We want to make life easier for your Sales team. MQLs are great but we want to make yours better.
Marketing generate leads so that Sales can win more deals. They are meant to make life easier, but your Sales team has some problems with MQLs.
In this post we will be exploring what those problems are, why they exist and what to do about them.
- Context for outreach
- Lead volume
- TOF buyers
- Prospect information
- Nurture tracks
- Everyone sells differently
- Lead response time
- Leads not a fit
Leveraging context for reaching out
If you don’t have context for reaching out, you rely on your messaging and testimonials along with luck for any success you’ll get. Trigger events are the key to getting great context for prospecting.
Too often, blanket emails are sent out to leads without any killer messaging or personalization to hone in on the buyer’s pains or goals.
With any MQL, you should know what the prospect did to become a lead. At the bare minimum, mentioning that content is some context that you need to use. This should be the first thing that Marketing share with you about the lead.
But Sales needs to take the context on every MQL one step further. The Sales team needs to be thinking about why the lead downloaded the content, what relevance is it to their job and every day work? What relevance is the content to their new company initiative, or funding rounds, or new hire in their team? What about their webinar that’s next week, or recent blog post.
Any information like this that Marketing can capture will help the Sales team to have more context and more success when reaching out to MQLs.
This is a classic problem. The age-old balancing act that every Sales team has to work on.
Do we reach out to more contacts with less personalization, or less contacts with more personalization? What is the middle-ground here?
With MQLs, you cannot just leave them 2 weeks and reach out when you’re less busy. So how can a Sales team strike the right balance?
Too many leads is a great problem to have. If it is completely unmanageable then you need to hire. Or to work with Marketing on having them nurture more leads to a later stage of the funnel so that you handle hotter leads further in the buying process.
If you can manage the lead load, try your best to prioritize. The A1 perfect leads who come in, give them the best you can give them in terms of your outreach.
When a lead comes in that maybe is not a great fit or lacks some information you would usually like to reference in outreach just think about what you can do for this lead and move on afterwards. There is no point trying to find the recipe for a perfect outreach if the lead is not quite right, but is still worth exploring to see if there is a fit.
On the flip side, too few leads. This is an issue, and the Sales team should be prospecting for their own opportunities if they do not have enough MQLs to feed on. When they do get leads, they should be treated with care.
Burning through all the leads with an email cadence is a bad, bad idea. The Sales team needs to review the leads and let Marketing know if they want leads at an earlier stage of the funnel, or if the current leads are perfect.
If the leads are perfect, reach out using every technique and strategy you know that works. Maximize your returns on these leads and feedback to Marketing on what made the lead so good. This can only help Marketing to generate more of these leads for you.
Buyers in TOF not ready for sales
We’ve all been there. You download a cheatsheet or something super lightweight from a website because it sounded helpful.
Boom, the phone rings and the SDR from their company is asking if you read it yet.
Yes, we want the Sales team to reach out to leads but certainly not top of funnel leads. This happens when there is a mix up or a bad strategy in place.
Marketing need to be nurturing these top of funnel leads, that is the exact point of having top of funnel content. You want to draw in as many people as possible so that you can then nurture them.
Your Sales team does not need to be reaching out to top of funnel leads, because there is a long way to go until they are ready to buy. Effectively, if this is happening you are making a member of the Sales team act as a human nurture system. They’re sending content and following up a bunch of times to try and get an SQL, when they should just be engaging at the right stage of the funnel.
Often the problem is about wanting to give the Sales team leads but not having built out the middle and bottom of funnel.
We read this great post on how to build out an amazing middle of the funnel. You need to read this.
eBooks are a good top or middle of funnel asset, due to their greater depth of content. Reports and research pieces are also good middle of funnel assets that inform your leads of the state of play.
Speaking of eBooks, download ours for the strategies of 27 world leading Marketers and Sales people to engage buyers!
Not having enough info on the prospect
Sometimes a lead comes in with literally just a Gmail address and a fake name, or even just a first name.
The Sales team plays no part in this issue, Marketing need to be making sure they only accept business email addresses on their landing page forms. This way the Sales team can at least understand what company the lead works for and relay some relevant messaging from that.
It doesn’t stop there. Sometimes the CRM will not append any data it can find on the lead or their company, if you do not have the data yourself. Saving the rep on the Sales team minutes every time they reach out to a prospect can literally multiply their success.
There are a bunch of tools and processes you can use to make this happen cheaply and easily but giving the Sales team a Gmail address lead with nothing more is simply poor. Even if the person downloaded your best case study, think about how the Sales team’s outreach is going to connect with the lead.
If this is a huge issue for your team, consider lead enrichment.
Speaking of lead enrichment, here’s a quick video on how we do it and a challenge we have with inbound leads…
They compete with your nurture tracks
This one is bad, really bad. Leads who are in your marketing list can get your monthly newsletter, that is not a disaster. If the Sales team are talking to them, a newsletter is no problem.
But when the Sales team is talking to a lead, they should not be getting more nurture emails to try and generate a Sales conversation.
This problem happens when there is a not a specific handoff point for Sales. When there is not cut off date, Marketing can let their workflows carry on until the end of time or they get an unsubscribe.
The Sales team still has to do their job and close the customer, even if Marketing is sending emails about case studies and whitepapers to download.
You want the communications from your business to come from one department at a time.
Marketing to generate interest. Sales to assist with picking and delivering a solution. Customer Success to look after the customer and support them. The only time Marketing should be dropping into this process is to deliver newsletter content or to further assist when Sales has completed their work.
Here’s a great post on Hubspot about how to hand-off leads to Sales so they never have to compete with your nurture tracks.
Everyone works MQLs differently
Everyone sells differently. Reps will get a different number of leads to talk to. Each rep on the Sales team will have a different schedule, number of calls to take each day. All of this contributes to differentiating processes and different results when approaching MQLs.
Some reps will even use different tools to others on the same team as them.
This might not seem like a problem, but think about how you could scale your revenue generating teams and processes. You cannot test or determine what the best process, content, strategies are if the crucial part of the test is done differently by every rep.
To test how your Marketing can generate the most leads, you can test which content converts best. Which landing page converts best? What strategy works best for email, advertising tactics too? But when it comes to the lead follow up, you need to make the whole process a scientific experiment, end to end. Your results are compromised if the follow up is different each time.
Scaling is about process and optimization with testing. Using real data to make real decisions that impact the bottom line, because the data says so.
Lead response time is key
There are a bunch of different studies on how quickly you should reach out to an inbound lead. Some say 5 minutes, some say 24 hours and under.
A/B test this with your team, make it a science. Use the same messaging and the same numbers to test response times, see what works best for you.
However, the Sales team may find this tricky to begin with.
If you are looking at their calendars, they may block off the morning for outbound prospecting. The middle of the day for calls and the end of the day for other activity. Leads come through all day long, so routing leads to the right members of the Sales team is one way to help the reps on the team.
If certain reps need a rigid routine, provide them with a few leads per day. If certain reps are less worried about routines, let the leads come to them all day. Some reps will want to do their own outbound prospecting more than review inbound leads, that is OK.
The key here is to find a happy medium that works. Test and adjust until you find it.
Not a fit
This is another classic. Not all leads are perfect, you cannot literally choose people who are going to download your content. Of course, the Sales team will tell you if this is happening too often and Marketing will need to adjust their targeting.
There is one caveat to this though. Not every Sales team wants to prospect fanatically, some want the golden nugget leads. So Sales managers, this video is for you.
Now back to Marketing. What do we do if leads are not a good fit too often?
Review the content people are downloading. If we have too much top of funnel content that could literally attract anyone, this is a problem. We need to be speaking to people who should be able to use our service in our top of funnel content.
If it’s not the content, it’s the people in the email list and the people we are advertising to. Either way, a conversation with the Sales team is needed to review what the true buyer and champion looks like for your service and solution.
Review everything from job title, location, company size, industry, software they use, team size and more.
There are tools that we can rely on in Sales to get better results, but MQLs are a huge helping hand to grow our revenues. The reality is that even slight improvements and tweaks to MQLs can make an enormous difference to a Sales team and their chances of winning meetings and closing deals.
If you’re dead-set serious about providing Sales with killer leads, get 100 free leads from us now. All of them will be engaging with your competitors and we want you to close the deal, not them!