gets from its analysis to qualify leads and generate better quality leads. It makes both groups responsible for following up and gets them to line up their goals.
It’s a four step process that works like this:
- The process starts when your website gets a visitor, and a cookie tracks their action to how they found your site. This lets you know how your various marketing efforts are doing.
- You continue to track what pages this visitor looks at when they’re on your site. Know what gets them from point A to point B helps you connect your leads to their original marketing source.
- To convert these visitors to leads, send them to landing pages that allow you to collect more information. These pages should have a submission form that gets you their contact info.
- Once the sales team has closed leads, take a look at them and connect them back to the original marketing campaign. This will give you a better insight into who your audience is and what your goals should be.
Here are a few reasons why sales and marketing need to come together, and how you can make that connection happen.
Your Customers Will Notice
If your sales and marketing teams aren’t communicating, sales may not have the resources they need for initial meetings with clients. Sales reps need to have content that can engage prospects and speak to their needs.
The first step in remedying this is pretty basic: Have your teams talk to each other. One idea: Ask the sales team to list some of the questions they hear most from their prospects. The marketing side of your firm can then use that list to create content that the sales team could use to answer those questions.
Sales Have More Leads Than They Can Handle
Marketing automation software is allowing marketers to generate more leads than before. The downside to that is that this could lead to your sales team getting more leads than they can physically follow up on.
Let’s say the marketing team generates 20 leads a week. But the sales team only has about two hours a week to follow up with leads, and each lead takes half an hour to handle. That means only 20 percent of those 20 leads marketing has generated will get attention.
Again, the solution here is to communicate. By understanding how many leads the sales team can handle, marketing can adjust its efforts. This could mean spending more time nurturing leads before handing them off to sales.
Marketing studies have shown that nurtured leads tend to produce a 20 percent spike in sales opportunities when compared to leads that aren’t nurtured, and that companies that focus on lead nurturing can generate twice as many sales-ready leads.
If your sales reps are using their time trying to find or create content, they’re duplicating the marketing team’s work and spending time away from sales opportunities. A study by IDC found that with an extra hour of prep time each week, a business could see an additional $300,000 in revenue each year.
In this case, closing the gap can have a lot to do with technological improvements at work. Tools like Google Drive or Dropbox can serve as a digital library for your marketing content, allowing your sales team to access it with ease.
If you’re wondering how to bridge the gap between your company’s sales and marketing staff, IQnection offers a complimentary marketing roadmap consultation. This session will help you plot your marketing strategy, scout out your competition, and more.
When you have a marketing strategy set up, you can start to think about how to close off the loop between your marketing and sales teams.