If you are in the sales domain, you’ve almost certainly already had a similar conversation with your co-worker:

“I wasted my time on a bad lead that was sent by the marketing team. They really have no idea of what is a good lead for us”

“I know! Today, I was on a call with a lead that made me lose so much time”

Things are no better on the marketing side. A typical conversation might go something like this:

“It’s not us that send bad leads, it’s the sales team that don’t follow up fast enough”

“I agree, I mean, everybody knows that speed of response is key”

In order to avoid this situation, you need to generate good leads and have a good alignment between marketing & sales as well as building core trust between both teams. Tools such as LeadSift can help you generate good leads by finding the prospects that engaged with your competitors and your content, or SalesWings website tracking and lead scoring that notifies your sales team when your leads turn hot.

Generating good leads

In most organisations the marketing team will generate the leads. It will do so through both inbound and outbound marketing. Nevertheless, sales teams will also do their own prospecting via the internet (e.g.: LinkedIn) or using outbound sales software.

Now, the truth is that nobody knows the product and the leads as well as the sales team. So it is essential to speak to them and know what makes a good lead. Here are some examples of criteria:

  • Company’s annual sales
  • Industry/vertical
  • Job title
  • Website technology
  • Marketing technology
  • Currently engaging with a competitor

Finding the last three pieces of information is a bit more complicated than the rest of the info, but don’t despair! There is software out there that can help. For instance, to know which technology they are using you can use Datanyze Chrome extension. This will give you an insight into the technology used by the lead. To know if the lead is currently weighing up your technology and that of a competitor you can use LeadSift.

Lead scoring

Even if the sales and marketing teams work hard to generate the best leads, it doesn’t mean that they only generate good leads. For this reason it is important to use a lead scoring system. For sales reps, receiving bad leads comes with a cost. Firstly, it takes up time that they could spend building a relationship with a lead that will convert. Secondly, engaging with a lead that needs to be nurtured and that is not sales-ready will result in the loss of a potential customer. That is why it is important to disqualify some leads, nurture others and send the hot leads to the sales team as soon as possible.

In traditional lead scoring, the marketing team, with the help of the sales team, needs to define a series of qualifying factors that will define if a lead is qualified for that business. Tools such as SalesWings, on the other hand, use predictive lead scoring. It is the algorithm that predicts who in your database is qualified or not qualified. This will make life easier for your sales and marketing team.

How sales reps can follow up with good leads

It is fundamental for sales reps to be notified as soon as a lead becomes sales-ready so that they can promptly follow up with a phone call or email. To really be successful and close the deal, sales reps must personalize the conversation. Thanks to all the information gathered in the generation and lead scoring process, the sales team already has the basis for a conversation. However, to really hit hard, they could use Crystal Knows. Crystal shows you the best way to communicate with the lead taking into consideration their unique personality.

At the end of the day, the only thing that counts is that the sales team closes the deal. To make sure this happens, sales and marketing need to work together and stop blaming each other. The marketing team has a responsibility to deliver sales-ready leads and the sales team has a responsibility to find the best way to close the deal.